I’d like to start a conversation about iNatting / nature hikes / field work while injured or handicapped. I’ve seen a few mentions on the forums of people using canes or tripods due to injury, or working with others who have limited mobility/etc. So I know I’m not the only one here dealing with temporary / chronic injury while also being an active iNatter.
edit: I hope it wasn’t unclear, but this isn’t about my personal problems. Im hoping it can be a starting point for talking about what is an often-neglected section of the community. Please share your own stories, and if you don’t have any of your own, remember that acknowledging someone else’s struggle can make as big a difference to them as providing a solution or work-around.
I’m grateful for the kind responses, in the meantime.
I’ve got an injury from my military service. I can’t go into any details, but I came out of the IDF with badly injured elbows, on both sides. I’ve mostly recovered since – though it took about a year of physical and occupational therapy – but I’m still limited in notable ways.
(I also came out of it with PTSD and a moderate anxiety disorder, but in that aspect, iNat only helps. I find going outside and immersing myself in nature to be an excellent supplement to my prescribed medications and therapy).
Lifting heavy objects is easy, since my muscles are as strong as any average twenty-two year old’s should be. That doesn’t help me, because my tendons are the problem. If I’m not paying attention I can easily (re-)injure myself. And I have, incapacitating myself for days at a time because of one mistake.
As a result, my “field kit” cannot contain anything weighing over a kilogram or so. Using a DSLR camera is completely out of the question. Even my Canon Powershot is, for me, a strain to hold at arm’s length for more than a few seconds.
At least, my hands don’t shake. Or at least not any more. I’m grateful for that. I’m sure anyone IDing my insect observations is grateful, too :)
I don’t take field notes, but it would be difficult for me to do so, as one of the specific things that makes my tendons flare up in pain is writing. I’m not sure how I’d get around that one. I use a tablet to take notes in school, and I type (which also hurts, but MUCH less).