Frist Camping trip as a diabetic

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2009-03-23 12:10:58 -0500
Started 2009-03-01 13:12:29 -0600

My hubby and I are going to be camping in a few weeks and this will be my first trip as a diabetic. Are there any suggestions anyone can offer on packing, testing and cooking while we are "roughing" it. We camp in a tent and cook on the fire. I am looking forward to it. We have not done it since Sept of 2007, so we are long overdue. We did a dry run today for our gear and when I checked our First Aid kit, I found it lacking for what I need now…my how things have changed in my life.

40 replies

zobel 2009-03-23 01:35:08 -0500 Report

glad you had a great trip, im new to this forum,
I have ideas that have helped me in the past

when i go out of the comfort range of home on an excursion or a camp job, I find a store or camp kitchen fridge to store extra insulin and syringes. the nearest pharmacy may be miles away and closed till tuesday. Fires, thefts, and loss can happen anywhere anytime.

i also fill a pair of syringes with multiple doses of insulin (score and break off the plungers) i put these in a pocket (with plungers) in a middle jacket pocket. not to hot or cold.
i have lost many kits on excursions or have had to unexpectedly overnite away from my gear,

i have found that even without a meter that these preparations have saved a trip and lots of stress over not having insulin.

also when your supplies are limited tell your companions so they will save that last apple or candy bar.

thanks for this chance to pass on these hints for the next trip

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-03-23 12:10:58 -0500 Report

Always like getting other friends hints. It add to things that we may forget so this is another list for camping I can add. Thanks zobel…Debe

bigjrm45 2009-03-19 18:25:04 -0500 Report

glad to hear you had fun,love your dog in the photo's,look like you had a really good time,we some times we forget to enjoy life.

2009-03-19 18:59:19 -0500 Report

Gabby, glad you had fun! Your pics are great! If I ever get my nerve up, I might try camping, at least once! :)

GabbyPA 2009-03-20 08:47:50 -0500 Report

Girl, there is nothing like it. It is not convenient, but it is inspiring. I love to be out in nature and just away from everyday junk that haunts me all the time. I find it rejuvinating on many levels. You will have to try it once, go with a seasoned camper and you will do better on a first time trip.

GabbyPA 2009-03-19 09:37:39 -0500 Report

My photos are all posted and you can see what a great time we had...well, maybe not, but I got a few good pics. We hope to be doing this with them every year now. It was a blast.

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2009-03-19 17:47:10 -0500 Report

Glad you enjoyed it, Gabby. My problem was most likely trying to go too soon after diagnosis; I was pretty overwhelmed.

All the best,

GabbyPA 2009-03-19 18:53:40 -0500 Report

Yeah, I had just under a year to try to get my stuff together before trying. I had done some business trips that went really bad...and I had more control there, so I was a bit nervous about doing it, but it went well. Plus, since I don't have insulin to worry about keeping cool there is a lot less stress I'm sure.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-03-22 17:04:43 -0500 Report

Saw all the pictures. I am glad everything went well. I hope you will be doing it real soon. I used to camp all the time…Debe

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-22 18:27:48 -0500 Report

Your photos are cool. It's too unpredictable to go tent camping during the upcoming spring break but we're "motel-camping" in Coos Bay, OR to volunteer with Oregon's "Whale Watch Spoken Here" project. I've been helping with program regularly since 1991, even when I lived in Alaska.

GabbyPA 2009-03-22 18:49:28 -0500 Report

That sunds so cool. I saw Orca and Humpback when I was in Alaska. I didn't camp up there, we B&B'ed around the state for 10 days. It was fantastic!

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2009-03-18 18:54:07 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,

Sorry to say so, but I must admit that I hate camping now that I'm diabetic. On our first trip, I dropped my lantus vial in the camp bathroom sink and it broke... it was all downhill after that!

But if you must go, bring a lot of alcohol wipes to keep your fingers clean for testing, and make sure you have backups of EVERYTHING. If your lancet breaks, for example, what are you going to prick your finger with?

