One item I forgot to mention in Packing for hospital is a tyre pump. If you’re a wheelie, and in hospital for any length of time, your tyres will deflate. The cause of this is that the inner tube is porous to CO2, which leaks away. This means that using a CO2 inflator will help briefly but will then exacerbate the problem.
At home I use a rechargeable pump for my powerchair and scooter, but this won’t reach the high pressure needed for my manual chair (the higher the pressure the lower the rolling resistance, the easier it is to propel), so for that I use a cyclists’ track pump (aka floor pump, though I’ve yet to see a floor that wasn’t supposed to be flat). Even for a knackered spoonie like me, this takes just a couple of strokes to maintain the rock-hardness I favour. (My tyres – do keep up . . .)
The problem with track pumps is that they’re, well, big, but they can be strapped on top of the holdall or even, with a little ingenuity, on the seat back.
I’ve already got one, but if you want one, this is where I buy my cycling-related kit for my chairs – the link goes to track pumps.
Look to pay between £20 and £30. It must have a gauge, and a dual head for Presta and Schrader valves. Long, skinny barrels are more efficient, but shorter, fatter models are easier to pack. Choose a model with a long hose if you can, it just makes life easier. Also, you really must read the reviews. I liked the SKS Air X-Press Control Track Pump (Gauge), but the reviews revealed that the valve head was rubbish.
I’d recommend this one. £25.99, free UK delivery, and worth every penny. If I was in the market for a new pump, I’d have this.
Good reviews and lots of them, and a reputable brand. I’d hoped for something smaller that would fit inside the holdall, but that wasn’t to be. It can be strapped to the top of it though. It’ll last you for years, both at home and in hospital, and if you’re currently using a normal bike pump on your manual chair, this will be an absolute revelation.