A passionate adventurer, who hasn't let disability stop him from living life to the fullest, is helping Parks Victoria test new equipment that could be used in the future to help others undertake more challenging hikes in national parks.
Campbell Message, who became a paraplegic after a car accident when he was two, volunteered his time recently to test special adaptive equipment at Wilsons Promontory National Park to see if it would help people to undertake the difficult hike.
Campbell tested an off-road handcycle with ultra-low gears for steep hill climbing. It also has two wheels at the front for extra stability and an extra steering system that can be activated by moving the chest on a panel attached to the steering. All camping gear needed to be carried and Campbell also had to tow his wheelchair on a trailer attached to the off-road handcycle.
Campbell was accompanied by two wonderful friends on the hike from Telegraph Saddle to Oberon Bay; camped overnight then undertook the coastal route to Tidal River. It is a challenging hike and the team had to work together using various methods such as rope towing, hand cranking and even crawling to get through the steep and challenging terrain.
View the video of Campbell and the team in action at the Prom at https://youtu.be/lCqBgAxr7kQ.
Source: Melanie McVey-Di Lazzaro, Regional Marketing & Communications- East Region, Parks Victoria