One minute showers. Foot traffic only to the facilities. Lights out when not in use. No single-use water bottles. Compost, green waste, and bottles and aluminium can recycling bins. This campground sounded perfect for our foray into camping with Seedling Baby cloth nappies.
It wasn’t a coincidence, really. My husband and I were married four years to the month when we first returned for a long weekend getaway to Mount Barney Lodge where we took our vows. The lodge is located in the Scenic Rim region, south of Brisbane, at the base of Mount Barney – considered to be one of Queensland’s most impressive peaks. We knew the lodge operated on a philosophy of take only photographs, leave only footprints.
This camping trip was our second using cloth nappies but our first using cloth nappies for day and night. With no access to water, four nights away from home and two in full-time cloth on that first camping with cloth attempt, night nappies weren’t something to which I was prepared to commit at that time.
This time, however, I had ready access to hot and cold water, one less night away from home and only one in full time cloth (and one in cloth for night). I also had the knowledge of the previous trip giving me the confidence I could make it a success.
My greatest takeaway from that first camping trip with cloth was that it would have been highly beneficial to have a more absorbent solution than the cotton prefolds and covers I took. And, that’s where Seedling Baby came in.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Seedling Baby offer a ‘Diversifold’ insert in two sizes; it consists of two layers of high GSM bamboo terry that can be folded in a number of ways to suit your baby’s needs. For camping, it means the inserts wash easily (you don’t need to penetrate multiple layers) and dry quickly, while providing a level of absorbency that means nappies don’t need to be changed frequently. In fact, I’d argue these inserts are some of the most absorbent on the Australian market.
While most known for their OSFM pocket nappy, Seedling Baby also make a Comodo wrap (or cover) in three sizes (2-6kg, 4-16kg, 15-25kg). The Comodo wrap has no inner absorbent lining, which means it can be wiped down, aired and then reused. This means you can get away with using and carrying fewer covers while camping or travelling.
I plan for three covers a day when packing, assuming one gets soiled and the other two get swapped between changes. I start with a fresh cover for nights whilst at home, but do away with this rule whilst camping. Comodo wraps take only an hour to dry in good weather, so you don’t need to worry about not having enough.
Washing while camping is up to you. You can wash if you want (and you have the facilities), but the nappies will also stand up to simply being stored in a wetbag and dealt with when you get home. Pending the length of your trip, of course. If you choose this option, my advice is to do at least a double hot wash (60 degrees). With no facilities on that first cloth camping trip I took, I only scraped poo before wetbagging and those cotton prefolds cleaned with little difficulty.
If you have access to water, it’s best to hot rinse night nappies each morning to avoid the build up of ammonia. Boiling water and rinsing in a bucket is an option if a sink and hot water are unavailable. I also rinse all poo nappies and, if you’re planning a long camping trip, it can help to hand wash all nappies daily because you are likely to be limited with drying space. A multi-peg hanging dryer, such as the octopus dryer available from Ikea or the stainless steel multi-peg dryers available from many eco stores, is perfect for hanging from a tree branch or awning pole.
Other tips for caring for cloth nappies while camping are to store dirty nappies in an extra large wetbag. Wetbags can be zipped up to avoid flies, and easily hung from a tree or tent pole to avoid ants and other critters. In my experience, microfleece or other liners can also be worth the effort while camping. If your bub is anything like mine, there’s often a change in bowel movements due to the change in diet whilst camping.
If I don’t yet have you convinced you can cloth while camping, I’m going to give you my 5 best reasons for giving it a go:
- There’s few things more adorable than a baby in a cloth nappy. And having an adorable baby is rather helpful when they cry out the campsite in the middle of the night or they are imitating kookaburras at 5am.
- Camping is the perfect platform for sparking a conversation about cloth nappies and other eco changes with others.
- You get to enjoy the beautiful cloth nappy prints in beautiful environments, and know you’re doing your best to keep those environments beautiful for years to come.
- There’s no need to hold on to smelly disposables until you find somewhere to responsibly dispose of them.
- Who needs clothes when camping anyway?
Have you got any more questions about camping with cloth? Feel free to fire them at me.
* Disclosure: I received the Seedling Baby Comodo wraps and Diversifolds for the purpose of this post; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.