So the question was raised as to how I kept the temperature of my insulin under control while on our camping adventure and thus I thought it a perfect time for another installment of kitted out: diabetes medical gear explored.
As you may or may not know insulin is a finicky beast. If it gets too hot it will spoil, if it gets too cold it will freeze and then clump when you thaw it (who wants to inject that!), not to mention that you only have about 28 days from opening of a new insulin pen (in my case) before it starts to loose its potency and you have to replace whether or not it's finished. The safe temperature for in-use insulin is considered to be room temperature (or no higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit), while unopened insulin should be kept in the fridge. That's right, I have a stock pile of fast and long acting insulin just kicking in the back of the refrigerator with the baking soda.
Aside from this past weekend of camping, I also have a much needed and much anticipated girls weekend coming up in August which will require transit and thus temperature control of my insulin. It should be noted that our girls' weekend will take place in glorious Scottsdale (we got a Groupon!) and I hear it's hot there, particularly in late August.
Thus I began my Amazon.com hunt for a suitable solution that both worked effectively, looked good, and ideally had free super saver shipping. I ended up with the Frio Duo Cooling Wallet. The Frio line of cooling products covers the gamut, but the version I specifically got of their "insulin cooling" product is meant for insulin pens. As the duo suggests, it holds two so I can have both my fast and long acting insulin with me and protected from the elements.
Essentially the concept is that of evaporative cooling. The product is two pieces, and outer shell and then an inside piece that has gel crystals that are water activated. When soaked in ice cold water for about 5 minutes, the whole thing swells up and can keep insulin cool for up to 45 hours at a time. The great part is you can refresh it by just repeating the process. Which was great as after hiking, it had definitely started to warm up so I just soaked it again in the ice water that collected at the bottom of the cooler and I was set the rest of the trip.
Back in the days of my youth when my sister, mom and I used to hit up the yearly air show at Miramar, we had a similar type of product to keep cool, much resembling this number here. Although ours were the oh-so 90s red bandana pattern. Super classy.