What supplies do you carry and how to you keep them organized?


You guys have inspired me to rethink how I’ve been doing this. I had been using one small zipper case with a couple spare pods and related supplies hidden away in my purse, plus another zipper pouch with my pdm, testing stuff, fruit snacks, etc. It was all taking up too much space, and digging through all that was getting on my nerves. I’m not a big purse/bag kinda gal (although you ladies have the cutest backpacks! I love backpacks for travel and airports and adventures, just can’t do it for every day!)

New plan! Leave a couple pods and a spare insulin pen at work, but stop carrying them all the time. If I know I’m going to be gone all day somewhere other than work, I can stuff one in my bag as backup. Also, purse shopping! Just because. :slight_smile:

I’ve had an unopened insulin pen in my purse “just in case” since like July. I know you guys have used frozen and cooked and expired and whatever else without trouble, but, at some point a pen’s gotta get tired of being carried around with me, right? How long do you think I can go with it before I should swap it out?

If I wanted to get syringes to have a couple on hand to get the insulin out of a pod if needed, what would I be asking for at the pharmacy? I’ve only used pens and Omnipod and have no clue about the world of syringes.


I’ve definitely used insulin pens beyond 40 days, carrying them. I do generally try to keep them out of direct sunlight.


If it has not been exposed too much to direct sun in high temperature environment (100 degree weather) I feel it is good as new.

I do have a suggestion though. What we do is that we always carry a pen with us, with a cartridge in it. When it is time to fill the pump’s pod, we fill it from the cartridge. If we open a new cartridge, we fill the pod then load the pen with it.

This way, we always have fresh insulin in the pen.

As a note, you have to remember to prime the pen as soon as you load it with a half empty cartridge, or to reprime it after pulling some insulin out of the pen. It takes a couple of minutes to do that since it will take 150 to 200 units.


As of 2016, only 2 states prohibited buying syringes with no prescription. All of the other states either had laws specifically allowing it, or did not have laws either prohibiting it or allowing it (which means it would be allowed).

The only states that were a problem were Tennessee and Delaware

Here is a CDC link.

All of that being said, unless you live in one those 2 states, you can get them easily from Amazon with no prescription, and shipped directly to you without a problem.

I highly recommend you get the ones with 1/2 unit markings. I mean highly recommend in the strongest of all possible recommendations I can give!

They may seem expensive, but if you are not using them for everyday like for MDI, getting them like this is not too bad. $43 for 100, and they will last you a long time.

Get those :arrow_up: syringes, they are great!

If you have never used a syringe, you need to know that you have to expel the air out of the syringe before you draw up your dose.

  1. Draw insulin into the syringe
  2. Squirt it back into the vial quickly to expel the air
  3. And then draw your dose.

We should post something on this here!


In one backpack?? That’s impressive! The most I’ve done is three meals plus snacks.


I’ve not injected with syringes, but I fill the pods from a vial with the little syringes that come with them. Same concept, right?


And endocrinologist. In case there’s a need for emergency blood work.

Actually, I lie. I do carry food for everyone (with the exception of husband—he just gets our crossed fingers), but I do not do it all in one backpack. I carry my backpack, I carry our “food bag”, AND I carry my “extra” bag… which fits my blood sugar logs, testers, pens, Libre reader, sugar tabs, phone… which makes me wonder what I keep in my “diabetes bag” because it’s not those things.

So I envisioned us walking down the street side by side, but you’d probably be walking a lot faster than me…because I wouldn’t be able to keep up and because you’d be trying to get away. :smiley:


This is what I do, too. Except I have two cartridges of additional insulin I keep in my backpack. So when I need to fill my pump, I take the insulin cardrige from the pen, replace it with one of the extra cartridges from my bag, and then replace that extra cartridge with the new one from my fridge.

But I carry this much insulin (which isn’t really that much, three cartridges is equivilent to one vial) only becasue I live in an earthquake zone, in a city with nine major bridges, and rely on public transit. So if an earthquake happens in the middle of the day, it’s highly likely I’ll be stranded from home for a while. I do NOT want to be worrying about access to insulin after a major earthquake. (I only carry one infusion set and one pump cartridge, but those things can be reused in an emergency.)


Wow, I hate carrying multiple bags! So annoying to deal with while walking or on the bus. (But maybe partly because I use a white cane, so I need one hand free to use that, which limits my carrying ability.) It’s why I switched over to a backpack. I tried to only carry “professional” type bags before, but would then end up also bringing a food bag and assistive technology +/- laptop in a laptop bag, and one day a colleage was like, “Why are you carrying so much stuff? You should just get a backpack!” So I did. :slight_smile:

However, my one backpack is still way too heavy. My dad carried it for me one day after I had a procedure done at the hospital and he was like, “Whoa, this is as heavy as the backpack I hike and camp with!” So I am constantly going through it finding the optional things that I can remove, but usually I don’t find much in there that’s optional…so it remains heavy.


Oh, yeah. Duh on my part! :man_facepalming: Of course you know about it from filling pods!

Same thing.

