Feeling powerful

We did a hiking trip last week in Arches & Canyonlands NPs. We did 4 full days of hiking book-ended by 2 half days of hiking (arrival/departure). This was my first time doing a multi-day hiking trip like this.

These few days rank among the best experiences of my life. We hiked for 8-11 miles on the full days. We were just surrounded by beauty and awesomeness the whole time. The week started a little rough, but then I figured things out, and I was in fantastic range the last 3 full days & half day.

This feels like a really big deal to me because a couple weeks before the trip we went hiking with a group of super fit people who hiked at a really intense pace. Afterward, My feet were really beat up, I had a severe headache and felt nauseous, and I had a pulled muscle in my leg. I didn’t prep my bg levels properly before the hike because I underestimated the difficulty - specifically the pace. We also arrived at the trailhead earlier than I expected so my timing was off. I really struggled to keep everything in range which made the hike really hard for me. On our trip, we did longer hikes of a similar difficulty level (most were technically more challenging), but my bg levels were in much better range. My muscles handled that fine and my feet were totally fine as well. My body doesn’t handle exercise well when my bg is not in range. My energy levels and abilities are profoundly impacted.

I was so discouraged after that hike that I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to go with the group again, and I became worried I wouldn’t be able to do the hikes we had planned in Utah that I was so excited to do. Quite the opposite occurred though. I feel like having multiple days of hiking really helped me see how I can adjust in the future in order to make an intense hike like that work. I now wonder if the pace wouldn’t have affected me as much if I’d known the best ways to adjust for an intense hike like that. For shorter or slow-paced hikes, I can feed my basal, but for an intense or longer hike, I need a 2 unit basal decrease (in addition to other adjustments I make) or I’m going to run into trouble - roller coasters and resistant lows.

When we finished an 11 mile hike with 2,000+ feet of elevation gain on our last day, I felt so powerful! We’d had an amazing adventure and seen beautiful sights, and my bg had been in range the entire day. I felt truly unlimited :smiley:

Anyway, I guess I’m just sharing my joy with people who are more likely to understand. I tried to communicate my frustration to my boyfriend after the hike that went poorly, and his response was - “but you did well on the hike!” I think my struggles were largely invisible to those around me, and I guess that is how I want it. But I think you guys can understand without much of an explanation- that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve experienced a hard moment with diabetes and then turned around and beat it so that you could pursue your passions and live your life to the fullest.

Thanks for being here! :slight_smile:


WOW @Katers87, I feel empowered just reading about your adventure! Congrats !


Thanks for sharing, @Katers87. Yes, we can all understand - the joy of learning what to do to have a successful hike and then accomplishing the hike. We also appreciate that you had to work at least twice as hard as everyone else to do what you did. Congratulations. And thanks for the encouragement/reminder to keep on. :sunflower:


Thanks @elver and @Carol :two_hearts:

That makes me happy :slight_smile:


First off, 8-11 miles in the mountains is no joke, Congrats!!! When we plan backpacking or hiking trips your mileage is the sweet spot to be able to enjoy the hiking and the views and not feel like a potted plant at the end of the day. 6 miles if there is more than 5000 feet of elevation gain is our current rule.

Yes, we do understand how people that walk too fast and diabetes can contribute to a less than happy experience. Glad your trip went so well. A pic or two of the scenery would be a lovely addition to this thread.


Definitely one of my favorite things about FUD. Well put!

I’m so happy for you!


Congrats on your accomplishment! That’s wonderful!

Like Chris said, let’s see some pictures!


Careful what you ask for! :grin:

I’ll find some good ones to post… once I figure out how to compress the photos :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Chesler Park Joint Loop Trail:

Corona Arch:

False Kiva:


Devil’s Garden:

Horseshoe Canyon:


Man! That’s a lot of elevation over 6 miles. You guys are pros :wink:

Breathtaking photos. The west has an amazing way of making you feel so small, and the beauty is just a feast for the eyes and the soul!

Yes 5000 feet in a day sucks, but sometimes it is worth it to get to a particularly secluded campsite. Just to get away from it all for a bit.


