Keeping insulin cool in the summer while hiking and camping

Hi there,

I am going on a 3 day camping trip in the Texas desert next week (Big Bend) and I am wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to keep my insulin from getting too hot in the extreme temperatures.  What do you other outdoor enthusiasts do?




while you're hiking, you can put an ice pack in a bag with your insulin to keep it cool. otherwise, just put it in a ziplock bag in the cooler when you're at the site.


there are some packs you can buy from frio, but when i tried one of their products, it ended up being WAY more of a pain than just keeping an ice pack around or the insulin in a cooler.

As long as it is in a closed somewhat insulated container where the temp does not get to high your insulin will be good for 14 days outside the fridge. I have my insulin in an eyeglass case in a travel bag and it never seems to have a problem. YMMV

I am talking about average day temps of about 103.  I just ordered a Frio pouch... I'll let you know how it works for me...  Also we are doing back country hiking, so I definitely need to keep my insulin on me at all times...

Best of luck with the frio pack. The one I tried leaked water into my bag(so I had to keep it in a ziplock bag) and took about 15-20 mins of me, my friends and often a medic at the music fest I was at…just to get it out. We had to use tweezers usually.


frio paks work great. watch out keeping it in a zip lock back instructions say not to, they sell special pack for the wet issue it works great for camping/hiking!


I had a problem sort of like this, only it was a matter of keeping my insulin from freezing in winter. Didn't realize it could happen til it did. Good thinking ahead!

That has actually happened to me with my meter.  I kept it in a cooler on a float trip and it freaked out because it was actually too cold...


Hey btw what is the deal with not keeping the frio in a zip locked bag???

When I took a road trip in a hot car last summer I soaked the Frio pack as instructed and then but it in the fridge for a while to get it real cold. The insulin was still cool 8 hours later.

I always keep the insulin at room temp for 30 days after I open it. It's what I was told to do when my son was diagnosed.

Has anyone ever used the Frio packs for pumps?

I normally do just keep my insulin at room temperature and actually for up to 3 months and it is absolutely fine...  But I know that camping in Texas in the summer that the temperatures are going to be far higher than room temp.

[quote user="Kate"]

That has actually happened to me with my meter.  I kept it in a cooler on a float trip and it freaked out because it was actually too cold...


Hey btw what is the deal with not keeping the frio in a zip locked bag???


I don't know why you're not suppose to..but that and putting it in a ziplock bag was the only way to keep my bag dry. it leaked THROUGH the bag they give you to put it in...before i found that out, my wallet, camera, cellphone, money..everything in my bag and one whole side of my bag got wet.


I just recently got a Frio pack to put a vial of insulin in when I am out doing field work (also 100+ degree).  So far I have been pretty happy with it, it keeps it cooler than the outside temperature- not like keeping it in a fridge.  It basically takes the edge of the heat.  It works by evaporative cooling, so if it is in an airtight container it won't work.  You want to try and keep it in an area that will have a bit of airflow, but out of the direct sun.  So don't bury it in your pack but do not have it in the top pocket or someplace the sun is going to be hitting the most. 

I have thought about buying a plastic case for it and then drilling holes in it to get airflow- but I haven't tried that yet.  I haven't had any issues with it getting the rest of my stuff wet, after I soak it I try and let it drip dry a bit, or use a towel to soak up the excess water.  It does help a little to protect the vials with the cushioning to keep them from breaking, I have heard of some people use old film canisters to put their insulin in then put it in the Frio pack.  I don't think mine would fit, Apidra vials are oddly shaped.

The Frio is also supposed to help keep things from freezing- but I have no experience with that.

In the past I have just buried my insulin in my pack with an ice pack (that usually isn't cool by the end of the trip) and hoped for the best. 

Your trip sounds awesome!  How long are you going to be out for?

Thanks Ginny!  We are going to Big Bend for 3 days and the Marfa for 2.    We will be car camping, but I don't think we will have a cooler with us or anything.  Have you been out to Big Bend?

I have! But not for quite awhile, I am really hoping to get back out there soon- it is so pretty.  That trip sounds awesome.  I'll bet the Frio pack would work fine for you on the backcountry excursions.  I am jealous of your trip- you are going to have a lot of fun!