Title

Resources

Camping with Type 1 Diabetes

It’s the perfect weekend trip. You and all of your buddies have loaded the car and are headed for a luscious mountain getaway. Your itinerary is packed: leisurely hiking through the parks’ trails, relaxing on the cabin balcony and playing cards while tending to a fire and eating smores. Sounds horrible, right?

Camping with Type 1 Diabetes

Obviously, no. However, a person with type 1 diabetes (T1D) must attend to a few small, extra details.

How to Traverse a Cozy Cabin Getaway with T1D

Hiking and camping can be fun, natural experiences. They often allow trip-goers to engulf themselves in the surrounding foliage and take a break from the everyday hustle. Camping can also come in several formats depending on what best accommodates the campers, making each trip uniquely memorable. Campers can take on nature to their desired degree, whether roughing it on the ground or glamping in a lush cabin.

Now, there’s no reason why someone with type 1 diabetes can’t also receive a little break from day-to-day commotion, but sadly, diabetes can’t be left behind when the car is all jam-packed and ready to go (though most people with diabetes certainly wish this were true). 

So, what is so different about a secluded getaway from the daily grind? Well, a myriad of things. As with any travel, going camping or staying in a cabin introduces different factors that aren’t always at play.

Weather

For one thing, the weather on a trip becomes a much more important factor than watching from behind your office window at your computer with coffee in hand. This being said, there is no need to fret! Though the weather might cause a few disruptions to a trip, planning and packing accordingly will save you time and energy. Plan ahead by watching the weather reports and be prepared for the unexpected.

Some tips for the changing temperature:

  • Wear many layers to adjust for hot and cold days.
  • Thermal clothing for cold nights.
  • Waterproof jackets, hats, gloves and socks. 
  • Hiking boots
  • If tent camping, make sure to bring a rain flap.

A break is a break, and it is vital for people with T1D to feel that they can relax and let go when on vacation just as much as anyone else.

So here are some camping pointers that may be helpful when you go off the grid. Facing nature’s elements and surprises during a weekend-long adventure doesn’t have to overwhelm you.

Pro Tip: Keep your supply list saved on your phone so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.  

Pack, Pack, Pack!

When enjoying a somewhat remote getaway, being over-prepared is more crucial than ever. As many parks and campsites are often off the beaten path, it may be harder to locate a grocery store or pharmacy if needed. Some parks even close entry at night, further limiting your options.

When staying outdoors for an extended period of time, whether you’re actively hiking or napping in a hammock during your camping stay, several things could happen. You could trip over a tree root and spill a pack of freshly opened fruit snacks for the woodly creatures, or you could temporarily get lost on trails, extending the time to return to the cabin and replenish your supply. Or you could stub your toe and need a first aid kit.

T1D Camping Trip Supplies

This is where packing extra supplies comes into play. Remember to pack extra insulin pump and insulin pen supplies, cartridges, insulin, an extra insulin pen, backup meters, extra CGM supplies, glucose tabs, and test strips. Also, it's a good idea to buy extra boxes of fruit snacks and juice to protect against low blood sugar episodes.

Seeking Shelter

In addition to your tent and rain flap, here are some additional camping trip items to remember.

  • Sleeping bags and pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Garbage bags
  • Towels
  • Camping chairs
  • First aid kit
  • Compass
  • GPS device
  • Headlamp/flashlights
  • Pocket knife
  • Fire starter kit

During fun excursions like these, it is also important to consider items worthy of bringing that may be outside of daily use. One example of this would be an insulin-cooling case. While roughing it, it is entirely possible that there may be no access to a fridge. If staying in a cabin, there may be a refrigerator, but keeping insulin cool is still needed while hiking long trails and during the car rides to and from the park.

Another example is a power bank or portable charger from your phone and PDM, if applicable. Now, there are battery-operated power chargers for recharging your phone and pump.

For the same reasons an insulin cooling case is desirable, a portable charger allows you extended access to crucial blood sugar information and insulin delivery options that may be otherwise endangered during a long day outdoors.

Diabetes Camp Supplies

  • Frio cooling case to keep insulin cool
  • Cooler with ice
  • Waterproof travel packets to keep your pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) dry
  • Medical alert bracelet or ID
  • Portable charger 

Emergency Prep for Diabetes Management

Going even further than the need to pack extra supplies is the preparation for a potential emergency situation. Diabetic emergencies are scary enough as-is, but ill-preparedness in the middle of nowhere deepens the potential severity of the situation.

Glucagon for Low Blood Sugar 

Though this is true, there are ways to prevent this deepened severity. It is best to be prepared for the worst when secluded and away from home. One means of doing so is to ensure you have an unexpired glucagon spray or two.  It's also important to have friends to help you watch your blood sugar levels and know how to respond if your blood sugars drop too low.

Medical Alert

Having one of these on hand may be life-saving in an emergency. Ensuring these are unexpired is also essential, as many glucagon sprays just collect dust from the time they are picked up at the pharmacy (which, I might add, is a good thing)!

