T1D and Hiking

Hey all! I just created my account today. I’m a 21 year old male T1D from Maine. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with this disease since being diagnosed on my 13th birthday.

One thing I’ve always been able to count on was hiking, and I came up with an idea related to hiking and Type 1 Diabetes. I started a group on Facebook called “ME and NH Type 1 diabetic hikers,” it is my plan to use this group to host hiking meetups/group hikes. I’m currently working on the page with another T1D who wanted to join me in the idea. You do not need to be in ME or NH to join, you can simply just be someone who may occasionally go in those areas or wants to travel here for one of the groups meetups.

Let me tell you why I’ve thought of this group, and why it’d be useful:

  1. Provides an extra safety net for hiking T1Ds
  2. Can be used as a support group through hiking and connections
  3. Can be used to educate and raise awareness of T1D
  4. Can be used for training hiking partners of T1D
  5. It would provide an opportunity for T1Ds who may want to get into hiking, but, are to nervous about what could happen or don’t have any hiking partners.

Please consider joining up, we only have three members at the moment. I’ve posted about this on Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram so far. Here is the link to the group: Hiking4Diabetes | Facebook

Thanks, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions


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Hi @MatthikesT1 and welcome to the forum. I’m not a hiker but just wanted to commend you on your group and your work - hopefully you will get lots of responses from the various places you’re posting.
At the top of the page if you click on Resources, then go to Events and Groups, there are activities listed. There may be a way to connect there, and perhaps even get your hikes posted on the calendar. Sorry I don’t know how to go about doing that or if it has to be done by a professional organization, but might be worth looking into.
All the best to you!

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Thank you so much! I’ll look in to that!

The @moderators are pretty knowledgeable about the resources and may be able to help you out.

Hi @MatthikesT1 - great minds think alike! I’ve been thinking about the same thing for years (I’m 47 years with T1D, hiking and some backpacking here in CA). I went on a JDRF “Walk and Talk” event recently in SF, talked to some of the folks from JDRF, and just organized a T1D hiking series with them. I called it “Hike Don’t Spike”! First event is this weekend, and I plan on doing one every 2 months or so around the Bay Area. Got a decent response to this first one, so we’ll see how it goes. JDRF set up the registration site, and I’ll be leading it (easy one to start, 6 miles, modest elevation gain). You might want to reach out to your local JDRF too - it made it easier for me to try it. Let me know what you think.

That’s really awesome! I never thought of that to be honest. I’ve been having trouble growing my group… of course I haven’t been able to do much with it the last year as I was having health issues. I actually changed the group to be based more around a global area than local. Seems like there may be a low number of type 1s interested in hiking in New England unfortunately. I’ll definitely look for my local jdrf chapter and see what I can make happen.

Thanks for telling me about what you have done, it definitely helped give me some ideas. Have a great day or night!


Hi, my name is Matty and I am a Colorado mountaineer. Backpacker have had type one diabetes for now for four years. 82nd airborne and Afghanistan and I spend a lot of time in the backcountry. When I first found out, I had diabetes at 38 years old I rushed into the mountains to deal with it and figure it out in the backcountry and it worked and I am now comfortable going on 100 mile missions through the mountains all over the west with confidence It took a lot of time to be able to be hiking 15 to 20 mile days consecutively and still have quality of life and good blood glucose numbers I’m always looking for type one diabetics to go backpacking and mountaineering with so please reach out if you’re interested maybe you don’t have the confidence to go to the mountains with people that don’t understand, but I do. I’m leaving for a 14 day Crystal Diigging high Alpine mountaineering trip it’ll be the first time using the 780 G in the mountains and I feel like I’m gonna have more success with the pump than I do with the injections. Thanks for listening. Reach out if you’d like to go backpacking anywhere in the west
Matthew Gray.


hi @mattygr25 welcome. best of luck and happy trails! I am always thrilled to hear about people pushing through and not letting T1 get in the way. Post pictures!

Hello, I’m going to a (not diabetes) summer camp this summer in Canada with some friends and we’re going to be hiking to the top of a nearby mountain. Up to 8 miles a day, 8 day camp. I’ve had T1D for 4 years and I’m comfortable managing my BGs with my tandem pump and dexcom CGM. I have done a lot of city wandering and day hikes, but have not yet spent a week doing so much physical activity at high elevation.

Any tips or tricks or advice for a newbie on managing BGs/packing supplies/etc in the mountains?

