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Camping with Cloth Diapers: Dos & Don’ts

This post is part of our guest blogger series. Learn more about the author, Monica Miller a.k.a. Maman on the Trail below.

Have you shied away from taking cloth diapers camping with you? Are you wondering if cloth diapering in the backcountry is a possibility? I am here today to tell you that IT IS POSSIBLE and WE’VE DONE IT!

I don’t think I tell you often enough, but I’m not an expert. At anything really. I’m simply someone who likes to try new things and tell others about it. I bake on occasion and share some recipes. I hike a lot and share some tips. And now I’ve gone camping with cloth diapers and want to share my experience. So, be warned that this “advice” comes from just one 2-night stay in the backcountry at our local provincial park. I’ll have more to tell after the next trip, and the trip after that, and then one day I might call myself an expert, who knows!

I wrote a little narrative post about Huckleberry’s first camping trip, if you’re interested in those details, but if you’re just here for the cloth diapering dos and don’ts, read on!

When camping with cloth diapers…

Do:

  • Track how many times you change your baby’s diaper in a day for at least 3 days leading up to the trip (this will help you know how many to pack)

  • Go with AI2s (covers + inserts) instead of AIOs or pockets as they take up less space and the covers can be used more than once
  • Bring an extra wet bag – we packed 3: one for clean diapers, one for dirty diapers at the site, and one for dirty diapers on our day hikes (you won’t want to bring all of your dirty diapers on a day hike)
  • Pack dry cloth wipes and an all-in-one wipe solution like Les produits de MaYa ointment
  • Grab some disposable liners, then you can ditch the doo-doo in the privy
  • Bring a thin, packable change pad
  • Set up a changing station with everything you need in one accessible location – we just used the end of the picnic table and have everything in one little backpack on the bench there
  • Bring a diaper change into the tent with you so you don’t have to dig around in the middle of the night in case Babe springs a leak
  • String up a clothesline to hang the used covers to air out before you use them again – we used a shoelace and bread clips

Don’t:

  • Pack everything separately – we quickly realized it made way more sense to pack everything in “diaper change bundles” with an insert, liner and wipe stacked together
  • Rely on pre-moistened wipes – we had some packed for big messes but the Ziploc bag didn’t seal properly and they dried out quite a bit, so bringing a few extra cloth wipes to pack with your solution is a better idea
  • Bring more than you need – obviously an extra insert or two is a great idea, but I packed an extra insert or two for each day (i.e. 6 extras) and we didn’t end up needing to change Huckleberry’s diaper as often as we do at home, so we had probably a dozen unused diapers by the end
  • Just throw your wipe solution loose in a bag if it can open itself easily – that is not a fun mess to clean up, in fact next time we will probably pack a smaller amount of Les produits de MaYa ointment in a small travel bottle like this *GoToob from Amazon.com

The next time that we go camping with cloth diapers, we will repeat our dos, avoid our don’ts and try a few new things like wool diaper covers and flats.

Have you gone camping with cloth diapers? What would you add to my list of dos and don’ts?

Monica is an avid hiker and camper and lover of the outdoors. On her blog, Maman on the Trail, you’ll find anecdotes of everyday life on and off the trails; tips and tricks for getting outdoors with little ones; reviews of products she loves; recipes, and so much more! You can also find her on Instagram here.

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