I was thinking of someone who only used pens and never used syringes. Yes, sorry! :grinning:


Mine is, too, and I field many, many unsolicited remarks from my own mom about its weight and necessity. Can’t have an ache in my body without having to get the lecture. It would be easier to stop carrying it, but then she’d win, and there’s nothing in there I’m leaving home without. But I can still look at everyone else’s pictures in here and dream. :grin:


I travel light, in life in general. I take glucose tabs with me wherever I go, even if I’m just walking to the store where I can buy fast carbs, cuz you never know.

When I was on MDI, I didn’t take a pen if I was going out for less than three or four hours and/or didn’t expect to eat. And if I did end up eating, I lived with going high for a few hours, and corrected as soon as I got home. In MDI days, I didn’t even carry swabs.

I didn’t use to carry my PDM everywhere until I recently had my first continual pod failure alarm. Now it’s with me even on short trips. If I’m going out to eat I also take one or two test strips in a small, flat pill container, and either my regular lancet or one of those individual ones like this. They fit neatly in a pants or jacket pocket with no lumps. (I hate lumps.) If I’m going out to eat relatively nearby, however, I test at home first and don’t carry any testing stuff with me.

I don’t use any kind of kit except when I’m travelling, and then I stuff everything into a very simple Dopp kit. Otherwise, except for my Dexcom, which lives in a front pocket, everything goes in a jacket/coat pocket, or in a shopping bag, or in a shoulder bag.


No worries. I’m new at this so more info is always better than less with me :slight_smile:


I, too, like to travel light, except I truly enjoy eating. One never knows if I’m going to have an encounter with pizza, or chocolate cake, or some other savory treat. So, I’m always prepared with insulin and meter and test strips and one pack of smarties, at the very least.


A month or so ago I treated myself to a Myabetic “Clemens Diabetes Compact Wallet” in gold (my absolute favorite color). Strips, lancing device, and meter go in their designated compartments. The larger zipper pocket holds lancets, a couple of pump batteries, and meter control solution (which I would lose if it was anywhere else). The little trash pouch of course holds hundreds of used test strips. I put alcohol swabs in one of the exterior pockets. I keep trying to think of stuff to stash in the “wallet” slots since I really never use them, but I’m not sure what could go in there really. Sugar packets maybe, as a backup low treatment? I dunno haha. I’m a big fan of this meter case though!

I typically carry this random gold pill container thingy filled with skittles and/or fruit snacks for lows.

In my backpack (for when I’m on campus) or some of my larger purses I also carry a site change.



I keep waffling, looking at the sizes of the maxpedition cases. The insulin pens are what makes it more challenging to find the perfect case-they are 6" or 6.5"long. I want one big enough, but not too big, etc etc… I’ll let you know if I pull the trigger


Check out the ReliOn Micro BG meter case. It works great for pens!

Oops, it looks like you already commented on that thread. Never mind. Sorry!


I’ve been working on carrying less diabetes stuff. Here’s where I’m at now:

Left front pants pocket:

  • phone (doubles as CGM receiver)
  • AirPods

Right front pants pocket:

  • keys (1 car fob, one house key, 1 work key — I re-keyed the locks in my house so I don’t have to carry multiple keys)
  • super slim wallet (All-Ett nylon sport wallet)

Right front pants change pocket (jeans or Scott E Vest hidden cargo pants):

  • insulin pump

Left rear pocket:

  • Two Tabs2Go slim flat-pack glucose tab containers (for a total of 8 tabs)

Jacket pocket: (I always have my light jacket with me since I live in cold San Francisco — when I go somewhere warm I bring the jacket but leave it in the car or the place I’m visiting, or if I really need the stuff , I carry the jacket with me)

  • True Metrix Go super compact meter + strip vial
  • one or two granola bars

That’s it. If my pump stops working I’ll just go home. If my blood sugar is high for a few hours it won’t kill me. (Though the pump has only stopped working twice in 15 years.)

I don’t leave the house without at least 15 hours of insulin in the pump so I never worry about running out of insulin.

I use my Dexcom for BG readings so my meter is just for calibrations and those occasional times when the Dexcom stops working for a few hours.

I do go out with a backpack when I’m taking the kids on a long day somewhere, but that’s just to carry a bunch of kid snacks so they don’t ask for my emergency granola bars :slight_smile:


I’m with @Nickyghaleb, I pack for the apocalypse like the good boy scout that I never was. I also have stashes at work in aze the apocalypse pack runs short. @Nickyghaleb… Love the patch! I have a button on the front pocket of my pack that says “type 1 diabetic - in case of emergency, glucagon inside”



That is very smart… so smart. I have my patch, but I picture people just stabbing me with insulin pens without testing… I don’t know why I would assume some random person on the street would know how to handle my blood sugar when I often don’t even know how to handle my blood sugar. :smiley:

You just made my feel good about my bag again. Thank you. I went to Target tonight and even looked at little backpacks and tried to imagine putting it all in there, but my bag doubles as a weapon or as body armor, should either ever be needed. Those little bags just don’t have what it takes…