Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management.

Going camping or hiking can become an ordeal when you have diabetes. Camping already involves packing a lot of gear, but when you add a meter, test strips, insulin, something to keep insulin cold, other diabetes supplies, and snacks, the preparation can be overwhelming.

Not only do you have to pack extra supplies, but most outdoor activities generally are enjoyed in the mountains or someplace else away from civilization. I don’t know about you, but it adds on another layer of anxiety for me to think about having some kind of medical emergency in the middle of nowhere.

There are many fears associated diabetes, but we should not let those fears control us or what we do with our lives. I personally love camping, hiking, and just being outdoors. So I have decided not to let my fears stop me from doing the things I love. I have learned over the years that the more prepared I am, the less I worry and the more I can enjoy outdoor activities.

5 tips for your next outdoor activity

1. When camping, I pack all of my diabetes supplies in a separate bag so I can keep them organized and as clean as possible. I pack extra supplies, medication, and test strips just to be safe.

2. Have a cool place to store insulin so it doesn’t go bad.

3. When hiking, biking, or participating in other strenuous outdoor activities, pack extra snacks. Your blood sugar can drop quickly with this sort of exercise. I carry a backpack with me when hiking in which I pack a variety of snacks, plenty of water, and my glucose meter. This way I don’t have to worry about my blood sugar dropping low on top of a mountain and not being able to do anything about it.

4. Make sure those you are with know what to do in case of a diabetes emergency and who to contact if you need help.

5. Plan out your trip or activity ahead of time so that you know what to take with you. The key to enjoying all of the outdoor activities you love is to be prepared and have a plan.

Diabetes should not stand in the way of doing what you love and living your life to the fullest.

Do you enjoy camping? What are your tips for others looking for adventure?