A small Playmate cooler is also useful for keeping insulin and pump supplies cool and clean.

Best of luck - AT

GabbyPA 2009-03-18 17:52:30 -0500 Report

I just returned from my camping trip and it was great. Thanks to all of you who gave me tips. My snacking was well controlled and I am sure I burned off the two cookies I had! LOL.
We fished and cooked out and walked and hiked all over. The smell of the sea is something I always love and the feel of the sunburn is well....not as long lasting. LOL.
Now that I have done it, I am not so nervous about doing more of it and I look forward to camping a lot more.
Thanks again...I will be posting some pics if anyone wants to see.

roshy 2009-03-18 18:12:43 -0500 Report

welcome home gabby! ive missed ya!! and ill be the first one to be looking at the flickes!!

Happy belated Paddys Day my dear friend!! x x

Kisses and hugs!

2009-03-03 20:42:15 -0600 Report

My husband and I are historical re-enactors, and travel to different events during the summer. Last summer, we pulled a trailer to the events, but this year, we are going to be 'tenting' more. Imagine trying to pull off a 18th Century personna while sporting a pump on your hip? We do carry a cooler, which I had to make a cover for, so the public wouldn't see it, and there are a few things you have to deal with in order to maintain the historical personna.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-03 23:56:48 -0600 Report

I have observed re-enactments of both sides of the Civil War as done in Astoria, Oregon, and certain parts of the Lewis & Clark expedition. It's fun to get "in the moment" and ask questions from a historical point of view. From what part of history do you replicate?

GabbyPA 2009-03-04 10:00:34 -0600 Report

A dear frind of mine does the civil war re-enacting. that is where we first met actually. He also gets to play a Spanish soldier every day at the St. Augustine fort. He loves it.
It is very cool, and I have to say that I really enjoy going, but more, I love to spend time in the camp. That is a lot of fun. I have some of the most specatacular photos of the camp at sunrise as the call to battle is taking place. Wow...good memories.
Yep, you gotta cover all that new fangled gear. Can't let the plastic show. LOL.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-04 11:37:07 -0600 Report

I was intrigued by the warmth and hospitality of shown by the southern side during the re-enactment, and then when we ventured over to the northern side, just the opposite happened. This event was in Oregon, which historically was not invovled in the Civil War, and had just become a state in 1859. The southern role players explained what they were doing, from making candles to baking bread in Dutch ovens, while the northen campers seemed bored and non expressive. Is it that way everywhere, in all the re-enactments? Or just the by-product of a rainy Oregon Labor Day weekend?

GabbyPA 2009-03-04 13:10:59 -0600 Report

I am a northern gal, but my friend was of the rebel army, so I never ventured into the northern camps. But you are right, the southern hospitality runs deep, and though I find midwesterners VERY friendly, I cannot vouch for the truer yankees.

2009-03-04 22:15:02 -0600 Report

We re-enact The French/Indian War period, the 1750's.

We find the Civil War re-enacters, especially the Union troops, are rather uppity. And what's sad is, I'm from northern Michigan!!

I bake my own breads, sew my own and my husbands clothes. We try to research HOW things were done in the time we re-enact, WE LOVE HISTORY!!
There are groups that charge to attend an event, but the group we are with are more concerned with educating the public about the history!

roshy 2009-03-03 18:21:02 -0600 Report

Hiya gabby !! long time no talk!! i hope you have a fantastic time camping!! i LOVE the outdoors!! I went Euro Tripping (Germany, Italy, Holland, Belguim, Croatia, Solviena to name a few places we hit) over the summer and here are a few things i found helpful

I persume that when your camping people will be roasting marshmellows and all that jazz, dont deprive yourself of any of the nice foods!! it might make you resent the little delightes of the trip!! just limit the sugary foods and then switch to something like tea of coffee or nibble on fruit or nuts!

Make sure you have glucose everywhere you go!!

make sure you have enough testing strips etc. and they are in date

Make sure you have a back up plan with a friend or hubby and they know exactly what to do if you do need assistance in any way!

