- advertisement -

Week long backpacking trip

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by quiltinmom, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,189
    This summer my 14 year old will be going on a week long backpacking trip. My two biggest concerns are keeping his insulin cool and keeping his pump and dexcom charged. I suppose he could go without dexcom, but it's hiking all day for a week...just the kind of thing dexcom is especially useful for.

    1) frio pouches...there are many of them and I don't know which size he needs. Do you think I also need one to put his pump inside, or just for insulin? There will be water at camping sites so he could keep it in the water for night, but not during the day. Has anyone ever tried making their own frio type thing? I know you can buy the crystals, and I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, but maybe it wouldn't be worth the trouble....

    2) has anyone used a portable charger they would recommend? There are solar chargers and battery powered devices. Any thoughts on which is better? I'm not wanting to spend a fortune on this, plus size is a consideration.

    Any other advice on best ways to care for diabetes on a backpacking trip? We haven't done a lot of this kind of thing...he goes camping fairly often, but only for a night. Having him gone for a whole week is making me a little nervous.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sgh

    sgh Approved members

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    77
    I'd get a smaller sized frio pouch, and put 2 vials of insulin in it in case one breaks. i wouldn't keep the pump in a frio pouch, probably not necessary.
    I don't know which battery to recommend but would suggest some portable batteries. maybe a solar charger, that would be neat. let me know if you figure anything out! the dex can last pretty long w/o recharging, esp if you minimize usage. Like, just check the screen once, don't bother scrolling through the last 24 hours or whatever unless you need to.
    We use this battery and it works well, although haven't used it for your purpose: https://www.amazon.com/TeckNet-PowerZen-Portable-External-Technology/dp/B00FBD3O2M/
     
  3. rgcainmd

    rgcainmd Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,378
    While I have been known to make fashion dreams come true with a sewing machine, I wouldn't bother with sewing a DIY Frio pouch; amazon.com is there for a reason! ;)

    ETA: May your son have a safe and fantastic time!
     
  4. dpr

    dpr Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
    Frio's work well. I wouldn't worry about the pump. If it's hot enough to worry about the pump he probably wouldn't be hiking anyways. Like RG said, just buy one unless it's a project you really want to do. I would go with battery powered charging. He probably won't be sitting still long enough to deal with solar. And I would consider 2 batterys for redundancy. Test it with both the pump and Dex before he leaves. For trips like that I wouldn't leave without some long action and syringes for back up. I know it all adds up but if there's a problem it beats an air lift out for DKA.

    And echoing RG's wishes of having a safe and fantastic time!!!
     
  5. Lakeman

    Lakeman Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    956
    I would def bring batteries in case the sun is not shining but a battery that would last an entire week would be pretty big and heavy. My son has a unit we got at Batteries + that holds five charges and cost about $60. It probably weighs about a pound and is maybe the size of two decks of cards. I think he needs a solar charger that he could mount on his backpack while hiking. I don't know if a hand crank unit would be good for him or not. I just read a review of a crank charger and it said it would take five minutes of cranking to get 3% charge. So it would take a lot of cranking to fully charge a phone - but if you're just walking...
     
  6. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,189
    So I have 2 more questions. Will a lantus pen and 2 insulin vials fit in a small frio or will he need a bigger size? The pictures don't always help.

    All I can find on amazon is solar battery units and a type of unit that is charged in the wall, then taken along. I was hoping to find one that takes batteries and has a USB output, but I don't know if they make them. Does anyone know how a tslim and/or dexcom battery charge compares to a cell phone charge? They say they are good for x number of phone charges. I anticipate he will need, at most, one pump charge and 2 dex charges during that time (assuming they will be fully charged when he leaves). Am I ok to assume it will be enough? As has been suggested, I hesitate to rely on a solar charger for lack of sunlight/opportunity to charge it.

