I use cheap truetest strips. My only complaint with them is they seem to be largely affected by temperatures. If the meter and strips are colder than room temperature, they read significantly higher than they do at room temperature. Have others noticed this with other brands? Winters are pretty long where I live so I often find myself just waiting for my meter and strips to warm back up to room temperature.
That's an interesting question Sam. I've never noticed differences, but then again I never looked for them. That's a difficult proposition here in So Cal, but I'll be on the east coast over Christmas so I'll take a look when I'm back there.
I use truetest too and have never noticed. Now I'll have to experiment and see.
I use IBG star strips and I haven't noticed that. But I have noticed that if I have less blood from my finger I frequently get a higher reading.
On a similar topic… I’m considering going caribou hunting above the arctic circle next year… Temps between 0-20f maybe occasionaly below zero, and I’ll be outside 24 hours a day if I go. Would love to hear tips from other outdoorsmen. My meter probably won’t work at all if its that cold and was thinking I’d ace-bandage wrap insulin pens to my body to keep them from freezing.
Might be that the blood you get out is different. My generic Advocate Redicode always gives the temp when it is ready, so it might be compensating for temperature.
That does make sense too… But it really seems to be primarily the temperature of the strips themselves I’ve tried a few experiments that have convinced me of that
I've run outside when it's as cold as 7 degrees out, I don't recall the wind chill. I'd usually bring my meter in a pocket on my jacket and when the LCD on my pump (Medtronic...) start to fade, I tuck it in my pants, next to my shorts to keep it warmer and that's worked although that was 7 miles, probably close to 10 minute miles, I don't totally recall the details, they might be somewhere in my ancient posts but it worked out ok. I probably wasn't exposed as long as you would be caribou hunting. I'd probably try to keep a backup stash of gear somewhere (tent, truck, insulated box?) less exposed at maybe fridge temps.
I haven't noticed meter problems other than it shutting down on runs and bike rides when it's cold and then it just doesn't work.
I don't recall noticing problems with strips reading odd but you are a lot farther north than I am!
How about tips from outdoors-women? I've been in Fairbanks for 10 (or is it 11?) years now and I've done lots of stupid things in stupid cold temps, and pretty much I've now figured out how to go for a 10 mile walk at -40*F with everything I'm "supposed" to have on me D-wise. : )
Frio pouch for keeping insulin in, helps keep it warm when its cold and cold when its warm out! Its silly easy to use, and can't break.
Add custom pockets to your shirt/sweater/jackets to keep your meter, strips etc close and warm, and remember you can always downsize from the "standard issue" glucometer case to something smaller and more pocket friendly.
Or, if you can't add pockets, a small fanny pack is a good option, I have a small camelback fanny pack that I can shove stuff into and then strap it high on my belly under my jacket (bag in the front, as a belly pack instead of a fanny pack). Its not a perfect system, and depends greatly on the jacket's fit, but I like the size of the bag and its easy to use either with or without the water bladder. Bonus points for remaining reasonably accessable even with a big pack on.
I can't handle having stuff in my pockets when I sleep, so I have a little stuff sack- little, like less than a quart sized ziplock bag- that I can shove insulin (still in the frio), test strips, meter, glucagon (if I brought it) and a camera (if there's still room) in to keep it all contained and out of my way but still warm in my sleeping bag.
I've used a Freestyle Lite meter for years, and while it does stop working when the battery gets too cold (I accidentally leave it in my car at least once a month), its very much small enough to stick in an armpit to warm back up in less than 3 minutes. I presume that the strips aren't any better from being frozen, but I haven't had any noticeable problems from leaving them out to freeze with my meter. For what its worth, I guess I've used frozen strips for a Verio IQ because they kept coming regular mail and sitting in my mailbox for days at a time, so clearly those froze in the winter months and I don't recall anything out of the ordinary on those either. Fascinating that they all work so differently yet serve the same purpose!