Plenty of socks and comfy warm clothes!! camping can get very dirty and wet as weknow! and if you dont have nice warm clothes you could end up with a cold and very grumpy!!
( this happened to me and i was a nightmare to everyone else)

Drink plenty of water for obvious reasons!

And take a camera!!

the last one was mostly for me!! i want to see pics of your wonderful camping trip!!

enjoy gabby!! x x

GabbyPA 2009-03-03 20:19:55 -0600 Report

Hey Roshy,
I am jealous of you trekking all over Europe. I have been to England and Holland, and that is all. Loved it though. The place I really wish I had the time to back back was in Brisbane, Australia. What a great town! I loved it. The gate way to the outback...I was just passing thru. Perhaps another time.
We won't be roughing it too much. Our tent is nice and roomy and though the ground is still hard here, at least it shouldn't be too cold.
I am going to hook up with a friend of mine that I have not seen in over 10 years. We have a lot of catching up to do. We are hoping that the fire will be cooking the fish we catch. Nothing like cooking on the open flames.
Too bad you are so far away and so much younger...we would have been great travel buddies.

roshy 2009-03-05 17:21:57 -0600 Report

heya gabby!! i was in Brisbine too a few years back!! your right it is a beautiful place!! the beaches and everything!! Aussie is such a wonderful place and full of adventure!! i hope to go back some day when i have the time!! and the

Ah its great your rekindling an old friendship!! i say you guys will have a lota fun! Hope you enjoy every moment of it!! Take some pics now!! x x

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-06 00:56:35 -0600 Report

I stayed at the Youth Hostel on Magnetic Island about 8 years ago. It was the most wild hostel I have ever stayed in (most, contrary to what people might think) are, while sociable and friendly, operated according to International Hostel Association regulations. The one on Magnetic Island (north of Brisbane) pushed the limits, bt it was OK. I had a ball. Saw wild orchids on a hike.

GabbyPA 2009-03-01 18:02:16 -0600 Report

Thanks! I don't take insulin, so just packing some meds won't be as complicated. Yes, I was wondering about clean know worms and fishing make for messy hands. I have some wipes, I will pack those. Do hand sanitizers work?
We are not (supposed to be) cold here, so I should not have too hard of a time.
Anyone have some good snack packing ideas. I will do some nuts, but if I eat too many of them, they give my tummy trouble. So any other ideas on safe yummys?

lipsie 2009-03-01 19:29:47 -0600 Report

That's a good question about hand sanatizer…I have wondered about that myself when out and about. None the less, do have a great time! :)

JustGina 2009-03-01 23:34:27 -0600 Report

I often hit the rivers/creeks after every good rain storm. Addicted to white water kayaking is me. Anyhoo's- I toss the med's into a dry bag along with a spray bottle of alcohol for cleaning hands pre/post testing. No issues with finger infections to date even in some of the most nasty waters. In fact, i'm more apt to get a sinus infection if anything from the water due to rolling. My b/s does tend to get low during runs. Energy bars help to snap it back up allowing me to move past the wet noodle feeling. My point being..Do not allow diabetes to hold you back from getting outdoors and having fun ;-) Enjoy that camping trip! ~G

dj7110 2009-03-01 20:20:11 -0600 Report

always take extra swab paks,, they work gr8 at cleaning your finger for testing, Keep meter packed in plastic bag too.. I lost one overboard fishing For scnacks I packed a varity of them cheese cracker packages.. they worked well when camping and carried the right amopunt of carbs for me at snack time. most importantly have fun.. David

GabbyPA 2009-03-01 20:27:32 -0600 Report

I grew up camping and I love it. I really enjoy nature and being outside, living the simple life. Good day I might be using my tent as my house! LOL
I do like it a lot and my husband, even in a wheel chair, is quite adapt to the outdoor life. He is amazing.

dj7110 2009-03-01 20:43:34 -0600 Report

I too use my wheelchair camping .. campgrounds have come a long way adapting for us disabled ;-).. the cabins I use to camp in no longer work for me.. but the tent I have, on an electic site to charge my chair works fine for me and My girls.. I have a pic on my profile of the cabins we use to use.. and have my walker sitting behind me in the pic.

