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My little baggie of important dinky stuff
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Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
My little baggie of important dinky stuff on 12/04/2008 19:22:28 MST Print View

DINKY STUFFtoiletries (and such) FOR A WEEK:

1. Aqua Mira Kit [re-packaged] / 1.8 oz

2. Platypus repair patches / 0.1 oz

3. hand sanitizer [re-packaged] / 0.7 oz

4. toothpaste dots / 0.7 oz

5. tiny size BIC lighter / 0.4

6. hydropel [re-packaged] / 0.7 oz

7. paper book of matches / 0.1

8. Dr. Bronner's soap [re-packaged] / 0.7 oz

9. simple cardboard razor envelope (homemade) / 0.1 oz

10. single edge razor / 0.1 oz

11. lip stuff / 0.8 oz

12. sun-block SPF 45 [re-packaged] / 0.8

13. small compass / 1.2 oz

14. toothbrush (chopped handle) / 0.8 oz

15. head-lamp (petzl e+lite, no band) / 0.8 oz

16. BPL short handled UL titanium spoon / 0.5 oz

T O T A L : 10.3 ounces!


1. The re-packaged AQUA-MIRA kit has both A and B in tiny dropper bottles. It also has a super tiny dropper bottle for mixing the drops. After creating the "yellow" mix, I can use it for about 48 hours. So, minimal stopping time on the trail. All stored in a "snack" sized ziploc.

3. Tooth paste is squirted out on a plate, in little dabs. I leave the plate in a corner out of the way, and in a few days I have tiny nuggets of hard toothpaste. Please note: I live at 6,100 feet in idaho, it is VERY dry. These gummy "dots" are packaged in a tiny ziploc baggie, and i chew 'em like gum before brushing. Easy!

7. These paper matches are redundant to the tiny bic lighter. I guess this qualifies as emergency gear. I watched Andrew Skurka light an alcohol stove with matches like these, and I realized that these are the BEST tool for the job, and the lightest. (Okay, I realize I should NIX the bic)

14. I have a finger toothbrush, but I only take it for VERY short trips. I find I brush better with a real toothbrush.

15. The petzl e+lite has the strap removed, there is a wire clasp on the back, so I can hook it onto my hat.


ALSO: SOme repackaging uses BPL bottles, and sometimes I use the dinky little vessels I've collected.

AND: It all gets carried in a single ZIPLOC baggie!

Edited by mikeclelland on 12/04/2008 19:24:27 MST.

Linda Vassallo

Locale: Eastbay
Re: My little baggie of important dinky stuff on 12/04/2008 21:31:40 MST Print View


Cool stuff! I forgot about removing the strap on the Petzl lite. I can lose another 0.8 oz off my wt. Thanks for the tip.

I like the idea of pre-mixing the Aqua Mira. I will be repackaging some of my solutions in the smaller micro bottles.

I think my husband will like your idea of toothpaste microdots. I have peppermint Dr Bronner's that I use for toothpaste as well. If I don't use too much it tastes OK.

Do you carry anything for first aid, blister care (besides Hydropel)?

It's an impressively light package. More inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing.


I recently switched over to Platypus from Camelbak. I noticed the Platy repair kit. Is it common to need the kit-many failures?

Rob Lee
(roblee) - MLife

Locale: Southern High Plains
"My little baggie..." on 12/04/2008 22:28:38 MST Print View

Mike, Another cool idea; premixing the A/M in a tiny bottle for a couple days worth of treatment. I never thought about this because I assumed the mix wouldn't keep. Thanks for the time saving tip!

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
important dinky stuff on 12/04/2008 22:35:49 MST Print View

(A) I don't get blisters very often. But - I also carry a tiny first aid kit, not part of the "dinky" stuff kit above. It's Minimal. I never quite know what's in it. For short trips - A small roll of tape, a few band aids, ibuprofen and a gauze pad... maybe a little more, but not much. When I go out for long trips with a team, I carry a lot more.

(B) I have used a platypus since their introduction. It has been my only water bottle for 30-days at a time. They need to be treated nicely, but they are fine.

I will add that a few times (twice?) I have repaired them. I have also handed out the little patch to pals who got a hole in their Platy.

(C) The AQUA-MIRA mix should last 48 hours. The drops NEED to be yellow, if not, it's lost it's effectiveness. And, when the water source is trusty, I use fewer drops than recommended. But that's just me.

Edited by mikeclelland on 12/04/2008 22:42:07 MST.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Just a thought... on 12/04/2008 22:54:29 MST Print View

Anyone know if McNett's Tenacious Tape will patch a platypus?

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: My little baggie of important dinky stuff on 12/05/2008 06:03:06 MST Print View

>toothpaste dots / 0.7 oz
>toothbrush (chopped handle) / 0.8 oz

Crest Unflavored Glide-to-Go Floss Packets
One of the ultralight backpacking adages is to cut the handle off your toothbrush. Want to save more weight? How about just leaving it at home?


Mark, do you think flossing, brushing with your finger and Listerine strip can replace toothpaste/toothbrush in your kit?