I’ll bet it’s secluded! Sounds wonderful. I’m hoping to do a backpacking trip in the early spring. It’ll be our first, so it won’t be too intense. I haven’t picked a spot, but it’ll need to be within a reasonable driving distance of DC… any recommendations? We’re considering the smoky mountains.


Thanks Allison :slight_smile:

I’m happy your running experiences have been going so well!

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Thanks Eric!


I have heard good things about Cold Mountain and Mount Pleasant. The Smoky’s are beautiful, you can’t really go wrong. Out east, the views are bit harder to come by, but the hiking is usually less steep than the west. Just try to do an overnight, and weigh your pack, try to keep the weight without water around 18-20 pounds. Lighter is always better, but lighter usually costs more $$. Unless you decide you don’t need to bring it in the first place, which is cheap and light (a good backpacking combo). My wife and I have backpacked up to 400 miles at one time, so if you have any questions about what not to buy, the list is long.


As an aside, I have a group of girlfriends from my high school outdoor club who want to have a girls weekend of hiking and climbing in Utah one of these years. The main one driving this idea has climbed mountains on every continent and just has Mount Everest left to do on her list of tallest peaks.

I might be self-appointed Happy Hour Hostess when they get back from hiking with her everyday. :blush: I couldn’t keep up with her when I was 17. There’s no doubt about it now!!


Awesome trip Katers! Your first day reminded me of times I’ve been frazzled by somebody else setting the pace. When I get out on a trail my favorite thing to do is go slow and look around.


I think this is the crux of the issue that a lot of us struggle with. That’s why groups like this came to be and why they’re so important and valuable.


Wow @Katers87 what an excellent write up about your experience. Congrats! And the photos are beautiful - I especially love the figures painted on the rock, they are haunting. I’m so glad you had a successful trip and felt like a boss! Love it!

We’ve recently done a much shorter backpacking trip in Yosemite and had excellent BG control and felt supremely pleased. EH was literally unwilling to participate in the discussion about food planning because prior trips have been such a nightmare he was just assuming he’d feel sick most of the trip. But we used Next Mile Keto backpacking meals, and they were amazing. He was basically in range the whole trip and we actually slept instead of dealing with alarms and issues all night. It was bliss! The major carb load that standard backpacking food used is almost impossible for us to figure out. The long walks make it difficult to then take 70g of carbs and inject for that and have it work out well. These lower carb meals worked perfectly.

This is the best advice ever. (And it’s advice none of my guy friends can seem to follow. I swear they bring tons of spare stuff. Like that recent trip one guy brought an entire package of baby wipes. I’m all for baby wipes, but who needs 60 for two nights?!? Put the right number in a ziplock. And you’re carrying them in both directions!!!)

And @Sam is right. We are currently at a friend’s wedding. Trying to explain how the whole diabetes thing works…some folks try to understand, but I think it’s hard. Some folks get it. Some never will. :slightly_smiling_face: But here it’s understood!


Thanks @Chris and @TravelingOn for the backpacking tips. I may reach out for some additional guidance once we get closer to that time frame.

Mount Pleasant seems like a good beginner’s trail. It’s not very far from DC so we could do it one weekend. I like that it’s a loop. We’re actually going to be camping in the George Washington National Forest in a few weeks at Sherando Lake. Maybe if we manage Mount Pleasant alright we can try out Cold Mountain. We’re hoping to do the Laugavegur trail in August next year. We’ll be staying in huts for that so our packs will be lighter (no tents or cooking supplies), but we’ll need to carry sleeping bags, clothes, food, etc for four days. I’m hoping to do multiple trips before then to prep us.

Those Keto meals look great @TravelingOn. We’ve kept our meals pretty simple for our day hikes so far. I will definitely get some of those keto meals meals before our camping trip in a few weeks! It isn’t a backpacking trip, but it will be a few days hiking and roughing it in the woods. It’ll be a nice opportunity to try out one of the Keto meals.

Congrats! Yosemite looks absolutely beautiful. Hopefully I’ll make it over that way one day.

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