dyanne 2009-03-02 00:54:00 -0600 Report

I would just take extra meds just in case maybe pack them in 2 seperate places just incase one gets lost or wet ?? As far as snacks maybe rice cakes, a jar of peanutbutter, and maybe some grhram crackers.Hope this was helpful in some way !!!!!
Have fun dyanne

vgarrison 2009-03-19 00:14:56 -0500 Report

Great idea about packing in two seperate places for the meds…I have always packed in ziplock bags, but never in two places…makes great sense.


John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2009-03-02 10:43:59 -0600 Report

So good snacks, huh? I think the most important thing is to recognize that in the outdoors you tend to burn more calories than in your regular daily routine. So we always try to make sure we have both low-carb (like celery and peanut butter, baby carrots, string cheese) and some quick carbs in case of low blood sugar (like juice boxes, and hard candy).

And BTW, I'm totally jealous that you don't have to worry about the cold. It's still dropping into the 20s at night here and that's way beyond my tolerance for camping :-)

Oh yeah, and about hand sanitizers. Yes they work for killing germs and making sure you're not causing infection when you poke your finger. But they don't do much to clean the dirt, worm guts, or anything else off your hands before testing. The baby wipes idea is a good one. That will do a lot more to actually clean your hands.

GabbyPA 2009-03-02 12:48:18 -0600 Report

Worm Guts...hmmm, never thought of it that way. LMAO! Yes, we get cool at night, and this last blast will put us into the 20's tonight, but in a couple of days it will be back up in the 50's at night. Plus, we are going south and out toward the beach. Maybe I can send you some warm sand.
I have some Sani-Hand wipes, so I think I will pack those for the worm gut cleaning.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-02 23:42:48 -0600 Report

I took a instant read thermometer on a camping trip mostly to see if water really did boil at a lower degree at higher altitudes but my then boyfriend was so annoyed with me for doing so (I am a retired hospital food service boss and always cook with a thermometer) I always took it with me just to make sure the ice chest was cold enough, the reheated foods got hot enough (160 degrees), etc. I've white water rafted on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon, camped all over Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, and want to do more, but am getting lazy. My 4-H group traveled from Jacksonville, Oregon to Corvallis to celebrate Oregon's 100th anniversery in 1959. This year we're having a 50th reunion in Jacksonville (outside Medford) and there's a place those hardy souls can camp. (I'll have to convince my husband!) I was 17 when we walked up I-5 and I bet I could do it again. It took 2 weeks, and was about 220 miles. Think of the some-mores the additional exercise would warrant!

GabbyPA 2009-03-03 12:09:52 -0600 Report

that sounds awsome! I love to hike, but I have never done one like that. That would take a lot. Not sure I could do it, but it would be a fun thing to try. I always wanted to trail ride across the west. One day I day.

BeckyJ 2009-03-01 13:58:04 -0600 Report

LOVE to camp and am currently planning a trip in 2 weeks when my niece and nephew are on spring break. Most important change for me was making sure I had a way to keep my insulin cool. Found that an insulated bag and freezer packs that you can break open (the kind found in first aid kit) worked best when we couldn't get to ice. We have had to change some things when we go out but found that with a little forethought we could still have a great time. Good Luck!

firefightermom 2009-03-01 13:51:03 -0600 Report

hey, we love to camp, fish and be outside.I have a special cooler i put all the things she will need in and i put her insulin in a small bowl inside a bigger one in the cooler take a jug of water and baby wipes I also take a towel to do the tests on because it's hard to find a dirtfree spot beside a pond. have fun!! it's cold here to go camping..

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2009-03-01 13:44:05 -0600 Report

One of the biggest challenges we've found is getting your hands clean before testing. So plan whatever you need for being able to wash your hands. And if you think it's going to be cold, plan on warming some water to wash with because freezing cold fingers just don't bleed very well.

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