Loyal readers, I’m back with another guest post on another niche topic: can you wear diapers in the great outdoors? (And yes, this was prompted by my own packing for a somewhat lengthy trip, so if you don’t hear back from me in the comments for a week or so that’s why!)

The answer gets more complicated than you might think.

In terms of why you’d want to, we’ve got three main schools of motivation here:

  • incontinent individuals who want to camp and need diapers to prevent accidents from soiling clothing
  • diaper lovers who would prefer to feel the padded/crinkling sensation while out and about in the woods
  • adult babies who want to include diapers in a parent/child “vacation” or similar scene at a campsite

Any and all of these people can wear diapers on a camping trip. Whether it’s worth it, and the preparations they’ll need to make, varies a bit from group to group.

1. Incontinence and Camping

Depending on the type of incontinence you experience (and the type of camping you’re planning), it may be possible to reduce or eliminate diaper usage entirely.

Thick overnight or heavy-duty daytime diapers can potentially be pared down to light pull-up style padded underwear or even pad-style liners if you’re only dealing with urinary incontinence. In the woods, you generally only need a second or two of warning from your bladder, and then you’ve ducked behind the nearest tree and can start peeing wherever you like. That makes it easier for people who don’t get much warning but can still sometimes “make it” to go without diapers while camping.

Some incontinent individuals may even be comfortable opting for spandex or another similar dark, moisture-wicking fabric and simply accepting that the mesh will be peed through a bit from time to time on the trail. As long as you’re comfortable with it (and you make sure nothing runs into your boots, because wet feet suck), it’s not actually that big of a deal. No one’s going to notice some extra dampness on sweaty hiking gear.

People with total urinary or fecal incontinence, on the other hand, will probably still need heavy pull-ups at the least. Because you’ll have to pack in any changes — and pack out any dirties — your hiking range may be pretty sharply curtailed.

Wherever possible, stick to places that have shower facilities and plenty of garbage sites available if you’re camping but need diapers and are likely to require multiple changes. Under no circumstances should you plan on chucking a diaper into the woods, dirty or not!

2. Diaper Lovers and Camping

If you don’t actually need them for accident prevention, you would have to love diapers a lot for them to really improve the camping experience.

Diapers are great, but the reality is that campsites and hiking trails just aren’t the environment they’re best suited to. In addition to the disposal issues mentioned above, they’re tight and wet (with sweat at the very least, even if you aren’t wetting) — two highly non-ideal qualities in camping gear.

If you’re base camping rather than backpacking, bringing a few along for nights could be fun, but make sure they’re ones you can trust to not leak overnight. You really don’t want to wet your sleeping bag partway through a trip. Avoid unnecessary messing of the diaper, since you’ll have to clean it up, dispose of it, and find a decent shower facility.

3. Adult Babies and Camping

A “family camping trip” is a pretty adorable AB scenario, and does have lots of opportunities for play that you wouldn’t get in a city.

That said, you always need to be mindful of your public behavior. Campsites are not very private places, and even AB play that doesn’t involve rubbing naughty bits is pretty obviously fetishized.

Any babyish costuming should either be discreetly hidden (frilly rhumba panties under a hiking skirt/trousers, for example), or else should be enjoyed only in the tent.

Always remember that sound travels much further than you think it does — keep things to a whisper. Tents really don’t block voices at all. And if it’s after dark and you have a light on in the tent, be aware that your silhouettes will be visible to passers-by.

As with the other two cases above, you’ll also need to be mindful of disposal issues. If your baby play involves food messes, make sure everything can be rolled up and disposed of, especially in bear country. Bears aren’t going to be interested in a used diaper (unless it’s scented — stay away from anything scented), but they’ll definitely come check out a food-stained bib or shirt if they smell it.

So, to summarize:

Camping in diapers for incontinents: If you need ’em, bring ’em, and limit your plans to places with convenient disposal options. If you’re a light wetter, consider pull-ups, pads, or just spandex shorts you don’t mind wetting as an alternative to diapers.

Camping in diapers for DLs: Probably not worth your while on any hiking trails. A few diapers for base camp, casual fishing/boating, etc. can be nice, as long as you know you’ll have easy disposal options.

Camping in diapers for ABs: Potentially a lot of fun, but keep your AB time discreet. Be aware of the privacy limitations of camping, as well as the disposal options mentioned above.

For all of these I’d recommend disposables — cleaning and drying cloth diapers is going to be a big challenge in any camping situation.

Have any readers been camping with their diapers? Leave us a comment and let us know how it went! I’ll be excited to read your stories when I get back from my own trip next week.