There’s nothing greater than reaching a destination.
The best thing about hiking, is that you get to enjoy the view along the way. Whether hiking up a mountain, through a local park or to a scenic viewpoint, here is some essential gear for a great, diabetes-friendly, hike.
Staying hydrated is one of the key successes in health for everyone, and especially folks with diabetes. Luckily for you, we wrote a whole article on the best water bottles and other sipping gear.
Another thing to keep in mind is how much water you should bring. Adventure gear company REI published a great guide on how much to bring, replenishing your electrolytes, and how to rehydrate after a hike.
This classic 1L Nalgene water bottle will likely last you a 2-hour hike in moderate weather.
Backpacks are one of the truly most customizable pieces of gear. If you’re not going for a long hike, you may choose something as simple as a drawstring backpack or an old school bag lying around the house. If you’re going for a longer, more involved journey, you’ll need something that holds up to the rigors, and holds all of your gear.
Weight, features, and size are all important factors in choosing the best backpack for you, but making sure that it suits your needs as someone with diabetes is important. Make sure your backpack can accommodate a waterproof insulated container with some cold packs if you’re bringing insulin with you. A waterproof bag is also helpful for carrying your testing supplies, emergency supplies, and any other first aid essentials in case of emergency.
Foot health is important. Diabetic neuropathy can cause loss of feeling in your feet, making it hard to feel and identify problems like blisters, cuts, and ulcers which can lead to serious complications if not treated. Finding the best shoe for you is key for health, and starting with a proper shoe fitting will help you put the right foot forward.
Like backpacks, this is very much up to the person and the hike. A casual, paved trail walk or hike, a pair of well broken-in tennis shoes might be the perfect pair for you. A hiking boot will offer you good ankle support to avoid any injuries on uneven trails, while a hiking shoe might offer you more flexibility. Take the time to find the best option for you.
Keeping your energy levels and blood sugar numbers up while on the trail is essential. To avoid an emergency, make sure to keep a proper snack in your backpack. Something high in protein, with balanced carbs is a classic choice for a person on the go.
Another thing to keep in mind is ease of snacking. Planning to stop for a picnic? Make sure to pack some utensils and hand sanitizer. Want something you can eat while walking? Protein bar! No matter what you’re noshing on, make sure to pick up after yourself and throw things away in the proper garbage cans whenever you reach civilization again.