Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to Succeed at Camping with D without Really Trying - Or - Why I Sleep With My Meter

Ray and I just got home from a 3 night camping trip.  We are lucky that we only have to drive about 10 minutes from home to find ourselves surrounded by a national forest.  We enjoy dispersed camping which means we camp in the “middle of no-where” without facilities (we don’t much like campgrounds).  It was a great trip; the weather was perfect and only 1 ATV drove by our camp.

You might think that camping with diabetes would be tricky but I’ve found that, with some careful planning, it’s quite easy!  (If I was using injectables it would be a different story, ie: keeping the meds cold etc, but I thankfully don’t have to deal with that as yet.)  The thing about camping is that you can only eat what you bring with you.  You can’t decide you want a burger and drive through for fast food.  Ice cream isn’t an issue since you don’t have a freezer handy. If you’re someone who is tempted by things you maybe shouldn’t eat (like me) then just don’t bring them along!

We eat well when we camp.  Check out these tasty chicken breasts that Ray cooked up for one of our dinners.  (I only eat ½)

Yummy huh? Breakfast was either cereal with almond milk or an egg scramble that I whipped up: egg substitute, bell peppers, onion, vegetarian breakfast sausage crumbles, some potato (cuz I love em) and a sprinkling of shredded cheese.  This makes great burritos or you can just eat it in a bowl. Lunch is easy too since sandwiches can be made anywhere, bag salads or munch on crackers/veggies with hummus or spinach dip.

Dos and Don’ts:

DO bring along something to snack on.  I find that when I feel deprived, I overeat.  Overeating anything is bad (well maybe not celery but who wants to overeat on celery?)  I had some nuts on hand to munch and the aforementioned crackers/veggies/hummus. It was nice to know that I could have a tasty snack if I felt like it.

DON’T bring along chocolate.  There are two reasons for this.  First, it’s too easy to eat too much and second, it melts. :-)

DO set an alarm on your cell phone so you remember to take your meds in the evening.

DON’T eat the crackers straight out of the box.  <insert sheepish grin here>  Portion control is just as important when you’re in the woods as when you’re in your recliner.

DO get off your butt and MOVE!  What better place to get some exercise than in the woods?  Ray and I, I’m proud to say, took a walk each day we were there.  We walked at least an hour with one walk ending up being nearly 2 hours. (I didn’t say we got lost!  We did not!!  Really!  We actually didn’t get lost but we did spend some time exploring an old homestead looking for bits of history etc and taking pictures.  Fun times.)

DO protect your meter from extreme temperatures.  This is why I sleep with my meter.  It may be hot during the day or get rather chilly at night.  Temps in the woods can be more extreme than at home.  I discovered years ago that my poor meter suffered from the cold overnight so I started sleeping with it.  I just pop the little bag beside me and go to sleep.  I don’t have to worry about it getting too cold and it doesn’t bother me a bit.  During the day you should be sure to stow it somewhere cool so it doesn’t overheat.

This camping trip was a blessing.  I was so relaxed; I ate sensibly (and well); I read; I watched the stars from around our campfire; I exercised; I slept very well.  All this added up to some GREAT numbers.  Just look! 

It was the perfect storm: great weather, great food, relaxation and great numbers.  Camping with D is a breeze.  I highly recommend it.

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