Words by Heather Gomez
Do you own your own pack mule? Congratulations, you don’t need to read this blog post!
But in case you aren’t the proud owner of such an animal, like most of us, read on as we try to answer the age-old question that every person with diabetes will ask at some point during their life — HOW DO I CARRY ALL THESE DIABETES SUPPLIES?!
A few weeks ago we asked Connected in Motion’s followers on social media to weigh in on the challenging topic of carrying diabetes around with you while active. So, what did we learn from all of YOU? Check out the tips and tricks below!
What to Carry
How Much & Which Items?
“I only carry low supplies for any type of exercise under 1hrs. Anything longer test kit and insulin come along too.”
“For a 10k and under generally the only the thing you need to take is low supplies maybe some water and your test kit. For this I find clever pockets such as the ones in Senita athletic wear, or in the cooler weather the pockets in my jacket.”
“I usually treat my lows with juice boxes, but when I’m out walking or running I try to take smaller, lighter low supplies like gummies or Dex4 tabs that are easier to carry.”
An Extra Note from CIM: If you bring Glucagon with you when you exercise, make sure your training partner (or someone at the gym/pool/etc.) knows how to administer it! Don’t forget to let them know the signs of a low blood sugar, too.
HOW to Carry it
Where Can I Put it All?
A few specific pieces of gear were recommended by all of you. Check out the list below for some tried and tested suggestions:
- Cycling jersey pockets
- Camelbak hydration pack
- Flipbelt (for shorter runs)
- Pockets, pockets, pockets (in vests, pants, bras, etc.)
- Running vest (for longer runs)
“If you don’t mind carrying handheld water bottles when you run there are options with pockets great for stashing low blood sugar supplies as well as keys etc. I left a product I love below which in addition to holding water can hold my entire test kit plus low supplies and money or card etc.” Check here for options.
“Run = spi-belt, Road ride = jersey pockets, Mountain bike = Camelbak, hike = larger camelbak / daypack.”
“I basically won’t wear anything that doesn’t have pockets. I wear pants with pockets, and a vest with multiple pockets. All pockets are full. Oh yeah, and my sports bra also has pockets!”
“I have a Flipbelt I use for running. It’s basically a SpiBelt, but it distributes the weight more evenly.”
“Short runs – flipbelt. Long runs – Salomon running vest.”
“It’s all about the vest! I bought it for running but I seriously use it for everything now. Mountain biking, hiking, cross country skiing…”
“The Lululemon ‘Stuff Your Bra’ sports bra, bike jersey pockets.”
“I use the arm cases meant for phones.”
“I wear cycling jerseys for running, cycling, x-country skiing…. everything! I love those big pockets.”
“I have a tiny backpack that carries my glucometer and snacks and juice boxes. Works great for hiking. If I am just out for a walk, a juice box will suffice. I know my lows!”
“I happened to discover an offer on Facebook for a belt pouch that fits the PDM for my Omnipod, my lancing device, and my test strips, and still has room for my cell phone. I attach it to my belt when I go out on my bicycle. It means that I don’t have to go digging through my knapsack if I need to do a test.”
“If you don’t like the bounce of things in your pockets I recommend a runcuf they are designed for cell phones but I find i can put my tester and enough sugar to treat lows quite nicely.”
“I wear a waist pack when I run and a backpack for everything else. I keep all my diabetic supplies in a small pack inside the backpack so I know where it is when I need it.”
Above & Beyond
Some Diabetes Hacks We Love!
“I attach my Dexcom to my handlebars with tie wraps – works like a charm.”
“I got a knock off SpiBelt from the dollar store for $3.”
“I’ve strapped a tube of Dex4 (glucose tablets) to my dog’s collar.”
“Most important, waterproof stuff in my sports bra.”
“I run loops (if running long) and use my mailbox as a transition – with water, extra food, etc. – it works really well for my 15km + runs.”
“Make use of any Shoppers Drug Marts along the way! That’s what I did during last year’s Calgary marathon. Thank goodness there was a Shoppers Drug Mart at about km 27. They let me use a meter and have some Dex4.”
“I usually put some test strips in a breath mint box so I don’t have to carry the whole test strip box.”
Connected in Motion wants to say a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who submitted their ideas and suggestions for this blog post! If you didn’t get a chance to share your input, you can always send us descriptions or pictures of how you carry all your diabetes supplies when you’re active. Let us know, and we’ll pass it on to the community!