If I could go a live in a tent for week at a time, I probably would. My husband isn’t going to let me run off and live in the woods anytime soon, as camping is not his jam at all. Still, we do a fare bit of sleeping in tents, even now that we are bring Kai along with us.
Bringing Kai, though, means bringing diapers. So many people scoffed when I said we weren’t bringing any disposables with us. Why make it harder on yourself? Why bother with cloth? the refrain went.
Why? Well, I don’t see any reason to put Kai in disposables any other time, why should camping be so different. Especially if we are camping on a rustic site, and have to pack our trash out anyway. Even if I was backpacking with Kai and every gram counted, I’d still bring cloth (and probably hand wash diapers along the way).
So what cloth diapers do we use while camping? Covers and flats. I use kite fold to keep the covers clean for day time diapers, and then padfold for super absorbency at night. I also use flats because they take up the least amount of space, which isn’t a huge deal when car camping, nut still makes things a bit easier. This is one occasion where I pull out the PUL covers, and leave the wool covers at home. Mostly because I love my wool covers and I don’t have a beater collection as of yet.
When you are camping, it’s not just the inside of the diaper that gets dirty, especially since Kai would choose to run around in just a diaper if I let her. No, the outside of the diaper is liable to be covered in dirt, mud, or sand, and who know what else. The ability to wipe clean is a boon when it comes to camping.
For our three day, two night camping trip I brought:
- Eight Thirsties Dou Wrap Covers size 2
- 10 Sweet Iris Stretchy Bamboo Snug Bug Flats
- 6 DIY Stretchy Bamboo Flats
- 14 DIY Hemp Stretchy Flats
- 3 Medium Wet Bags
- 1 Large Wetbag
Why so may wet bags? Here’s my system. I put the first days worth of dirty diapers in a medium wetbag, and then put that wet bag in the large wet bag, the second day goes in the second medium wetbag, which then goes in the large wetbag, and the third day’s just go on top of the large wetbag. The third medium wetbag is for hiking or any other time we’ll be away from the tent. So far I’ve found this to be the best method to keep the smell down, but if you’ve got a better suggestion, please let me know in the comments!
The last reason that flats are my diaper of choice when camping is that if I really need to, I can hand wash and dry them. We haven’t needed to, but I did the Handwash Flats Challenge last year, so I know I can easily enough. I’m hoping to do week long trips with Grandma Nona this summer, as Grandma is a hardcore camper and ex-Girl Scout leader who took our Daisy troop camping in what turned out to be a pretty huge snow storm. These week long trips will require being able to wash diapers on site. All you need is a 5 gallon bucket with lid, a plunger, clothesline and clothespins. You use your regular detergent, some arm power and viola, you end up with some of the cleanest diapers you can get.
I know most of you are now looking at me like I’m crazy, but if you already love flats, you might just consider handwashing them while camping. Either way, using cloth while camping is completely do able and not all that much more complicated than using cloth at home.
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