HI Lise, please look at https://www.conquistador-bsa.net/post/bsa-s-six-essential-items-for-hiking-and-camping a few thoughts: you will need a power supply for recharging your pump - not sure what you have planned there but 4 days in and 4 days out means you need a bit of reserve to keep just the pump charged. I could figure out how many mAh you need if you tell me which pump you use (Tslim x2 yes?). Its not the end of the world, Amazon has battery packs up to 26 Amp hours Phones and watches will be long dead as well, not sure what your power plan is. I would not worry about keeping insulin cold if you have an insulated bag and keep it out of direct sunlight your insulin will stay cool enough.

you’ll need way less insulin, that’s for sure unless your typical activity level is about 1000 Calories per day. So what you really need are carbs. I don’t even know where to start maybe 60g per each day hiking?

if all of this is “Captain Obvious” then I am sorry, just thinking out loud! good luck and safe journey!

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To tag on to what @joe said about keeping devices powered up, you might look into a solar power bank. They recharge in sunlight so no worries about plugging them in.
Have a blast!


Take a look at your pump data from the day hikes you’ve done to figure out a basal rate. I call it my minimum basal, just enough to keep my metabolism going without a glucose lowering effect. Carbs that take a long time to release like bread are great fuel to keep you going in the mountains. Be sure to pack a little bag that you can seal up for the trash from your emergency snack supplies so any wrappers don’t attract critters.

I want to take a second to recommend Malibu Club for a future summer. Please forgive me if I’m making the wrong assumptions about your user name. I had so much fun at Malibu I volunteered to work there for 3 weeks the next summer. Best time at camp ever. 1-2 hours by boat north of Vancouver so on the left side of nowhere.

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Haha I’m actually going to Malibu! I can’t wait, I’ve heard so many great things about it from my friends who went last year! Thanks for the basal advice and the reminder about the trash- definitely something to keep in mind.

Thanks for the link!
Was starting to make a “power plan” but realized my old banks are dead so I need to get some new ones. Yes I use the tandem x2 as well as an iPhone SE but I’m not sure how useful the iPhone will be.
I have no clue how many carbs to pack either- was thinking like 80g per day?

Thanks for verbally processing even the obvious- it’s easy to skip the obvious because it’s…. Obvious

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The phone will burn a lot of power but it is a GPS (does not need cell service) and good for navigation in a pinch. You can even download the area you will be in (so google maps will work for example) I’d bring it but leave it off except if things go a little sideways.

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Yes! Hope you love Malibu as much as I did.

About the carbs… generically I try to pack enough to treat a low 4 times a day. For a backpacking trip where space and weight are a concern I figure I’ll have dosing dialed in by day 3, 4 at the latest so I’d plan for twice on the remaining days. I usually use glucagon as a last resort but Baqsimi nasal spray glucagon might be lighter and smaller than carbs.

Is your iPhone SE a 3rd gen (2022) model? If so its got a 2000mAh battery. 2nd gen was a 1800mAh. If you turn off cellular and wifi and quit everything but the camera app it’ll last for at least a week. Personally I’d plan to be able to charge it once because for me my phone is my primary glucose display device.

Work Crew '94 (just realized its been 30 years)
Zip line harness helper (if you put the harness on backwards you can fly like a superhero, no you aren’t allowed to, yes we did it once)

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Ah bummer! I’ve always wanted to be a superhero!

Thanks for the carb tips- I honestly didn’t really know where to start with that. I hadn’t considered that I would probably need fewer carbs! Fewer carbs = lighter pack!

Seeing as you’ve got inside knowledge… do you know what kind of prepackaged meals they give the groups that head into the mountains? Should I reach out ahead of time to ask for the nutritional info or will that be included?

Not sure how others deal with high activity sports while on the pump. I’ll share mine as it took me a while to figure it out. I’m using iLet pump, however I’d believe this would work for everyone else via minor modifications.

The meal I eat before the activity will announce it as a smaller carb meal size. For example, if I eat a “usual” carb meal size then I announce a “less” meal on my pump, or 50% less than a “usual” meal. Then I disconnect the pump so no additional autocorrect or basil is taken. During activity my BGs will drop fast at first then flatline before eventually slowly climbing as I have no insulin onboard. When I eat again I’ll reconnect the pump and do the same half dose for meal then disconnect. If I get to 150-160 while not on the pump I’ll reconnect the pump and let autocorrects kick in and bring me back down. Typically by then I’m close to finishing a day of exercise and and keep the pump connected.

Interested in hearing how others do this.

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I don’t know about packaged food, Malibu has a great kitchen. I skipped the cinnamon roll breakfast when I was there for camp but on work crew, don’t remember why but I ate one and it was 2000% worth the bolus.

When I talking about packing weight I had assumed from the 8 mile hike up a mountain you were talking about backpacking which would be a different trip. Are you “just” going to Malibu or also going on another trip?

“Just” Malibu but we’re doing the beyond Malibu program