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Cloth Diapering and Camping

Hello and welcome to my first blog post! My name is Ashley and my husband and I have two daughters. I started my cloth diaper journey when my oldest was 18 months old (now 4 years old) and my youngest has been cloth diapered since she was a week or so old (now age 2). We absolutely love the outdoors; hiking, biking, and of course camping! We generally take 4-6 camping trips every year and have even lived in our camper temporarily while moving cross country (cloth diapering the entire time). Camping has become a necessity for us, even more, this year with the pandemic looming over us. Staying home in order to practice social distancing can become depressing pretty quickly, especially with kids, so camping has become even more important for us to get out with our girls and have some quality family time.

I’ll admit, when we first started our cloth diapering journey 3 years ago I was skeptical, but I quickly found a routine that worked well for us. Once we purchased our first travel trailer camper I became nervous about cloth diapering all over again so we chose to use disposables for the first few camping trips. Once we had a handle on using our camper and were comfortable with how everything worked we decided to give cloth diapering while camping a try. I was nervous but eager to see if we could make it work. My worry was that I had just mastered how to deal with poop at home, what was I going to do in the camper without my trusty diaper sprayer?

I started to devise a plan to deal with the dreaded poopy diapers while camping. We have a shower in the camper, I could spray the poop into a pail and then dump it in the toilet. Or, I could spray the poop directly into the toilet if the detachable shower head reaches. We also have an outdoor shower sprayer that could work too. I’d also have to try some disposable liners My planning lessened my worries and I started to get excited about testing the different options I had come up with.

My first piece of advice is to take a deep breath; you’ve got this! What works for us might not work for you or your resources may be different. Planning, as well as trial and error, were key components in our success of cloth diapering while camping.

Here’s what I pack for a 4-day/3-night camping trip for one child:

  • 24 single stuffed pocket diapers for daytime
  • 4 Nighttime double stuffed AI2
  • 1 Large hanging wet bag
  • 2 medium wet bags
  • Cloth wipes and a spray bottle to moisten them
  • Large changing pad
  • Optional items: fleece or disposable liners and rash creams

Keeping all of our cloth diapers and accessories together is very important so nothing goes astray when it’s time for a diaper change! To store the clean diapers, I use a large Planet Wise Packing Cube. The wipes, wet bags, spray bottle, and any other extras get packed into our SFL custom extended pod. My advice is to take along as many diapers as your child would normally use each day you will be gone, plus two extra per day. You don’t want to run out! I bring 1-2 cloth wipes per diaper change.

I use the large hanging wet bag to store the majority of the dirty diapers. The 2 medium wet bags are used as follows: the first goes in the diaper bag for when we do any side trips. The second medium wet bag is for any diapers that might need extra attention once we get home. That way, I don’t have to sort through the large wet bag to find them. Wet Bags and more can be found here

How I handle the dirty diapers…

Daytime wet diapers are super easy, I take the insert out of the pocket and toss them both right into the large hanging wet bag. Now for what you’ve been waiting for, how I handle the dreaded poopy diapers… As I mentioned before, I had a few ideas as to how I would tackle these. I found that using our detachable shower head as a sprayer was the easiest and most effective option. Thankfully the shower head reaches our toilet so I spray the poop off into the toilet and then hang the diaper outside to dry off before I put it into the wet bag. In addition, I also rinse out nighttime diapers in the shower and let those dry outside as well before I toss them into the large wet bag. Sometimes I will bring an octopus hanger to hang diapers out to dry on but I usually just drape them over the ladder on the back of our camper or lay them on the bumper. I also want to mention that there are a few options for liners (fleece, disposable, etc.) that help to remove poop more easily vs. spraying them out but, in my experience, I don’t find them as a necessity. Once we get back home from our camping trip, its diaper laundry as usual!

I will be the first to admit that I was intimidated about using cloth diapers while camping but I’ve found that cloth diapering while camping is immensely satisfying and much easier than I expected it to be. Here we are, two years later, and still loving our cloth diapering adventure while enjoying the great outdoors!

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