My family went tent camping for three days and two nights earlier this week, and we did it with Kay in cloth diapers. This isn’t the first time we’ve gone camping with a little one in diapers, though the last occasion was two years ago and things were easier simply because there was only one kid in the mix. But if you’ve ever wondered whether taking your cloth diapers camping with you is doable, here’s how I did it.
What You’ll Need
- 2 large wet bags, one zippered (or one zippered wet bag and one garbage bag)
- Large wipeable change pad
- Diapers and wipes
- Don’t forget to pack liners or any rash creams you might need
- If you use wipe solution, wet your wipes before heading out and store them in a smaller zippered wet bag or an empty disposable wipe container
Set Up Your Changing Station
Pack your clean diapers in a wet bag, garbage bag, or any other bag large enough to carry the diapers you’ll need for your trip, plus a few extra. Depending on the age and toileting habits of your baby, this could be anywhere from 6-12 diapers per day. You know your baby best. Calculate your daily average multiplied by the number of days you’ll be away, then add a few extra just in case. For this trip I took 16 pocket diapers plus 4 fitted diapers and 2 covers for overnights.
I brought reusable fleece liners to help with poop removal – there are no diaper sprayers in the great outdoors! We had outhouses at our campsite so that’s where the poop went. I also packed my largest changing pad. If you don’t have a table, a larger pad will keep your baby clean when doing changes on the ground and protect your tent if doing changes in there. If you’re camping in an RV or trailer, then this part is much easier.
We were lucky enough to have a couple of hooks already set up in the tree near our picnic table. That made it a no brainer to hang the dirty diaper wet bag there and set up the changing station underneath. Alternatively, you can hang the bag off your vehicle’s side view mirror or wherever makes the most sense in your situation. The key is to keep the dirty diapers in a high quality wet bag with a good zipper. For this trip I used my Funky Fluff hanging diaper pail and even after three very hot days, there was no dirty diaper smell in the car on the ride home.
The biggest issue I have when camping with cloth diapers is that they take up more room than disposables. With a family of four and all our camping gear, space is at a premium in the car, but with some creative packing it was totally doable.
But what if you’re camping for more than two or three days? First of all, you are clearly a braver woman than me, but in that situation, you can either pack more diapers (if you have them) or take along a simple DIY camp style washer or a MobileWasher. Flats and covers are probably a better option in this situation as they take up less space, wash up easier, and dry faster on a clothesline. Make sure to pick a biodegradable detergent that’s phosphate-free and safe for local waterways.
Have you ever gone camping with cloth diapers?
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