Elizabeth, it's great to read that you have jumped into the stream of things so fast and efficiently!
The two guys up above have stolen my welcome jokes - someone called it the club nobody wants to join:-)
We live in WI and deal with cold weather all the time - although not as bad as you. As you probably know, insulin can live at moderate temperature for at least 28 days - but really a lot longer, so, if you need to, you can make it last once it is outside the fridge. The official range is 59F -86F. it is reasonably easy to keep it cooler than 86F in hot, dry climate by using a special frio cooling bag. However, if it freezes once it is dead.
Keeping it in your parka is quite fine, but you must be careful to check that the temperature in that pocket won't go over 86F (or below 59F). It is simple to do: check it with a min-max thermometer in different circumstances.
I suppose that it might be possible to also use a well insulated cooler starting at room temperature, with a bunch of ice packs at room temperature as well, to keep more insulin in as a reserve. I would also use a min-max thermometer to check the range of action as well.
Like @Terry4, I don't trust refrigerators I don't know:-) What I do is:
- I lower the temperature setting to lowest
- I put insulin on a highish shelf, far away from where the cold air arrives from the freezer, right at the front of the shelf, towards the hinges of the fridge.
- I block the fridge door very slightly ajar
In the past, we have accidentally broken insulin cartridges, so be 100% sure to bring several spares.
For a glucose testing device, I recommend the FastClix: the lancets are fitted inside a round head, and you can keep on reusing them forever if you want (in case you are stuck somewhere).
If you run out of insulin, it is not as bad as if you run out of sugar and get low. So be darn sure to have lots and lots of sugar stashed everywhere with you. If you do run out of insulin, it is not the end of the world. Between a good bit of exercise and a moderate low carb diet, with 6-8 small carb snacks per day, you should not run into serious trouble for quite some time.
EDIT: the "good bit of exercise" will only lower your BG if you are still making some insulin. Once you totally stop making insulin, it won't help at all. In fact, if you have high BG and moderate to high ketones in bloodstream you would NOT want to do any strenuous exercise:-)
I have heard that there are diabetes educators that are available for long distance training. This may be an option for you? Also, I would suggest three books that are my favorites: Think like a Pancreas, Pumping Insulin, and Sugar Surfing.
I really like your profile picture:-) If you want to chat about low temperature issues with insulin, feel free to PM me and we can talk. I look forward to your posts!