Would gel-free disposable diapers be safe to burn in a campfire?

We’re about to go camping for three weeks with WhyBaby (her first camping trip!) and there’s no garbage service at the campground. This means we always compost food scraps, carry out recyclables and things that can’t be burned, and burn whatever trash we can in our campfire.

This year, we’ll have three weeks of diapers in July heat to contend with.

Regular disposables can’t be burned, because the ultra-absorbent crystals in them are also a fire retardant. This was, in fact, part of my science project in 7th grade, when my dad’s company was just bringing super-absorbs to the market.

But I’ve found Tushies, which claim to be cotton and paper pulp, ultra-absorbent crystal free. (Please ignore the anti-chemical rhetoric. I don’t share that particular hysteria, we use ultra-absorbents at home, I just know they won’t burn.)

Any safety concerns about burning cotton and paper diapers in a campfire near other people? In three weeks, she’s likely to have only 3 or 4 poopy diapers, which I suppose I could pack to portage if burning fecal matter would be a no-no. The rest would be urine only. Lots of people burn paper plates, newspapers, etc. We’re encouraged to burn all the garbage that can be safely burned.


Come on. This can’t really be the question to Stump The Dopers, can it? :stuck_out_tongue:

Is this normal? How old is this child?

Aside from that, burning urine can’t be pleasant.

It would guarantee you lots of open camping space near the fire pit.

Well, I wouldn’t use the same fire for cooking over if that is what you are getting at. I supposed that burning them wouldn’t be too bad, but what about the various plastic compounds in the rest of the diaper besides the absorbant stuff? I would think it best to not put anything in the fire that you wouldn’t be willing to eat or to eat off. Also 3-4 poopy diapers sounds a little low for a 3 week camping trip. My kids averaged at least one a day, and sometimes more.

I’ve done a bit of camping, and have never burned/allowed burning of diapers. It’s a little too ewww. We always just bagged and carried out the none burnable waste. And the kid averages 1 bowel movement a week? 'Sup wif dat?

Yes, it’s normal for a newborn on iron supplements. Her doctor says as long as the stools are soft when they come out, she doesn’t care how often or infrequent they are; some babies move their bowels every few hours, others once every 12-15 days. As it happens, she moves like clockwork - 12:30 PM on every Friday. Handy, that!

Hmm. I don’t see any plastic in or on them, except maybe the tabs have a plastic coating similar to waxed paper. I suppose I could yank off the tabs before tossing them in. They claim all the rest is wood fiber and cotton.

What do we know about burning urine and feces itself? Can it release airborn bacteria? Smell really bad? Just have a oogey factor?

When I was a Boy Scout, it was great fun to gather around the campfire at the end of the evening, and pee on it to extinguish it. It would send up a column of the most foul smelling steam you could imagine. Your diapers would be on a smaller scale, but still capable of adverse aroma.

We use Tushies for nightime and cloth diapers daytime. Tushies do have plastic on them; the tabs, and at the front of the waist for the tabs to adhere to. The gussets/leg gathers also seem to have elastic in them.

I happen to have a wet one here and I cut it open to look and the inside does appear to just be paper of some sort. Wet Tushies feel denser than the gel-based ones and wetter as well.

I suppose if you really had to, you could cut of the plastic parts and then burn the diapers in a dedicated waste disposal fire-pit. But if it was me? Going on my experience with regular gel disposable diapers, Tushies and cloth diapers, I would use the gel diapers and pack them out to a garbage can a couple of times a week.

If you have enough time before your trip, I’d be happy to ship you 2 Tushies to try out so you don’t have to commit to a whole pack. I’ve got the 12 - 24 lbs size.

12-24 Lbs, that’s a lot of S**T! :smiley: