Taking a baby into the backcountry, also means taking diapers into the backcountry, but how?
When F was 9 month old we went on a 8 day hiking trip in the High Sierra, CA. While planning the trip I spend a long time searching the internet for diapering ideas. I found little info. We already used cloth diapers at home, so that seemed like the natural choice. Already before F was born I knew that we wanted to go on multiday backcountry trips, so I primarily invested in pre-folds. Pre-folds are ideal because they can be unfolded and therefor dry fast. I found that pre-folds didn't really work well at night, so for night time we settle for a fitted diaper with an extra insert. This was our final selection (I don't remember the exact number):
Two wet bags for dirty diapers.
~5 covers (we used flip)
~ 4 overnight fitted diapers with insert
~ 12 prefolds (primarily flip and some cheap burp cloth)
lots of small cloths
This selection allowed us to wash diapers every 2-3 days. In the Sierras the diapers dried really fast, but they take a bit longer on the coast especially the fitted diapers. It is often worth it too just go with disposables at night. In general, I found that cloth diapers only are worth it if you are going for longer than 3 days. If you are not going to wash, you might as well carry disposables.
Not much is needed for the washing of diapers. We would bring the following:
1. Foldable wash basin.
3. Cord for drying
A foamy is also nice for the changing.
Compostable inserts, elimination communication and liner.
Another option we considered based on advice, was to use compostable disposable insert in a reusable cover. This is not really an option in the alpine as things decompose really slowly, but if you are going on a trip were there is outhouses available this might be an option.
If your baby is still young it is also worth it to consider Elimination Communication (EC). Basically you observe your baby and notice cues or signals they give before peeing or pooing. Once you know their cues you can take their diaper off before they go. We did elimination communication with F from she was a few weeks old. There were periods were we would totally avoid poopy diapers and periods were we would deal with the poo like everyone else. Luckily when we did our 8 day hike in the Sierras and our 5 days on the Juan de Fuca trail we only had a few poopy diapers.
If we had not practiced EC I would have brought some liners (regardless of whether I was using disposable or cloth). They make it easier to separate the poo from the diaper to dispose of it. I would then try to burn the liner, just like I do with toilet paper.
Bears and diapers
We never really worried about bears in relation to our diapers. We have always just stored the diapers in our tent. Maybe we should have worried about it though. In the opinion of the internet, dirty (and scented clean) diapers does attract bears. The safest solution would be treating your dirty diapers as your trash. Storing it in proper bear proof containers or bear hanging it. Alternatively, you could wash diapers every evening. This sounds like either a lot of work or a lot of extra weight (bear-proof containers are heavy).
How have you handled diapering in the backcountry? Do you have any tips or tricks?
What are your thoughts on diapering in the bear country?
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