Keeping insulin in hot, humid weather: a success story

I have written a few threads recently about our recent flops in experimenting with gear while attempting to be UNLIMITED, such as, for instance, this one:

This experiment is more successful! My 12-year-old T1D son is in Costa Rica right now, and has been for 2 weeks already: daily temperatures of 85 to 100F, and humidity also in the same range 80-100%. I wrote here about why the Frio evaporative bag does not work in this range, and there about prepping for the trip.

For once, everything is happening exactly as we hoped, and nothing has broken. He uses 3 of the 20 ounce thermos bottles I described. One of them he uses in his daypack. One he uses to keep his spare insulin in his fridge where he resides. One of them he leaves in a second fridge in another location (language school) to have as a spare.

Here is the MO:

  • He keeps both spare thermos insulin bottles in fridges, away from the freezer air discharge, at middle height, and right by the front of the door. He keeps unfrozen ice balls in the thermos bottles, so that, if the temperature in the fridges goes down too low, the thermal inertia of the thermos contents is high. He opens the thermos bottles once daily to get some warm air into them regularly.

  • He keeps a bunch of ice balls in the freezer all the time. Every morning, he puts his daily insulin into his daily insulin thermos, along with a few frozen iceballs, and carries his insulin around all day in his sling bag. Then, at night, he opens the thermos, and leaves it out in the fridge with the insulin and the by now mostly unfrozen ice balls, in order to get them cool (but not too cold) for the next day. He leaves the insulin in the fridge where he lives because there is no air conditioning where he lives, just big fans (he lives with a local family).

He just spent 2 weeks in the hot and humid province of Guanacaste, on the northern Pacific coast – the worst part of the trip as far as insulin weather. he is now in Monte Verde, also hot and humid but higher elevation, so a bit less hot and a bit less humid – the worst is over. I feel that the gear and MO we put together have proven to be a success.:slight_smile:

[EDIT] I should mention that @jag1 wrote of the time he spent 2 weeks in summer in Central America hiking daily in the jungle with his insulin and his pocket, and that @Eric made an experiment baking insulin in a hot car – both of them showed that their insulin still worked. These experiments show that carrying insulin in hot weather, outside of manufacturer-specified temperatures, will not necessarily spoil it. So I am not assuming that it is always necessary to keep insulin cool in this weather – but I think it guarantees it will remain in good condition.

6 Likes