Yes, you can cloth diaper and go camping.
It’s a great idea because many campsites and cabins have limited garbage services.
And if you’re camping in where you’re required to pack it all out, then bringing cloth is the same hassle as a bag of disposables.
How I do I camp with cloth diapers?
This isn’t a straightforward answer because everyone’s camping adventure looks a little different.
Some families spend a weekend while others spend a week. Some families are staying in a family cabin, or visiting a provincial campsite. Some families might find themselves backpacking into a campsite. Some families live it up in an RV, and others enjoy the tenting life. There is probably even a dozen more ways to do it.
There isn’t’ a right or wrong way to camp with diapers. We’ll walk you through some of the options below and maybe help you feel confident in your choice. Choose whatever is going to work best for you and your values, while ensuring that you still enjoy the trip.
FOUR WAYS TO CAMP WITH DIAPERS
Pack enough for the ENTIRE trip and wash diapers when you return.
Bring cloth diapers and wash them during your trip. Your campsite might have washing facilities or hand washing.
Bring some cloth diapers and some disposable diapers. Use as needed.
Bring all disposable diapers but bring a few cloth diaper covers to prevent blow outs, leaks, and more.
Come join the conversation in the Nuggles Facebook community to talk through what might be the best choice for you and your family.
Camping with Cloth FAQ
What about the poop?
You’re going to want to consider a method of poop removal that doesn’t rely on a sprayer. If you’re child has "ploppable" poop then dispose of the poop like all the other adult poop (outhouse or flush toilet).
If your child is in the messy phase you might consider using disposable liners and disposing of it like other adult poop or having a separate trash bag just for poop that can be secured away from animals.
Camping is the one time I rely on disposable liners. I collect my poopy diapers and deal with them every night at bathroom facilities at the campsite. The poopy liners are disposed in the bear safe garbage bins every evening after they’ve been swished off in the toilet (as available).
How many diapers will I need?
Take track of how many cloth diapers you go through on a day-to-day basis the week before your trip. Take an average by recording the number of diapers you use over 2-3 days and divide by the number of days you tracked. This will give you an estimate on your diaper-use per day to plan your trip. Add an extra diaper or two per day for a buffer.
Younger babies can use up to 12-14 diapers while some toddlers will only use 4-6 diapers per day.
If you’ll be swimming, there’s a good chance you’ll use a few less cloth diapers and a few more swim diapers. Don’t plan for this because if you do then it wont actually happen.
What kind of cloth diapers can I go camping with?
Anything. You might find certain diapers are better suited to different camping experiences. If you’re backpacking maybe try packing the 2 ply inserts with cloth diaper covers. This strategy will let you hand wash your diapers as you go and limit the bulk as you can pack 3 inserts for every cover.
If you’re car camping, or traveling with an RV, and you can bring an entire stash cloth diapers, then fear not and bring all of your Nuggles Simplee diapers (our pocket style All in two diaper), fitted diapers, or whatever system you normally use at home.
How do I store my diapers when camping?
Try to keep your diapers out of the sun or hot/humid spaces when storing during the day, and you might find them best stored in the vehicle overnight to reduce odours that might attract wildlife.
Can I hand wash Nuggles Diapers?
Yes. Nuggles Cloth Diapers are designed with simplicity of wash in mind. Flat diapers are considered the best choice for handwashing, but all of our cloth diaper inserts are only 2 or 3 ply in thickness and made of natural fibres for easy washing and drying. It's not complicated layers, it's just simple two ply inserts that wash up and dry easy enough when camping.
Warning: The fitted diaper can be a little harder to hand wash and thoroughly clean when handwashing. If that's your go-to night solution keep that in mind.
How do I prevent mold/mildew and stinky diapers?
Collecting dirty diapers over a few days while camping is bound to be a breeding ground for things you don't want to deal with at home. Try letting your diapers dry out a little before cramming them into a dirty diaper container. In the past, I've let a peed diaper dry out in the heat on a stump before piling into the bag. This seems to help the stink and reduce any mold/mildew situations.
It's also helpful to keep your dirty diapers out of the hot vehicle when you can, and ensure they stay in a cool dry place during the day (like a shaded tree). Don't let a bag full of pee/poop diapers sit in the sun for hours. This isn't good for your diapers, or for preventing life from happening.
Can I just use disposables while camping?
Yes. Of course you can. There's already going to be a lot of laundry when you get home, and maybe you're just not in the space to deal with cloth while camping. You most definitively can use disposables. Just make sure to dispose of them properly (outhouse toilet is a no-no). Try sourcing paper-based or biodegradable diapers to have less of an impact.
Pro tip? Consider packing a cloth diaper cover (or two) and using it over your disposable diaper for long car rides or being carried in carriers. The extra compression of these situations sometimes leads to sticky situations and the elastics and double gusset designs of the Tuck-Wrap-Go cover is perfect for limiting the clean up.
Need more support? Come join our online Facebook community for everything Nuggles cloth diapering. Tell us about your camping strategy or ask questions for more support and advice.
Did you take the trip already? Have some amazing photos to share with us? Use #NugglesLove on Instagram to be featured on our fan reel.
Bailey is a mom of two young and wild children living in the cold tundra of Northern BC. She had no idea what to do with her life and fell in love with cloth diapering where she continues her passion here at Nuggles as the Director of Happiness.