Cloth diapering on a camping trip… I know what you’re thinking. Madness! Well no, actually, it’s not. The idea might seem a bit scary, but it is 100% possible with a bit of preparation. If you’re wanting to take reusable diapers camping there are two questions you need to ask yourself.
How long are you going to be away for? And what facilities will there be?
How long your trip is will determine if you need to wash your diapers, reusable diapers shouldn’t really sit around waiting to be washed for more than 3 days – I’ve heard some horror stories about mould and mildew growing on dirty diapers. If you are only going for a couple of nights, you can get away with just dry pailing and then just washing once you’re home.
Camping seems to create a lot of laundry anyway, so what’s another load? If you will be camping for longer than 3 days, you will need to do a wash. Which brings us to the second question.
Some campsites will have laundering facilities if this is the case you just need to remember to bring your washing powder and some change and you can wash and dry as you would at home. Others will not have washing and drying facilities, but might still have clean running water, all this means is you need to handwash your diapers. For this, you will need your washing powder, a large bucket, a plunger and rubber gloves. You’ll need to scrape the poo off your diaper/liner into the toilet, then presoak them for 30 minutes (laminated items only for 10 minutes) in warm water with a pinch of detergent. You then need to remove diapers and refill bucket with cold water, detergent and diapers, now you will need to plunge at least 50 times, let the diapers sit in the water for around 30 minutes and then plunge again another 20 times. Empty and refill the bucket with cold water, plunge until the soapy water is gone. Now just hang your diapers to dry. If you do not have access to warm water extend your presoak time.
How many diapers should you take and what kind? You probably already have an idea of how many diapers your child goes through in a day, multiply by 3 and add your night diapers. This way you have enough for 3 days or to wash every other day. I personally would pack an extra one or two, (I don’t know about you but when I go on vacation I always pack extra pants) you know just in case… As for what kind of diapers to take, take what you are confident work for you and your child, don’t take a bunch of brand new diapers that you’ve never used before. Prefolds and wraps will take up the least space when packing, but it is easy enough to stuff 20 pocket diapers into a wet/dry hanging bag or if you only have one really big wet/dry bag, do what I did and just take a big laundry sack!
If you plan to dry pail you will need somewhere to store your soiled diapers, a large wet bag, a bucket with a lid or even a bin liner will work for that. You will also want a smaller wetbag for when you’re not at the campsite.
It’s really not so different from cloth diapering when you’re at home, it will just take a bit of planning.