Keeping medications cool... :-)

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by WeRJuliIan, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    I'm an insulin-using diabetic, and I have to shoot up 5 times a day, so when we camp, I have to haul a supply of insulin "pens" with me.

    Now, insulin, along with probably quite a few other medications, will degrade if it gets hot ("room temperature" is ok, but the maximum storage temperature is 86F, according to the manufacturers and the FDA)

    So I usually take along one of those carrying cases with a slot for a frozen gel-pack, but that has to go back in the freezer every night and, honestly, after a few hours in the sun, I'm not convinced it's doing its job.

    I was wondering if anyone has any experience of using something like the solid state Peltier coolers which will run on 5V from a USB port... (cold beer from your laptop...) My thought was to add a battery and a small solar charger... after all, sunlight is heating it up, why not use it to power the cooling?

    The aim is to have something no bigger than my current gel-pack case, which can stay cool during a day in the sun, away from fridges and power sources..
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    You are in Florida so a Peltier cooler might find it a challenge. I camp with a large cooler. I put 8-10 gallon jugs frozen to -20F in it. Beer and everything else last 6 days easy. I know you want small but with small comes less mass and shorter times.
     
  3. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    If your looking at those little 5v chips, they will get cold on one side and hot on the other. If you don't use a heat sink and a fan on the hot side, the cold side will slowly heat up.
     
  4. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

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    When my Grandmother was alive, she used a product very similar to THIS

    It seemed to work for her 'all day shop till ya drop days', and she'd even leave it in the car in between stores. This was in Orlando, FL, so you know the heat was ever present!

    [:D]
     
  5. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Why not use a cooler, my igloo worked great for the last trip. I just got back from 4 hot days in the 100 deg. and still had ice in frozen bottles, in fact they were still 1/2 full of ice. I took reflectix and made a cover for the cooler and bungeed it over the cover so it would not blow off or get winded off, we had 2 3liter bottles of frozen water, 2 2 liters bottles of frozen tea. Of course the tea was drank but the 2 bottles of water still 1/2 frozen when we got home..
     
  6. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    If I'm at the campsite, my meds stay in the fridge... I'm looking for something that I toss in the car or a backpack if we go off adventuring for a day or longer.
     
  7. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    We use a quality stainless steel thermal bottle (Thermos) with a couple ice cubes inside. Most people use them for hot coffee but they work just as well to keep things cold. It lasts all day.
     
  8. BarbaraFaith

    BarbaraFaith New Member

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    The newer insulins do not have to be kept cold once they are opened. They are ok for 28 days once opened, and should be discarded thereafter. However, in hot weather, when camping, I will put mine in the 3 way fridge of the PUP or in the outside cooler. Unopened insulins should be kept cold.
     
  9. scubagirl

    scubagirl New Member

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  10. rocksncactus

    rocksncactus Member

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    Wow, WeRJulIan, that FRIO pack sounds like just the thing! Looks like it's made from the same thing that's in those cooling bandanna/neckerchiefs that one can buy. The little gel beads swell up with the water and v-e-r-y- slowly release it. It's the same as what's in the soil supplements one can buy at the garden center that help you be able to water plants less often.

    Good luck!
     
  11. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    ... and, guess what i got for Christmas ? :)

    I shall be experimenting with my new Frio, and I'll let you know how it works out.
     
  12. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Well, I said I'd report back... I never said when..

    The FRIO results were disappointing.. I did some tests with a temperature probe inside the pack, and there did't seem to be much cooling effect at all. The pre-wetting and setup is complicated, and the instructions unclear.

    On the whole, I think I'm better off with my ice-pack bag
     
  13. chuckearnhardt

    chuckearnhardt Member

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    Someone beat me to it, but I can confirm the usefulness of the FRIO packs. I went on a 3 week trip this past summer out west, and was worried about my insulin. The FRIO packs kept the insulin around 70 all day long (I think they easily could've gone 2, but are easy to "recharge"). I highly recommend them.
     
  14. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Given the difference between your experiences, it sounds as though the FRIO relies on evaporative cooling. Hence the difference in cooling between "the west", where it tends to be arid, and Florida, where it does not.
    One of our friends now has an Epi-pen, and I know she wondered how to keep it cool. It's been a while since she was prescribed it, I'm not sure how she's keeping it cool these days or if she just depends on insulation in her fanny pack or purse. (She lives in AZ, so heat is definitely an issue at times.)
     
  15. Genie2010

    Genie2010 Active Member

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    .

    You might want to recommend your friend speak to her prescriber-Epipens do not need to be refrigerated. They should be kept between about 60 and 90 degrees F (15-30 C)
     
  16. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @Genie2010 She does know they don't need to be refrigerated. However, when the temperatures are over 100, it is possible for things in packs, purses, etc. to exceed 90. Buried deep in a day pack is pretty safe, but in a fanny pack, etc. things can heat up.
     

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