Another method of emergency preparation is purchasing a type 1 diabetes medical keychain or bracelet. Though it’s always hoped that nothing like this would happen, people get hurt and separated from their groups. A medical awareness keychain or piece of jewelry can be purchased cheaply online, and it may save your life if something were to go array.

Diabetes Camps

If you've ever considered diabetes camping for adults, Connected in Motion provides outdoor recreation, adventure pursuits, and diabetes education.  The diabetes camp offers even more summer fun with Slipstream weekend events with fresh air, great food and engaging workshops. 

Hot ‘N Cold

On top of the ever-important need to stay hydrated and eat properly in or out of the woods, the possible weather changes experienced while outside affect this further. If a day of hiking is expected to be rather hot, it is even more critical to ensure you drink enough water to stay hydrated and possibly keep glucose levels out of the high range.

Stay hydrated with the following:

  • Water bottles, hydration backpack.
  • Extra water jugs and ice
  • Glucose tabs/gels, juice
  • Protein bars

Control Blood Sugar Level

Keeping your blood sugar level in check in the wilderness can be challenging. If the hike is expected to be cold, extra protein or energy bars may be necessary to counteract hypoglycemia caused by energy exertion through shivering.

Adverse or radical weather can cause blood glucose issues for people with diabetes. For example, as heat can either cause blood sugar to rise or tank, someone with diabetes needs to take their personal reactions to weather changes into account when taking on a day already full of exercise and exertion.

Fun Fact: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers diabetes summer camps and year-round programs to help children with diabetes develop the skills needed to thrive with diabetes. For over 70 years, the American Diabetes Association has served over 100,000 children and their families with summer camp and day camp experiences. With a medical staff of licensed clinicians and medical professionals, it is a great opportunity to get physical activity, mental stimulation, and, of course, to make new friends.

The Buddy System 

Just as with anything, safety comes in numbers! When hiking a new terrain or visiting a place you’ve never been, it is important to be cognizant of where you are and what you are doing. Regarding type 1 diabetes, having a friend with you who understands your disease is incredibly helpful in the face of adversity. Having a buddy with you should also allow you to relax and worry less about the various diabetes-related factors throughout the day by knowing someone has your back (and extra pockets). 

Safety First

Whether hiking and camping is second nature to you or exploring the outdoors is completely new, taking extra precautions with your diabetes management to ensure a safe camping experience and fun time is always worth it.

Though this is already important for someone without type 1 diabetes, someone with diabetes is even more inclined to be prepared. But after gathering a few extra supplies, checking the weather app, and bringing a trusted pal, there’s no reason a cozy cabin getaway can’t be exactly what the doctor ordered!

Latest News

Read all
T1D Strong NewsAchieving the Milestone - 100 Articles Published!

We're just getting started! Committed to empowering the T1D community, we continue to share knowledge and stories.

T1D Team

T1D Team

T1D Strong NewsIntroducing Kelsey McShay: A New Voice at T1DStrong!

Kelsey McShay joins T1DStrong, sharing her stories and insights.

T1D Team

T1D Team

T1D Strong NewsCelebrating a Milestone: 1000+ Followers on Our Social Media Platforms!

We've surpassed 1000 followers on social media, a significant milestone in growing our Type 1 Diabetes community!

T1D Team

T1D Team

Read all

Related Articles

The latest news, technologies, and resources from our team.

