Into the jungle with blood sugar fun


While in Sumatra we booked a two day one night jungle trek into the Gurung Leuser to spot our close relatives the Orangutans.

This was not a deep jungle trek, more of a intro for beginners. Therefore I was not too worried about the amount of diabetes supplies to carry, a full insulin pump and spare infusion set should enough.

After a morning trekking things where not going to plan.

Trekking + high heat = low sugars

I dropped my pump basal rate (background) down to 80% what's common for me when doing long walks, etc but only hours in I was having a hypo. After treatment with a few Glucose Tabs my basal was adjusted to just 0%.

Low sugars!Basel to 0%

Things do not stick well in high humidity

After lunch a new problem appeared, my fresh infusion set from the morning was starting to come lose from all the humidity and sweat. Normally an infusion set would comfortably last 4 days, for backpacking I was expecting high humidity to be an issue with the adhesive on the infusion set and had some Opsite Flexifix Transparent Film with me. This stuff is great and acts like a second skin, I had used it in the UK with my eBay sourced CGM to keep the sensor on for two weeks - unfortunately i have left it back at the guesthouse along with our medical tape, plasters and anything else that would of been helpful!
Note: you have to stay light when trekking and we only had two small bags, also i have not needed to use the Opsite Flexifix Film yet on our 5 month trip - so not crazy leaving this stuff behind!

DIY Repair

That night in our tent I repeatedly poked the lose infusion set knowing i needed it to last at least until lunchtime tomorrow when I would apply the spare one i had. Looking around the tent and engaging my ever resourceful mind I saw Kinga small kit bag that holds whatever a lady may need when out and about and i new she had some large plasters for her heels. After a little cutting a diy patch was applied!

DIY patch not doing so wellNext day knowing what to expect I dropped my basal to 40% from the start and this appeared to work fine for the day.
After a soak in the jungle hot spring (yep, seriously!) my diy patch was not doing so well. The trek back to camp for lunch I had one had on the infusion set to keep it in place.

After a wash in the river and drying off I was pleased to put my spare infusion set on.
Good timing as the afternoon trek we spotted a mother and baby orangutan, dropped all our kit and sprinted direct into the jungle bush climbing and falling into ravines to keep up with mother on the hunt for food.

Lessons learned?

  • Humidity and trekking will drop your blood sugars quickly, drop you basal down to at least 40/50%
  • Take more than one spare infusion set
  • Keep some Opsite Flexifix Transparent Film or medical tape to hand for any diy emergencies, I'm going to put some in my small medical bag


Like this? Email me future posts!


The contents of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Diabetes support team or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.Sorry, have to say something like this!