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RE: [IP] Tips for rafting the Colorado river on a pump

I have done several paddling/rafting trips although with an OmniPod the
concerns are less.  

I took twice the number of pods and amount of insulin that I would need.   I
kept the insulin in a  Frio cooling pouch.  Depending on the trip there may
be coolers or you may be eating and canned or freeze dried.  I took an empty
six pack cooler to hold the frio.  You could probably fit in your backup
pump.  If there are coolers you can put your supplies in a waterproof box
inside a cooler maybe.   

I took pens for backup.  Don't forget the needles.  There are water proof
boxes that your pump might fit into that can be fasten to your pants or PFD
with a carbineer.  I know they exist with ports for tubing but I can't make
any recommendations on the brand of source because with the Pod you don't
need that type of thing.

Is this a commercially guided trip or a group-guided trip?   Talk to your
trip leader about what you will be able to bring.  There is only so much
room on a raft.

You will want warm clothes and cool clothes and a way to keep them dry.
Plan to dress in layers - it can still be cool in June.  Do not take cotton
clothes - you want clothes that will dry quickly, synthetic fabrics.  Get
some river clothes - pants where the lower legs zip off and shirts where the
sleeves can be rolled up.  The sun takes a while to get high enough to get
down to the water.   Dry bags can be had at REI, Academy, Cabellas, etc.
Be prepared for anything and everything.  I would also take multiple small
bungee cords and carbineers to fasten your box of medical supple to the
raft.  If your leader is good everything will be fastened down but I
wouldn't trust anyone else with my medical supplies.  

The trip leader, who may or may not be the permit holder, should be able to
give you specifics on the meals being planned.  Then you can plan your food
requirements from there.

Take glucose tablets.  Take at least two glucagon kits if not 3 or 4.  Make
sure that someone you know and trust knows how to use them.    Make sure
that person knows how to test your blood sugar and either work your pump or
calculate the amount and give an insulin injection.  If it is a group guided
trip you will probably  be rowing and it is hard work.  Eat extra or set
your basal back some.  I would be very surprised if there is not someone at
least trained in first aid on the trip.  They can be your go to guy but make
sure they know what they need to.

Even with evacuation insurance it has got to be pretty serious before they
come get you.  And there are parts of the canyon  where a helicopter can't
get in.  That means that you will have to be carried out if the walls can be
climbed or you'll have to go on down the river until you get somewhere with

Don't forget the sun screen and take a wide brimmed hat that can be fastened
to your head.

Hold onto the hat and have a wonderful time.  This will probably turn you
into a river rat big time.

Nora Roales Nevers
Arlington, TX


-----Original Message-----
From: email @ redacted
[mailto:email @ redacted] On Behalf Of Kathy McCord
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 19:06
To: email @ redacted
Subject: [IP] Tips for rafting the Colorado river on a pump

I am fortunate to have been invited on a 10-day rafting trip through the
Grand Canyon this June. I feel both excited and anxious because of the extra
risk involved for a person with Type 1. Has anyone done this trip on a pump?

My concerns have to do with the heat (100F and up) as well as possible
submersion of my pump and medications. Add to that the strenuous exercise
and lack of control over diet. (All food is provided by the outfitter but
I'm bringing lots of energy bars.) I have a sports guard and a back-up pump.
My endo recommended a back up of lantus and MDI's as well. I bought
evacuation insurance just in case. If you have travelled in this type of
environment and can offer any advice or encouragement, please do so. I need
more confidence!

Kathy McCord
Type 1 for 42 years
Pumping 15 years
MM 523
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