Repackaging Pump Supplies for Travel/Backpacking

Usually do multiple backpacking trips a year (High Sierras or Coast in California), but only did one last summer due to other commitments. I was on Lantus prior to last November so pump supplies weren't an issue on my other trips, save for the most recent one. However, I'm planning to do a short trip in a couple of weeks. I am wondering if anybody repackages their pump supplies for similar endeavors? The packaging is extra weight and is bulky. On my last trip, it just took up a lot of extra space.

Considering switching back to Lantus for the trip, but really don't want to. Thanks.

KC, you might find someone in this Group with some suggestions

http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/diabetesandthegreatoutdoors

Right on. Much appreciated. I'll definitely check it out. That said, I'd still like to put it out there far and wide: Does anyone ever repackage their pump supplies for travel? If so, what do you use?

I've thought about repackaging them b/c they can be a bit cumbersome but I haven't because I've been a bit squeamish about the "sterility" of the things and trying to keep them as clean as possible? I had a pipe burst in the basement that may have yutzed up some of the pump stuff and I had a couple of resevoir/ set combos that didn't quite work out but I was never 100% sure if it was the flood or simply a "law of averages" catching up. I didn't have any infections or anything like that so perhaps my squeamishness is overblown? I don't bring a huge amount of extra supplies although I don't go backpacking either so I can always go to a pharmacy/ ER. I dunno if extra supplies make a huge difference although some people seem to travel quite a bit more prepared than I generally do? I also like the idea of renting a backup/travel pump for vacations. That seems like it might be the best idea for a long trip?

I don't know which pump you use, but I did repackage my Animas reservoirs and my Dexcom sensors for my cruise. The packaging does take up a lot of unnecessary room! I opened the packages and just dumped everythiing into 2 ziploc bags. I did use alcohol on my insulin vial before I drew it up, which I never do, just in case, but that was the only concession I made. No infections, no problem.

I use a MiniMed Paradigm pump. Sometimes wish I had the Animas for the waterproofing but things are what they are. Your response gives me the courage to take the plunge and just repackage everything. I did a few searches for sterile bags online and found some stuff but am just not sure it's worth it. Probably will just go the standard ziplock route.

I do (usually) wash my hands before a FS, always use an alcohol wipe for a site or sensor insertion, but that's about it. I'm OCD about a lot of D stuff, but not sterility - I'm sure someone will weigh in to tell you it's dangerous LOL

I'd do the same, If a ziplock can carry my sandwich and some carrots to work with me, it can carry my infusion sets and resevoirs, too. And a few alcohol swabs don't take much room in any kind of luggage or pack.

I suggest the freezer type of baggie instead of the usual sandwich baggie. A bit heavier. Always lasts better.

I did a huge backpacking trip a few months back and did repackage a lot of my supplies to save space in my pack. I didn't have any issues. I use the Mio infusion sets and the 1.8 ml reservoirs with my Revel pump. I packed everything as tightly as I could. Insulin was stored in a Frio pouch (we were in a hot environment, so had to keep it cool). I double up bottles of test strips so that there were 50 strips in each bottle (as opposed to the 25). In addition, I left extra insulin and pump supplies at a ranger station and medical clinic where we were. I also left some basal insulin at the nearby medical clinic in case my pump failed.

While the pump supplies do take up a bit of extra space, having the pump on my trip was SO worth it. The pump made it so easy to exert myself more than usual and not have frightening lows or annoying highs. I was shocked at how well I did. We did a strenuous hike down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon followed by some camping and then 10 miles back up to the top and I was able to manage things far better than I ever could have on MDI. Lots of temp basal rates and jelly beans did the trick ;-)

Feel free to PM me if you have any backpacking/pump related questions!

Enjoy Phantom Ranch ? I did the burro thing a few years back and my butt still hurts! No problem with the pump or supplies..........and it's 110°F there. Planning & planning & planning. I think I took enough for three weeks! Ziplock is the way, especially at the beach.

I'm not using the Mio insertion sets but just the standard quick set infusion sets. I ditched the spring loaded thingy and have been inserting the sets by hand without any issues since last March or so. Has the benefit of saving a few ounces in the pack too.

On my last multi-day trip (and the first with a pump), I packed some extra infusion sets, packaging and all, in a bulky ziplock bag. Everything else I kept the same as what I did when I was doing MDI: packaged strips into one bottle and carried extra insulin. For the forthcoming trip, I would like to remove the quick sets from their packaging and just put them in one bag. I guess I'll leave the reservoirs packaged as they are.

W/ the MM, I think that it's a good idea to keep the reservoirs wrapped as I think there might be some sort of lubricant on the O-ring that benefits from the protection. That might have caused the issue when mine got wet, now that I think about it? Have a great trip!

I have one of those old blue Tums tube. It's longer than the usual strip vials -about 1 1/2" - and holds 100 strips. Has a really tight cap so no moisture/spilling problem.

Yes, we did!! The rangers at the Grand Canyon were awesome. They loaned me some fridge space to keep my insulin cool since it was freaking hot there. No burros for us...it was two feet all the way down and up, but totally worth it. Some of the most beautiful backpacking I've ever done. And seriously, my pump was a godsend during that trip. I had almost perfect BGs the whole time.

And yes, everything was stored in Ziploc baggies. I double-bag things too, just to keep everything dry in case it starts to rain or something.

What an awesome idea!! Where did you get that??

It was in my medicine cabinet from a few years ago. Probably Walgreens? It was for Tums. Someone could make a fortune manufacturing them lol.

Excellent idea. I typically just drop 50 strips in one tube for a weekender and add 50 strips in another for trips that are 4 nights or more. This is definitely a reasonable alternative.

I noticed you take a frio pouch to keep insulin cool. Assuming you use one, you can save a little extra weight by placing insulin underneath a water bladder. I've been doing this for several years and it works great. Even on warm Spring days in places like Henry Coe State Park, I've never had insulin get warm using this method. Plus, the pack itself can offer a bit of insulation.

That is a very interesting question, as I will be doing the same in then coming weeks. Except that it will be in January up in the mountains in the freezing cold, and I will have to make sure that my medication does not freeze or anything. It is a good challenge though, and of course, people with diabetes have done much tougher things.