Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Diabetes and Boots Part 1 evaluation

There all sorts of companies that make boots for any situation may it be trail running, creek crossing, weekend warriors, day hikers, or even climbing mount everest.  They come in different materials may it be nubuck leather, suade, or patent.  There are cloth materials such as Gore-Tex, nylons, and every texture of plastic and polymers you can think of.


The first thing to do is consider your personal "frame"  size.   May it be you are a skinny active runner or if you are a taller wide frame with knee problems.  You first need to identify your strengths and weaknesses.  A self evaluation is the first thing to do.  You also need to consider your foot size, width, and arch height.  Then last consider any other anomoly you have may it be you are a foot sweater, ingrown toe nails, or bunyuns.


Here is a link that describes ways our feet move:


The next part of getting your hiking boots is what you will be using them for.  You might be a day hiker that just caries a day pack that has your diabetes backup equipment, your glucose, snacks, and water.  Or you might be like me where I like to live on the trail as long as possible and carry 50 plus pounds and have all my food, stove, tent, and clothes on the trail for several days.  Then you might just do work around the house and want the support and protection of a boot.  Just make sure you consider this when looking at boots. 

Hiking boots can last almost forever if you use them as they were meant to be used.  If you are an around town hiker and you wear boots to work all day.  The rubber on the soles will wear out in a good six months to a year if you do this in a solid pair of hiking boots.  There is a different type of boot for working in town and that is a work boot by companies like "Red Wing" or Wolverine."  If you only wear them for hiking then they will last you a good 10 years before the soles are worn out.  This is important to consider since there are what people call the sport boot which looks and feels alot like a hiking boot.  The difference is that the sport boot is more of a modified tennis shoe that has little to no shank in the heel and also is made of lesser rubbers and for the soles.  Sport boots run around 39 dollars to 199 dollars.

Siren Song Mid Sport Gore-Tex Womens Hiking Boot
See from the picture above as a high dollar sport hiker.  This boot is real good for diabetics because of the break in factor.  Since sport hiking boots have little to no shank they break in very easy just like breaking in a pair of tennis shoes compared to a nice pair of dress shoes.

Expedition GTX Brown Nubuc Hiking Boots

See the above picture how it differs from a sport hiking boot.  It is alot on the look of the sole and the materials.  It looks rugged with a hard sole.  This is because it is about 10 times more rugged with also a 3/4 shank in the heel.  These boots are great for the "normal" person and even diabetics.  You just have to break them in propperly which takes a good 6 months to a year or even longer for full shank boots and nubuck leather.  Always consult your Podiatrist if you see any signs of redness on your feet.

Now that you feel overwhelmed about boots just remember this first step is all about evaluation.  Just like you do when you buy a house or car you need to look at all parts about hiking boots and what is your thing when buying a pair.  I will get deeper into boots later down the road.  You will feel much better about your boots if you start here, then get to the store and put on as many pairs of boots you can get your feet on.  And also ask your friends why they bought there boots and what they like and don't like about them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

state parks and diabetes

I went to lake Ray Hubbard with my son this past weekend (5-21-11).  They were having a free fishing day at the park.  So the opportunist I am knew this would be a fun outdoor activity.  We have been attending the fishing derbies for trout in the winter and these clinics in the spring and summer for the past 5 years

We had the weekend off from camping because I had 2 eagle scout board of reviews saturday night.

This was a great time for my son and I, even if he tells me that he is getting a little old for the kid activities at the state parks.  We went to a halloween celebration at a state park last october 2010 and my son was more interested in the young women working the games than the games themselves.

So this got me thinking about the state park system and how great it is for diabetics that want a safe outdoor environment.  Since I am a scoutmaster and we camp regularly at Texas and Oklahoma state parks for a large number of our campouts.  I was thinking how much outdoors diabetics can use them to be safe and have alot of fun.  The empoyees have worked with us in many different ways to make things easier on us.  They have even given us discounts on canoe rentals, free nights of camping, and organized special activities for our troop.

I would give the state park system 5 out of 5 syringes on the diabetes scale for their product they offer, the diversity of the system, and the people that work at the parks.

Next part that puts the state park system over the top is the calendar of events.  In Texas you do not have to posses a fishig license to fish on the banks at a state park.  They offer regular activities for outdoor enthusiasts such as nature hikes, astronomy classes, introduction to camping classes, hiking, biking, and much more.