    My backup plan is for him to take dex and use it until the battery runs out (or just leave it home), then rely on finger sticks only, and if his pump runs out (it should last Monday to Saturday, right? I don't keep tabs on when he charges it) he will have syringes for the remainder of the trip. It's the least complicated option as far as gear goes, but not necessarily the best. He already has a lot of other things to carry, I don't want to overload him with diabetes stuff. But I don't want diabetes to get in the way of his experience, either.

    *sigh...diabetes is doable for the most part but then something like this will come up and put a wrench in the works.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  7. dpr

    dpr Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    399
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,771
    So just a quick question: The group is going to be backpacking for a week and will not have any way to charge their cell phones? How will they communicate if there is an emergency?

    You don't indicate what Dexcom version you are using but the G5 has the ability to not use the receiver and just go directly to a cell phone. If you use Share you could actually see his BG in real time on your own phone at any time from any where.
     
  9. gkwzcohen

    gkwzcohen Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    I have the Duo Wallet-It holds 2 pens
    I also have the Large Wallet-It can hold 4+ pens or something larger.
    For the Duo Wallet-I put DS pens into Waterproof liner, then cooling pouch and then the wallet.
    We live in Florida so he uses the Frio a lot.
    I'll try to upload some pictures

    Good luck to your son!
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,373
    I personally wouldn't worry about the insulin unless it is apidra (which I'm assuming it isn't since he has a tslim). I would just get pens or pen cartridges so it isn't a huge loss if you decide to not use the extra insulin. I think frio packs would be kind of a mess in a backpack. You can't put them in a plastic bag or anything because they need air and the colors tend to bleed on everything etc.

    I use both the anker "lip stick" chargers and this one https://www.amazon.com/Anker-PowerC...id=1466525269&sr=8-3&keywords=anker+powercore. You can get at least a month of tslim use out of one charge of the one I linked to (I don't charge the tslim via outlets while outside the US because I don't trust the change in voltage not to fry the pump). Plus I can't imagine a fully charged tslim would run out of battery in a week anyway. I have never used a solar charger but personally wouldn't bother with that when the other options are so cheap and easy.

    I don't have much experience backpacking but I have spent a decent amount of time hiking in the desert in the middle east (so super hot) and for me the most important thing is to stay hydrated. He can bring the powdered gatorade (or any powder sports mix with a decent amount of carbs) and mix it with water. I personally drink gatorade constantly while hiking and do not cover any of the carbs with insulin. I typically reduce basal by 20-30% while hiking and for 12-24 hours afterwards. Keep in mind though my experience is in the desert with temps over 110 so may not be all that applicable to a kids backpacking trip in the US.

    Hope he has a great time!
     
  11. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Messages:
    744
    My son is doing a 10 day "Adventure" camp at Clara Barton coming up. It's not 100% backpacking but as I understand it there will lots of time on the trails and nights in tents etc ... I'm also a bit nervous but the nervousness is dwarfed by my vacation giddy. It will be our (wife and I) first vacation in 13 years. I sure hope he has fun. He tried a more traditional T1D camp just after dx and it didn't go so great.

    Good luck with the hiking trip! I hope he loves it ... and you have a little peace of mind!

    David
     
  12. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,189
    Thanks for the pictures!
     
  13. mathcat

    mathcat Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Messages:
    419
    My son is in Boy Scouts. He hiked Philmont New Mexico (back country backpacking) last year with a 10 day hike and about 17 days total away from home and refrigeration. The insulin was kept insulated from breakage and was kept toward the inside of the pack, away from sunlight. This worked fine. He uses Novolog from vials in his pump and had Lantus and Novolog pens as back up. The highest temperature he dealt with was mid 90s. Make sure he has backup and make sure he is not the only one holding his supplies - just in case something happens to the pack being used to hold the supplies.

    As to the Dexcom sensor, last year he was using the minimed sensor and with all the problems we were having he certainly did not use it. This year he is doing Philmont cavalcade. He might use the Dexcom until the battery dies. He knows from last year to test very frequently.
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice