Everyone knows its an unfortunate fact of life – “doo” happens. And it doesn’t stop happening just because you’re out at the crag and its inconvenient. Spend any length of time outdoors as a family, and sooner or later you’re gonna end up with a diaper explosion that rivals Mt. St. Helens…so you’d better be ready for it! Read on to learn the lowdown about dirty dipes in the woods!
DISCLAIMER: I should toss it out there that we use cloth diapers. It’s better for the environment, its better on the wallet, and most importantly, its better for baby’s bottom health. Perhaps I’ll devote a future post extolling the benefits and ease of cloth if anyone is interested, but for right now let’s just deal with crag stuff. That being said, if you use disposables, parts of your diaper system might differ somewhat from ours (such as pack it out methods or amount of diapers to bring), but the basic concepts should still apply.
PACK THE ESSENTIALS:
- Diapers – Bring enough to last all day, plus 2 extra just in case. For us that number is anywhere from 5-7, depending on how long of a day we are expecting.
- Wipes – Again, pack more than you think you need. The extra ones make for an efficient clean-up for both you and baby on the way home from the crag! When we are away from home we use disposable wipes – I just buy a giant bag of them and restock in ziploc bags as needed.
- Wet bag – Shell out the extra couple of dollars to get a lined bag that you can just turn inside out and toss right into the laundry along with the dirty diapers. This will keep your pack not only poop-free but also smelling fresh (“fresh” might be a relative term after a 3 or 4 day climbing trip, but at least your pack won’t smell like crap). If you are using disposables you don’t need one of these, but you will need something that fits the same purpose but is one-time use (like one of those 2 or 3 gallon ziploc bags).
- Ziploc Bag – We’ve found that several quart size ones pack down easier than 1 or 2 gallon sized ones, but again if you are using disposables you might want more/larger bags.
- Waterproof bag for storing CLEAN dipes – Not only will this protect your dipes from camelbak leaks, but it will also keep out any mud or leaf debris.
- Portable Changing Pad – our Kelty Kid Carrier came with one, but a bouldering pad also works equally well (sometimes better, especially if you’ve got a roller!)
MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS: For day trips involving long car rides or weekend trips, we utilize 2 “diaper stations” – one in the car and a portable one at the crag (stored in the backpack). Make sure you have all of your “essentials” in both places so that you’re not running around trying to find wipes while you’re also trying to keep baby from rolling off the tailgate.
TRACK IT – Time flies when you’re having fun, right? And the hours can most certainly slip away from you at the crag, especially if you’re working a route or putting up lots of routes in the same area. I admit that a few times we’ve been mortified when we realized what time it was compared to the last time we had changed C’s diaper! Poor guy…We found that the best way to keep up with all the diaper duties is to record it. I actually have an inexpensive app on my iPhone called “Baby Timer.” It can keep track of not only diapers, but also feedings as well as sleep.
MAKE IT A DOUBLE – Taking off all those nice, cozy layers and exposing baby’s bare skin to the wintry air isn’t pleasant for anyone. We’ve gotten away with less changes (and therefore less bum exposure) by beefing up Cragbaby’s diaper with an extra prefold folded into the dipe.
Our “golden days” with diaper changes were Cragbaby’s first 8 or 9 months, when he was either exclusively or primarily breastfed…we could easily go 5-7 days with only wet diapers and no code browns (but when it finally happened, you’d better be armed with at least a half dozen washcloths for the aftermath! I remember being psyched when C’s first diaper of the day on a Friday morning was poopy – that meant we were all but guaranteed a “nothin’ but wet” climbing weekend! Now that C is relying more and more on solid foods for his nutrition, it seems as though what comes out is sometimes more volume than what went in…
All in all though, diaper changes at the crag aren’t that big of a deal. Not that I’d call trying to de-poopify a wild and squirming baby on a slanting rock when its 30 degrees outside fun, but in the big scheme of things its just a minor inconvenience, and should by no means keep your family tied to a 50 square foot radius of a changing table. Anyone that tells you differently is full of crap. ( 🙂 )