Top Festival Tips by Poppy Johnson
With Glastonbury finished and the sun creeping in I think it is definitely time to announce “festival season”! But what steps should diabetic take to be able to safely enjoy this summer’s events?
As an avid attendee and lover of festivals here are my simple tips to having a healthy and happy time as a diabetic festival-goer.
1. Be prepared!
Of course you’ll have planned your camping gear and a range of outfits to suit all weathers, but you need to prepare for almost every medical situation as well.
Make sure you have plenty of testing strips, lancets and all your other diabetes equipment with you. Batteries are also important. If your pump/BG meter needs them make sure you have spares. Consider your phone battery life too as you’ll need to contact your friends if you get split up and maybe let the people back home know how you’re getting on!
The festival may only be 3 days long but you never know what can happen when you’re away from home and having loads of fun so I always find it’s better to be extra prepared. Plus, if you’re a young person, it’ll show your parents that you can sensibly and effectively manage your diabetes and help put their minds at rest while you’re away.
2. Be safe!
It may seem obvious but as a diabetic you should try be as safe as you can to avoid becoming unwell.
When you arrive at the festival find out where the first aid tents are. There should be some throughout the campsite areas and more within the arena where the stages and music tents are. If you are having problems –from feeling unwell to blisters from your wellies – the medical teams will always be there to help you out.
As always, be careful around alcohol and drugs. By all means enjoy yourself with a drink if you’re over 18 but stay responsible and re-hydrate with plenty of water (especially is you’re lucky enough to have hot weather!). Watch out for drugs and be aware of your food and drink just in case. Similarly, make sure your insulin supply is in a cool, dry and safe place to avoid anyone mistaking it for anything and them becoming very unsafe and unwell.
It’s also handy to have sugary snacks with you in case of hypos as you may be far away from your tent and friends with no money to buy anything. You will probably be searched as you enter the arena so explain to the marshals and show them your medical identity card/jewellery – a VERY important part of your festival ensemble!
And of course make sure you’re testing your blood regularly. Al the aspects of a festival can make a different to your BG reading – late nights and little sleep, irregular and less healthy meals, alcohol (if you’re 18+) and lots of walking and dancing around – so you’ve got to keep checking and treat yourself for highs and lows.
It may seem annoying if you’re the only one doing it but your friends wont mind you checking, it’ll become part of their routine as much as it is yours!
3. Have fun!
Festivals are definitely all about hearing good music, meeting new people and having loads of fun. If you are prepared and stay safe, there’s no reason for you to not enjoy yourself. There’s always loads to do alongside the music so get stuck in wherever you can.
From my own past experiences festivals will provide some of your best memories so don’t let your diabetes make you miss out!