RN, is a freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. She and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

Living with diabetes, I often think to myself, “Dare I leave home without taking everything but the kitchen sink?” There are two type 1s in my family; there is no such thing as packing lightly.
After a long day of hiking, city time, or doing anything active, I’ll be disappointed in my packing job if I don’t have some kind of carbs left in the bottom of my bag.
I have been caught off guard in the past, and I swore I would never let it happen to me again. Low blood sugar has immediate demands. Even smooshed juice boxes and spilled Gummy Bears can still save the day.

The Bag

It all starts with the bag itself. Your bag is going to carry a bunch of stuff, so pick one that is comfortable. I like Freitag and Timbuk2 bags for their functionality. You can wear many of their bags over your shoulder or cross-bodied for long days. They can go bicycling, traveling, or to work. They don’t have cloth interiors, so all those spilled glucometer strips won’t leave stains on the inside of your bag—you can wipe it right out.
Here’s what’s in my bag that you might want to include in yours.

For lows
• Glucagon emergency kit
• Bag of dried mango or fruit leather
• Juice box
• Energy bar
Clif Shot Bloks (I love these bite-size chews—they work quickly and hold blood sugars up.)

Diabetes supplies
• Glucometer
• Syringe
• Extra batteries
• Phone charger
• A piece of medical tape
• Alcohol wipes
• Spare infusion set
• Insulin

Extras
• Pocket change to buy juice or snacks from a vending machine
• Eye drops and lip balm are always nice to have on hand when blood sugars are high
• A water bottle
• It’s not all about diabetes of course—my bag has magazines, hair ties, sunscreen, coupons, grocery lists, and various other things floating around in it too.

Being ready for anything brings peace of mind. And can’t we all use a little more of that?
What do you keep in your bag? Add your comment below.