Zip Ties – A Mobility Device User’s Fix on the Go

03 Mar 2020 12:31 PM | Lora Bigcraft (Administrator)

We’ve likely all seen some great uses of Duct Tape in our days.  I’m all for it, I know the cosmetics aren’t the best, but if it’s doing the intended purpose and it’s only temporary who really cares??  Even if it isn’t short term, if you are good with it, that’s all that matters.  But what about the times duct tape isn’t going to do the job?   In my opinion, Zip-Ties are the next best thing.  Plus a package/bag of a few zip ties are relatively cheap and not very hard to stash somewhere in a pocket, purse, backpack, or wheelchair so you can always have some on you.  Duct Tape isn’t as easily stowed out of the way.  But why would zip-ties be so useful you ask?  What can they do for you that duct tape won’t?  Allow me to provide some examples.

For any mobility device users, we are often just one bad bolt from losing either a key component or our overall mobility.  However, if you have a stash of zip-ties with you it only takes a few to pass through where a bolt broke or fell out and you can continue on your way.  One time I was just getting into my van, heard a loud snap, and suddenly my back rest came unattached.  Without putting those zip ties into the missing bolt hole, I wouldn’t have been able to use my chair.  Lacking any core strength in my body, I would have been on the ground in no time if I had tried to move along and not address the broken bolt.  Then I’d be on the cold ground versus sitting in my chair still.  Big difference.  I have now had to use zip-ties at least 3 times to temporarily hold my chair together in place of a broken bolt until I can get home or a hardware store.

Although this winter has been bearable so far, we are just one snowstorm away from wreaking havoc on mobility device users in our areas.  All people don’t or can’t get out to shovel driveways or sidewalks in a timely manner.  One of the joys of using mobility devices in Michigan is dealing with all the weather elements and then unintentionally carrying those elements with you wherever you go.  Manual wheelchairs get hard to propel because the push rims get slick from the wetness in snow and casters get filled with it as well.  Power chairs perform better in snow, but still have drawbacks.  The false sense of power may lead users into deeper snow with opportunities to get stuck.  But, if you have those handy zip-ties you can pull a couple out and loop through spokes and around your wheels/tires.  Giving you some new, self-designed snow chains on the power chair that should help get traction and you going forward. 

Maybe you don’t use a wheelchair of any kind, but have difficulty using your hands on something like zippers.  Simply slide a zip-tie through the end of the zipper and create yourself a loop.  Should make it easier to get a finger or something into the loop to push/pull.  I have used these little loops on things like my backpacks or clothing.  Just another example of the ways you can use simple cheap items like zip-ties and provide a pretty good temporary or long term fix. 

Hopefully that’ll get you prepared for dealing with the little nuances we experience in daily life.  Whether you try one of the tips I suggested above or have some secret uses for other products, we can help each other by sharing knowledge.  Becoming more aware of what we are getting into and potential life hacks that keep us rolling.  #Awareness



disAbility Connections, Inc.      409 Linden Ave.  Jackson, MI   49203      Phone:  (517) 782-6054      Fax:  (517)  782-3118

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