PCOS and Type 1 Diabetes: What’s the Link? 
ResourcesPCOS and Type 1 Diabetes: What’s the Link? 
T1D Documentaries: Lights, Camera, Insulin!
ResourcesT1D Documentaries: Lights, Camera, Insulin!
Double Diabetes: Can You Get Type 1 and Type 2?
ResourcesDouble Diabetes: Can You Get Type 1 and Type 2?
Understanding Diabulimia: A Type 1 Diabetes Eating Disorder
ResourcesUnderstanding Diabulimia: A Type 1 Diabetes Eating Disorder
JDRF is Now Breakthrough T1D™
ResourcesJDRF is Now Breakthrough T1D™
Breakthrough T1D (Formerly JDRF) Offers Resources to Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
ResourcesBreakthrough T1D (Formerly JDRF) Offers Resources to Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
LADA Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know about Type 1.5
ResourcesLADA Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know about Type 1.5
Diabetes and Your Weight: Helpful Tips to Manage the Risks
ResourcesDiabetes and Your Weight: Helpful Tips to Manage the Risks
9 Tips for Better Time in Range
Resources9 Tips for Better Time in Range
Type 1 Diabetes and Family History
ResourcesType 1 Diabetes and Family History
Different Types of Diabetes
ResourcesDifferent Types of Diabetes
Low Blood Sugar Anxiety
ResourcesLow Blood Sugar Anxiety
7 Summer Safety Tips with Type 1 Diabetes
Resources7 Summer Safety Tips with Type 1 Diabetes
Best Diabetes Apps of 2024
ResourcesBest Diabetes Apps of 2024
Gluroo: A User-Friendly App that Streamlines Diabetes Management
ResourcesGluroo: A User-Friendly App that Streamlines Diabetes Management
Top Questions to Ask Your Endocrinologist
ResourcesTop Questions to Ask Your Endocrinologist
The 2024 Insulin Shortage and What You Need to Know
ResourcesThe 2024 Insulin Shortage and What You Need to Know
The Down Low on DKA
ResourcesThe Down Low on DKA
The Special Diabetes Program and Why it’s Important
ResourcesThe Special Diabetes Program and Why it’s Important
What to Do With Extra Diabetes Supplies 
ResourcesWhat to Do With Extra Diabetes Supplies 
GLP-1s for Weight Loss and People with Type 1 Diabetes
ResourcesGLP-1s for Weight Loss and People with Type 1 Diabetes
Pumping Iron and Pumping Insulin: How the Two Go Hand in Hand
ResourcesPumping Iron and Pumping Insulin: How the Two Go Hand in Hand
Diabetes and Nutrition: Why What You Eat Matters
ResourcesDiabetes and Nutrition: Why What You Eat Matters
Inhaled Insulin – Everything You Need to Know
ResourcesInhaled Insulin – Everything You Need to Know
Top 12 Type 1 Research Breakthroughs to Watch in 2024
ResourcesTop 12 Type 1 Research Breakthroughs to Watch in 2024
Most Popular Films with a Diabetes Twist
ResourcesMost Popular Films with a Diabetes Twist
 9 Ways to Raise Blood Sugar Quickly
Resources 9 Ways to Raise Blood Sugar Quickly
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Seeks Solutions to Cure T1D
ResourcesVertex Pharmaceuticals Seeks Solutions to Cure T1D
Keep it Simple This Year with No Resolutions—Just Healthy Habits
ResourcesKeep it Simple This Year with No Resolutions—Just Healthy Habits
DiabetesSangha – A Meditation Community Where All is Welcome
ResourcesDiabetesSangha – A Meditation Community Where All is Welcome
The T1D Thyroid Disease Connection
ResourcesThe T1D Thyroid Disease Connection
8 Tips to Help You Sleep with Diabetes
Resources8 Tips to Help You Sleep with Diabetes
Tandem Diabetes Care Revolutionizes Insulin Delivery with Dexcom G7 Integration
ResourcesTandem Diabetes Care Revolutionizes Insulin Delivery with Dexcom G7 Integration
Top 7 Diabetes Podcasts to Educate, Empower and Entertain
ResourcesTop 7 Diabetes Podcasts to Educate, Empower and Entertain
Diabetes and Addiction
ResourcesDiabetes and Addiction
Connected in Motion: A Diabetes Camp for Adults
ResourcesConnected in Motion: A Diabetes Camp for Adults
StartUp Health’s T1D Moonshot Ignites a Call to Action 
ResourcesStartUp Health’s T1D Moonshot Ignites a Call to Action 
Empowering Lives: Nonprofits Making a Difference in the Type 1 Diabetes Community
ResourcesEmpowering Lives: Nonprofits Making a Difference in the Type 1 Diabetes Community
Navigating the Sweet Spooks: A Guide to a Safe Halloween with Diabetes
ResourcesNavigating the Sweet Spooks: A Guide to a Safe Halloween with Diabetes
Enhance-d: A Software Solution to Simplify Glucose Management
ResourcesEnhance-d: A Software Solution to Simplify Glucose Management
Amazon Pharmacy Now Offers Insulin for $35 a Month
ResourcesAmazon Pharmacy Now Offers Insulin for $35 a Month
Diabetes and School - Know Your Rights
ResourcesDiabetes and School - Know Your Rights
Diabetes Support Groups for Young Adults
ResourcesDiabetes Support Groups for Young Adults
Dry Eye Syndrome and Diabetes
ResourcesDry Eye Syndrome and Diabetes
Undermyfork, a Mobile App Success in Diabetes Management
ResourcesUndermyfork, a Mobile App Success in Diabetes Management
Preparing for Emergencies with Type 1 Diabetes
ResourcesPreparing for Emergencies with Type 1 Diabetes
Finding the Right Automated Insulin Delivery System for You
ResourcesFinding the Right Automated Insulin Delivery System for You
Enable Biosciences – Transforming Early T1D Detection
ResourcesEnable Biosciences – Transforming Early T1D Detection
Load More

Knowledge Base

Resources

Knowledge hub for advanced information on Type 1 Diabetes.

Learn more

I May Have T1D Rather Than T2D?

Understanding common queries and exclusive information about diabetes of any type.

Learn more

Life with T1D

Strategies to enhance lifestyle optimization with Type 1 Diabetes.

Learn more

Personal Stories

Life stories of relentless individuals fostering resilience and empowering others.

Learn more

Newly Diagnosed

Insightful guidance, strategic tips, and inspiring narratives.

Learn more

T1D Basics

Fundamental lifestyle suggestions for optimal nutrition, emotions and innovative routines.

Learn more

Daily Management

Revamp your lifestyle with our transformative guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes management.

Learn more

T1D Strong News

Stay updated with the latest from T1D Strong: product updates, company events, notable achievements and our future plans.

Learn more