It wasn't until last year that I actually started to enjoy camping. To be honest, I had never really tried it. My first time sleeping in a tent was on the trails of Kilimanjaro which was probably the most extra way of trying tenting for the first time. Growing up, we would 'camp' which meant renting a trailer at Darien Lake, so I am not sure if that classifies as camping or not.
Since trying camping last year, I have grown quite interested, which makes my husband happy because he owned a tent for years and I refused to sleep in it. Now, I happily help him set up the tent and cook on the camp fire. While camping is relaxing and a great way to get away from our busy lives, diabetes still comes for the campout.
The top concerns are always keeping my insulin cool, making sure I have low supplies near by, keeping control of my blood sugars and making sure I have a bathroom close enough.
We have always camped with electricity near by and recently acquired a plug-in cooler which means I can keep my insulin cool if it happens to be warm. Often enough, I can find shade and keep my insulin away from the heat. I worry that if my insulin were to get too warm, I wouldn't be able to use it.
The second concern is the snacks for middle of the night lows. Since we don't want creatures visiting us in the night we often keep our food in the car. One of the first times we went camping, I didn't put any low supplies in the actual tent. Thankfully, Mike hadn't come into the tent yet and was able to grab low supplies for me to keep with me.
Camping means lots of delicious carb filled snacks like marshmallows, chips and sugary coolers. It is super easy to lose track of where your blood sugars are at. While I don't aim for having perfect blood sugars while away, higher blood sugars means attitude changes, feeling lethargic and frequent bathroom visits.
Speaking of bathroom visits, if you have type 1 diabetes you know that sometimes the bathroom is your midnight or 3:00 a.m friend. I often joke that if I am not getting up at 3:00 a.m to use the bathroom than I am getting up at 3:00 a.m to drink a juicebox. I almost always have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night while camping which is both terrifying and inconvenient. Last year when we went to Darien Lake we were so far from the bathroom, I ended up driving my car in the middle of the night to get there.
While these things can be frustrating while camping, I try to not let it spoil the fun of my new found enjoyment. As always, I will learn of ways of making it all easier, like booking a campsite that is close to the bathroom, or keeping rockets in the tent.