Seeking Advice - What's in Your Kit?

I’ve recently switched from injection therapy to the pod. I’m wondering if any of you have a good system for a back-up kit to keep with you on day trips away from home and office (and back-up supplies), and specifically just with respect to insulin delivery, not monitoring. When on injection therapy it was pretty easy, just an extra pen and some needles, and the pen would run out of insulin before it would expire. But with the pod I’m not so sure, when it malfunctions do you all have an extra pod with you all the time, and do you take an insulin vial out of the fridge every morning and put it back every night, or do you keep an extra pen around in that event?

I’m guessing somebody out there has a good system dialed in, and I would be grateful if you would share it with me.

I'm still waiting to see if my insurance approves but I'm thinking ahead! Check out this website:

If I am close to home I don't normally keep anything other than juice or something for low blood sugar However, if I am going to be gone all day I usually take a pen for emergencies. If you have a cold pack you can put it in that so if you do not use it you can put it back in the frig. Same thing if you just want to keep a needle and bottle of insulin. When I am traveling I take an extra box of pods and extra bottles of insulin in a cold pack. I take the whole box in case I get stuck somewhere for longer than I thought. This is just what I do but I'm sure other people will have some suggestions. When I say close to home I mean within an hour because you can get home before you go up to high. Hope this helps.

The minimal backup is the same; pen and needles. Since the pen doesn't get used and because the pod is supposed to be filled with insulin at room temperature I just keep the pen for two pods then get a new spare and use the old for the next pod. The in-use pen (1 pen == 2 pods for me) is always out. It should be fine at 100F for a week or so (but don't leave it in a parked car!)

My backup system, which is always in my wife's purse, consists of:

1) glucose tablets
2) pen + needles
3) a spare pod

We don't normally carry a spare BG meter. You can get those from Walgreens and similar 24hour stores for a few $, including some strips. I would carry a spare when travelling; in fact I have a nice "True2Go" meter, which came with 10 strips and cost me $10 before a $10 mail-in rebate (seriously!). It is very small.

John Bowler

I knew someone out there had a system worked out, this looks like the one. When I switched to the pod I also switched to vials thinking they made more sense, but I see now I should switch back to pens as both primary and back-up. Good reminder on the parked car. John, thanks. And Joy and Linny, thanks as well, Joy, that's a fine looking hound you have there.


Pen and needles here. It did take some work to get insurance to approve. My Pharmacy did most of it though, they had to file an "exception" request for special circumstances after the insurance first denied the prescription for a single box of pens. Took a couple of weeks to go through the red tape. I use the pens once in a long while for emergency and for times that I'd like to make sure I'll get more time out of a pod. I also keep extra pods with me at most times, and a couple more at places like work and family where I might need an extra. These get cycled through regularly to ensure they don't expire. I've also had to fill a pod from a pen before.

hey brad, my son is kind of paranoid about carrying his extra supplies, so much easier with a girl and a purse!! however he just puts everything in the black case that came with the omnipod, extra bottle of insulin wrapped in a tissue in the inside pocket of his case, this totally shattered when he went snowboarding, thank goodness he didn't need it during subsequent trips to the mountain he kept his supplies in he bag not his ski pants!! we never refrigerate as the insulin going into the pod is not suppose to be refrigerated. extra pod in front case, and needles and prep stuff inside pocket. if he is going somewhere where he going to walking around a lot he either carries a small gym bag or throws everything he needs into his cargo shorts!! and like others he only brings everything when he is going to away for a more than just errands ect, he keeps extra supplies at school this could be done at work too of course. anyways best of luck! amy

I was told that you can carry a vial of insulin out of the refrigerator for several days without it going bad and that the pod does better with room temperature insulin than cold insulin. So I just keep a vial of insulin in my little black case that came with the pump. I also keep an extra pod in the front pouch in case one goes bad on me. I also carry a syringe in case both pods go bad as a back up and I have my insulin pen in my purse at all time as well.

Hello Brad: I keep extra needles and insulin/swabs in my PDM pack, in case the pod fails, AND I keep a back up pen in my purse, as well as a back up meter in my car ! There is another discussion topic about the problems that occur when you forget /lose your PDM! I also wear a Dexcom continuous monitor. I am very brittle AND somewhat absentminded, so I carry two levels of back up. !

The vial of insulin is good for 28 days at room temperature, so I don't take it in and out of the fridge. It's always in the black zippered case along with the PDM and test strips, etc. I also tuck an insulin needle/syringe in there next to the extra batteries. So if I do have a pod failure, I can still give myself an injection with the insulin I have along. I have used the PDM to figure out what my dose should be, and then just injected that amount with the needle/syringe. I don't use the pens anymore since I already have a vial of insulin available with the pod. (As a woman, I do carry around a purse which does make it easier to have extra pods along, though.)

For a day trip I don't carry anything beyond what is in the Omnipod carrying case -
i.e. spare batteries, vial of insulin, strips, alcohol pads, spare lancets, and a handful of syringes. Even in the event of total pump failure, the syringes and vial would be sufficient to keep me going during the day.

I do keep a spare pod in my computer bag.

For overnight trips away, I do carry backup - Novolog cartridge, pen, and Lantus pen as well as spare pods.

I asked my doctor to write the original Humalog prescription for pens when it had to be modified for the pods. The insurance company didn't make any comment. Filling from pens has got a little more tricky with the new pods because the needle is shorter; if I put the needle into the pen rubber at an angle it doesn't always go all the way through. I dial the does on the pen then inject into the pod syringe (150IU in my case), then inject from that into the pod.

I guess it would be possible to inject straight into the pod, but the needle has to be the right length and it is pretty short.

This is what I've put together for my daughter who has Type 1, so some of this will obviously have to be modified for a person of the male persuasion who may not be comfortable carrying a "man purse." (BTW, I really admire men who carry bags [whether or not they use them for diabetes supplies] and don't care about what other people may think.) Caveat: Although it's easy to leave a diabetes bag in the car or out in the hot sun, try to avoid doing so and/or use a Frio pouch! My daughter has a zippered case that her PDM came in; we ordered a more colorful one from Sugar Medical which, other than the snazzy print, is virtually identical to the original bag that was included with her PDM. In that zippered case are the following: PDM, lancing device, container of test strips, two spare batteries, spare Pod, 2 alcohol wipes, 2 Uni-solve wipes, 2 I.V. Prep wipes, a few strips of Opsite Flexifix to help secure her Pod if she decides to go swimming, and a syringe in the event that her site fails and her BG goes high quickly and we need to inject insulin before applying a new Pod. This case goes into a cool, relatively small purse we got from Overland Equipment that I love because it has different compartments (one zippered) and pockets to hold other stuff. Her PDM case goes into the middle, zippered compartment, along with a ziplock containing Skittles (my daughter's low treatment of choice these days; easy to dose because one Skittle equals one carb) and a small juice box. The compartment covered by the velcro flap contains her mobile phone. The back open compartment is where her Frio wallet containing a pen vial of insulin goes. In addition, she wears her Dexcom receiver in a Spi belt around her waist. In another pocket of her Spi-belt is another ziplock containing Skittles to treat a low in the event that she's left her purse at home and is outside wreaking havoc in the neighborhood.

I know, this sounds like an awful lot of stuff, but you'd be surprised at how much you can fit into a relatively small carrier (once you find the right one)!

P.S. We were instructed never to use refrigerator-cold insulin in a Pod. That's why we use a Frio pouch; it keeps the insulin cool but not too cold. We keep the Frio pouch in the back, open pocket of the purse because Frio pouches need to "breathe" in order to keep the insulin cooled.