Pumping in the winter

Hey everyone,

This didn't happen to me but I got a phone call just now about it happening to someone else & they'd called me to ask if it'd ever happened to me & how I avoided it.

Someone's pump & insulin froze up! We're in Alberta where the temperatures can go down to -40 degree Celsius or lower... I'm a girl so of course I keep my pump clipped to the middle of my bra at all times where it manages to stay quite warm.

This person was a male who had his pump inset on his leg & pump into his pocket. The pump & the insulin inside the pump had frozen.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? What's the freezing temperature of insulin & what's the deal with an insulin pump freezing? It's just like any other electronic device I guess...


I dunno for sure what the freezing temperature is. I've run outside before with my pump tucked into my clothes, 7 miles at seven degrees a couple of years ago and then 8 miles at 8 degrees a couple of weeks ago with no problems.

Alexandra, that’s so interesting! I’ve never heard of that happening. Did the pump still work frozen? Just curious.

If you keep the pump in a warm part of your body, it will not freeze, even in low temps, outside, for long periods of time. As a girl, I tuck it in my bra. AR has the guy strategy "tucked in my clothes."

Do you mean frozen as in frozen solid or just chilled to the point of being ineffective? I could understand a pump freezing up if the insulin inside it is frozen solid. I would suggest we protect our insulin the same way we protect ourselves, keep it close to the body with several layers of clothing on top. Like Acidrock said tucked inside your clothing.

I lived in Edmonton, AB a few years back. I used to walk to work or take transit in the cold -40 winter months. I use the Animas Ping and at the time I usually kept my pump in my front pockets as well. I never had any issues with the insulin or the pump itself freezing up.

I'm also in Alberta, where the weather can get pretty cold. In the winter I wear my pump clipped in the middle of my bra, and in the summer I wear it in a Spibelt around my waist. I was really concerned the cold would affect the mechanism of the pump or freeze my insulin because I am outdoors alot. A guy could wear the pump in a Spibelt & under the winter jacket as another option.
I was camping in the fall and my tucked my glucometer under my pillow at night, but it woundn't work becuase it was too cold in the morning. Was fine after I warmed it up though. Next time I kept it in my clothes and against my body.

Sebestian Sasseville , type 1 , known here at TuD.org , was the first Canadian to conquer Mount Everest ..hoping I searched for the correct links http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/sports/SebastienSasseville.htm http://www.insulindependence.org/2012/02/interview-with-sebastien-sasseville/

I work all over the world and in all different climates. I have never ran into the issue of my pump freezing or my insulin for that matter. But I am conscious to the fact that it could. So I prepare accordingly. My pump is always on my left hip clipped to my belt (unless I am sleeping). If the weather starts to get too cold I put my pump into the fancy little pocket that my boxer briefs have in the front. (not sure why it is there but it comes in handy when i need it) I also keep it covered and insulated whether the temps are extreme highs or lows. Its one of the things i learned as a young boy in boy scouts... Be Prepared! :D And the temps I have worked in range from -65 degrees f to 130 degrees f