Monday, July 6, 2015

Camping While Cloth Diapering

When parents consider the pros and cons of cloth diapering, they go through different scenarios where they envision it being difficult – typically travel. It’s a break from the routine, might be difficult to find a suitable place to wash the diapers, and then there’s also the transportation issue. Sure, it’s easy to temporarily switch to ‘sposies for a short period of time, but cloth diapering is totally versatile and not difficult to accomplish outside of the home.  
We exclusively cloth diaper with the exception of travel via plane. Camping with cloth, on the other hand, I've got down pat. We've gone camping about half a dozen times with cloth from a weekend to a week at a time. In the coming week we will be camping for a week at my husband's family church camp in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. It's a very remote area (as in, drive at least 45 minutes to get to the closest wifi location) and whenever we visit I like to imagine what it would be like to live like a pioneer. 
 Along the way I’ve found a few tips on how to make it workable.
  • Cut down prep time at camp and keep it all in one place. If you use pockets, stuff your diapers at home. Then bring the diapers, wipes, detergent and wetbags in their own container (like a big duffel bag, rubbermaid or even a laundry basket). I have a big travel bag that I’ve dubbed “The Fluff Bag.”
  • Engineer a “camp washer” or take a look at this gal’s DIY bucket washer video.
  • Pack clothes line and clothes pins. That’ll be pretty important to dry them effectively!
  • When in a pinch, use your travel wet bag as a portable washing machine. Genius! Planet Wise tweeted this idea – and I couldn’t agree more!

When we camped for the full week we utilized the camp washer with the instructions from the video above. We boiled water and tried to replicate our wash cycle at home as best we could. Are the diapers going to be as clean as they are at home? Likely not. You can bring disposables just in case. Plus, you definitely get street cred for washing your cloth diapers like a pioneer!
Some notes:
  • Prefolds always wash and dry quickly. If you don’t normally use them, but have some stashed away (we primarily used prefolds when Penny was a newborn), bring them back out for camping.
  • Remember to adjust your detergent use based on you’ll be using less water.
  • Check out Dirty Diaper Laundry's annual Flats Challenge to get some ideas on how to wash diapers by hand. It's a good idea to know how to wash cloth diapers by hand in case of an emergency! 
Have you camped with cloth diapers before? 
What tips would you add? 
If you haven't, what concerns do you have?


  1. I think I would camp with cloth. I honestly didn't think I would travel with cloth, at first, and I take it without hesitation. It is so much easier than I thought it would be.

  2. Traveling with cloth was much easier than I thought it would be- and the cute fluff is a great ice breaker! I have to admit that I'm a little intimidated by camping with cloth.

  3. Any time we're faced with travel/cloth issues, we've found it best to just dive in head first with cloth and wing it. It's always worked for us. Haha

  4. Wow! I don't do cloth now, but am hoping to have another baby soon (fingers crossed) and am definitely wanting to try. We travel a lot so this post really caught my eye. You guys did a great job. I guess planning is key!

  5. Portable washing machine out of a wet bag is pretty much genius!! Holy cow!! How awesome!! I mean depending on the access of items in your camp that could really be the only way!! How cool!

  6. The camp washer is a brilliant idea! I might have to make one of those myself just for washing diapers AT HOME! This was an interesting read for me, since I was hesitant to take cloth when even traveling with my son. I ended up using diaper covers with disposable inserts, but I will definitely give our regular cloth diapering routine a try next time!

  7. The place we normally go camping has a washer and dryer, but they aren't the most efficient. So, I learned that flats are my go to diaper for camping there. They wash easily, they dry quickly, no problem! I also like the tip about using your wet bag as a portable washer, though!



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