The fishing day  had classes about how to cast a rod, how to tie a knot, the ecosystem, the local fish in texas, and they offered free bait, free fishing poles, free bottled water, and free hot dogs.  The pond had been pre-stocked with fish so the catching was made easier.  It seemed that about 2/3rds of the kids caught a fish and one boy even caught a trout left over from the winter trout program they offer where residents can trout fish at certain Texas state parks over the winter (they die in the springtime). 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Foot Care in the cold

This past January 2011 we took a trip to Palo Duro Canyon in the panhandle of Texas.  The temperature was around 16 degrees and there was a fire ban on anything that did not have an on and off switch.
I did all of my usual prep by bringing extra batteries, layering my clothes, and bringing lots of extra meds and meters.  The one thing I had to watch was the cold and my electronics.  Since I usually use my Omnipod in the winter this trip I brought it but decided on my Animas IR 1200 because the cold would not allow the meter part of the Pod system to work.  So I knew that I could keep the Animas cold in my layered pants.  I also figured I could use some hand and feet warmers to keep a meter from freezing.

We hiked the 3 mile lighthouse trail and saw the amazing sites.

When it came to sleeping at night I had the great idea of layering my usual Texas winter bag which is a barrel bag I received as a kid but works to about 40 degrees.  I then added my summer bag which is a 50 degree square bag.  The part I got real smart was to tuck a foot warmer in my socks so my feet would stay warm in the night.


Well of course the genius I am, did not read the warning label on the feet warmers which states:  Do not use while sleeping or if you are a diabetic.  When I got home from the trip I had a real nice ulcer on top of one foot where the foot warmer was.  I then proceeded to call my Podiatrist (Which is a scouter as well) and let him know what I did.  He let me know to use from now on a GOOD pair of Merino wool socks and even use a pair of silk liners since I am a diabetic.


The lesson boys and girls is to read all warning labels, consult your physician when camping in extreme climates, and always buy quality shoes and socks.

The trip was good and I would visit Palo Duro canyon again for sure.  We saw lots of bikers, joggers, and walkers on the trail.

Here is a picture of the REI halfdome 2 I spoke about in my earlier post.  This is a great tent with its double doors on each side and the vestibule that extends out on each side.  The tent is a little weighty at 5lbs 8oz.  Mine is the older version where the two poles are separate and there are clips to connect them at the top.  I would call this a good Texas cold weather, mild weather, and spring tent.  I switch to my Big Agnes seedhouse SL2 tent for the summer.  But back to the halfdome, I don't use this in warm and summer weather because there is about 0 breeze that gets in and I am an "old school" camper where I always have my fly on the tent no matter what the sky says.  A scout friend picked it up from a camper on Craigslist that he purchased with a backpack and shorty pad.  He sold me the tent at 35 bucks which was a good deal.  This tent is also good for us that are experienced hikers and are skilled at backpacking with a cot.  I can slide my cot in the doors and have enough room for my diabetes supplies to test myself during the night and the morning.  So on a Diabetic camper scale I give the REI halfdome a 4 syringes out of 5.

omnipod fun

I switched to the omnipod last January 2011 and was amazed by the simplicity of use and my control was better.  The issues started in the spring when the weather changed.  I found the fun of sweating my pod off once a day because of sweat.  The pods run me 20 bucks each so this was getting expensive .  My wife had the great idea for me to use my omnipod in the winter and switch back to my traditional wired Animas IR 1200 pump in the summer.  This has been working out great.  Each pump has it advantages and disadvantages. 

So last weekend I was taking my boy scout troop on a 13 mile backpacking trip and I really wanted to use my Omnipod since it is still technically spring still and the weather was to be cool. 

I use the REI halfdome to sleep in and Friday night as I was getting ready for bed, and another one of those negatives for the pod came up.  The halfdome tent is hard for anyone over four feet tall to get in and out of with ease.  As I called it a night around midnight I climed into my tent only to tear my pod right off of my arm.  So I spent the next half hour changing my pod and thinking of another 20 bucks down the drain.  Also was thinking how I only brought 4 pods to last the weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am a huge fan of the De Tomaso Pantera.  Also known as a Ford Pantera, or just the Pantera. 

Welcome Everyone

Hello everyone, I am Dave Hennesey.  I have had diabetes since I was 13 and like the 80% of you out there have read all sorts of information on diabetes.  After reading all these great ideas I thought to start my own blog because I never read about people that are the walmart types with type 1 diabetes or ones that camped alot.  So if you are a diabetic that like myself have felt left in the dark because you enjoy regular food and you have a normal job (I am an accountant), and like camping and outdoors this is the blog for you.