What to Pack in a Diabetes Kit

If you have diabetes or prediabetes you need to be prepared for the unexpected. That means you need several diabetes packing lists for different occasions — Not only should you be taking a diabetes kit with you any time you leave the house, you should also have a separate list for supplies you take on overnight trips and vacations, and it’s a good idea to include diabetes supplies in your natural disaster/emergency kit.

Many diabetics try to eat the same or similar foods at the same times each day and keep to a consistent workout schedule. Blood sugar levels are so easily disrupted that small changes can throw everything out of whack, so keeping a routine is often the best way to prevent big fluctuations in blood sugar. Unfortunately, life is full of surprises. Little changes in your daily meal times or choices can cause big disruptions in blood sugar. Over time, living with rapidly changing glucose levels out of the ideal range can cause a number of very dangerous complications. But if you’re well-prepared, these bumps in the road don’t have to completely disrupt your health.

Leaving for the day

Whether you leave for work every day or only for errands every so often, you should have a kit with you for everything you might need to manage your diabetes during the day along with a few extras in case of emergencies.

What to include in a daily kit:

  • Medication for three days — Make sure to frequently check that insulin isn’t expired
  • A medical bracelet/note about your illness
  • A list of daily medications and quantities
  • The number of an emergency contact and your primary care provider
  • Glucose gel or icing packet (in case of hypoglycemia)
  • Snack
  • A glucose monitor with lancets and test strips
  • Container for used lancets and test strips

Packing for vacation

The packing list for longer excursions, like a business trip or a vacation, will include everything in the daily kit, with a few additions. Exactly what you need will depend on your access to refrigeration, electricity, and medical care.

Make sure to pack enough medication to last your whole vacation, plus a week if possible. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s not uncommon for bad weather to delay travelers for several days. If that happens to you, you won’t want to have to worry about running out of medication.

Be sure to keep original pharmacy labels on all supplies and medications — especially if flying.

If you’ll be traveling without daily access to refrigeration and you use insulin, be sure to pack enough instant ice packs or a cooling case like Frio to keep insulin cool enough. Remember, insulin that’s currently being used should be at room temperature, no colder than 36 degrees Fahrenheit and no warmer than 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

While you’re away from home, don’t forget to keep up with your foot care routine and take care to drink lots of water. It’s easy to drop good habits when our routine is disrupted, but it’s critical to keep your health routine constant to prevent complications.

In case of emergency

More than half of Americans don’t have an emergency supply kit. That’s dangerous, especially if you have medical needs. For a disease like diabetes, leaving your health up to chance is particularly dangerous. Diabetes management is largely about careful planning. If you want to get and keep your blood sugar in a healthy range, you have to plan for chaos. Look over this list and make sure to pack the supplies you might need.

What to include in an emergency kit:

  • Seven days of medication
  • A medical bracelet/note about your illness and medications
  • The number of an emergency contact and your primary care provider
  • A cooler/cooling case and instant cold packs (for insulin, pramlintide, or exenatide)
  • Insulin pump with extra batteries, infusion sets, and reservoirs
  • Include extra insulin and a syringe in case the pump stops working and you can’t easily get help with it
  • Glucagon pen or glucose gel — gel icing packs work too
  • Glucose meter with lancets, alcohol swabs, and test strips
  • A small bottle for used lancets and test strips
  • Ketone strips
  • Small scissors
  • Waterproof medical tape
  • Oil or adhesive remover
  • Baby wipes
  • Headlamp (with batteries)

It’s not uncommon to feel a little overwhelmed when first diagnosed with diabetes. It can feel like too much to manage at once, but with a little planning, you can remove a lot of the stress. Planning and packing these diabetes kits can feel a little over-the-top, but the next time life doesn’t go to plan, you’ll be so glad you did. Use these lists to start your own packing lists/kits with everything you need to manage your diabetes so that when life throws you a curve ball, you’ll be ready.

Learn more about Mira and find your life insurance policy today!