Thursday, January 3, 2013

Moding Gloves to do Blood sugar Tests in Frigid Temps

Using the modified glove to do a bloodtest while on a ski tour. Orange thing is 1-Liter Ultralight Dry Sack I use to keep my meter clipped to my avalanche beacon harness so it stays warm and dry inside of my clothes. 

Any diabetic skier or mountaineer will tell you that checking ones blood sugar in frigid windy conditions is painful. It means exposing an ungloved hand long enough to fiddle with the tiny test strips and, prick a finger and milk enough blood out of the frozen digit to satisfy the meter.

After putting up with this for years I came up with a simple solution that works so well I wish I had thought of it ages ago.

I cut a short section out of one of the seams on the middle fingers of a pair of Outdoor Research PL 100 Gloves and stitched either end of the slit to stop it from spreading further. I can now pull just one finger out, use it to pull out a test strip, prick it and do a blood test. (I choose the middle finger because I don't like doing blood tests on the sensitive index finger and because the middle finger seems easier to warm back in mittens as it is surrounded by other fingers.)

Supplies: Glove, Tiny Scissors, Thread, Sewing Kit
Stitching the ends of the slit with the glove inside out. 
On a recent ski tour in temps far below freezing I used these gloves in combination with a pair of modular Black Diamond Mercury Mitts and was able to keep my hands comfortably warm the whole time despite frequent testing. I wore the modified gloves alone when I was warm from exertion or needed to play with bindings or other gear. When I needed more protection from wind or snow I used the gortex shell of the mitts directly over the moded gloves and at the lunch stop I used the poofy lobster claw liner of the mitts over them while eating which provided enough warmth to dry them out a bit.

The lip of the seem seal the slot fairly well but powder snow can work its way in. A smal flexible magnetic closure system would be ideal but since the gloves aren't waterproof to begin with I am happy just using them with shells.

I plan on doing the same mod to a second pair of fleeces gloves so I have a dry spare and pair of Outdoor Research Gripper Gloves that are made from Windstopper fabric. I find the Windstoper gloves too sweaty for use while traveling up hill but hope they will be the perfect glove for use at windy stops or in camp.

Taking a quick stop from trail breaking through powder to do a blood test.


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WOW! Very creative, Our team of have planned to go on a camping next week so I'll share this blog in my group. I will definitely try this to make.

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