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
dinky stuff on 12/05/2008 10:05:00 MST Print View

McNetts Tenatious Tape works well, so does duct tape. Both would be adequate. But the little patches seem to work the best.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: toothpaste dots on 12/05/2008 10:20:37 MST Print View

Are these just little dabs of toothpaste left out to dry? If so, I never knew about that one.

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Toothbrush on 12/05/2008 10:57:59 MST Print View

I picked this travel toothbrush the other day at CVS Pharmacy (I think). It's 0.5 oz with the handle or 0.3 oz cutting required. :)


Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
toothpaste dots on 12/05/2008 11:25:09 MST Print View

Yes - to the posting above.

I've found that the clear "JELLY" looking toothpaste dries poorly.

The white chalky paste works best.

Heres what seems to work best. Squirt out a long "cord" of toothpaste onto a plate, about a foot or so. Let it dry a day or so. Then cut the "cord" into little (approx) half-inch segments. A sharp knife helps. Let those dry a few days.

They'll glom together a little in a tiny ziploc. It helps to sprinkle a tiny bit of baking soda in the baggie.

All done.

Note: It's VERY dry where I live. THis won't work in a humid environment. If you live in Louisana, I guess you'll need to use a dehydrator.

victoria maki
(clt1953) - F

Locale: northern minnesota
re:toothpast and such on 12/05/2008 11:46:34 MST Print View

i found baby size toothbrushes work much better for me than the kind that roman uses. no handle to fall off while brushing. (and no i can't use my finger or go without) yuck... got 5 to a package at the dollar store. leave the case off. wt.1/4 oz. i have also tried the toothpaste dots, but didn't care for them. went back to using powdered tooth powder that i found at the health nut store. put it in a zip lock snack bag or a light wt. screw top container. just dip your wet brush in it.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
There is even a lighter option for toothbrushes. on 12/05/2008 12:09:45 MST Print View

At Pet stores, they sell toothbrushes for your dog which fit over your finger. A small hollow plastic tube with a brush on the end.

View here:

Roman Ryder
(RomanLA) - F

Locale: Southwest Louisiana
Taco Bell on 12/05/2008 12:54:25 MST Print View

I just ate lunch there and was thinking...I wonder how much these sporks weigh? 0.1 oz :)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Dental Care on 12/05/2008 13:12:01 MST Print View

My husband has dropped about $10K on my teeth so far with another $10K or more in the near future....I'll just say that my dental kit I carry is not UL.
I carry toothpaste, a full toothbrush, my dental brushes for going around my braces, floss, mirror, repair kit, wax, flexible tooth picks, floss guiders, etc. I carry a repair kit for my crown as well (cause it would more than suck if it popped. I wouldn't be able to eat!). I also carry my special mouth rinse - I have very carefully controlled gingivitis, the rinse keeps it from getting a leg up.

You get one set of real teeth. Unless you like dropping the equivalent of a good car on them, take care of them.

Backpacking is NO excuse to not have good oral health! Go without bathing, go without deodorant but keep your teeth in tip top shape!

Though I can laugh - my braces are made of Ti :-P

Edited by sarbar on 12/05/2008 13:12:56 MST.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Dental Care on 12/05/2008 13:57:23 MST Print View

Right on Sarah! I don't carry all the gear you do - but a tooth brush and fluoride toothpaste always make it into my bag. Dirty and smelly can be washed away with a good shower - but you'll never get that enamel back.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
RE: Dental Care on 12/05/2008 15:19:00 MST Print View

During Artic missions we used baking soda because it would not freeze and it did a good job. Over the years I have seen baking soda toothpastes come out professing its teeth whitening properties.

The following is from

"As a cleaning agent, baking soda is less abrasive than virtually any other cleaning agent used in toothpastes. Less abrasion means less tooth wear, which helps keep your teeth healthier, longer. And when it comes to cleaning, recent studies indicate that baking soda in high concentrations...breaks down into tiny particles that are able to penetrate enamel crevices and remove food particles and deep stain embedded there. Other cleaning agents, like silica, don't readily break down into such tiny particles, so they are too big to clean inside the enamel crevices.

Light weight and has many uses.

20 Uses Of Baking Soda

1. Baking soda will also put out fires in clothing, fuel, wood, upholstery and rugs.

2. Wash food and drink containers with soda and water.

3.Wash out thermos bottles and cooling containers with soda and water to get rid of stale smells.

4.To remove strong odors from your hands, wet your hands and rub them hard with soda, then rinse.

6. Sprinkle baking soda on your wet toothbrush and brush your teeth and dentures with it.

7. Sprinkle soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.

8. Take a soda bath to relieve general skin irritations such as measles and chicken pox.

9. Take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water to relieve acid indigestion or heartburn.

10. Gargle with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 1/2 glass of water. Freshens and cleans your mouth.

11. Used as a mouthwash, baking soda will also relieve canker sore pain.

12. To relieve sunburn: use a paste of baking soda and water.

13. Bug bites: use a poultice of baking soda and vinegar.

14. Bee sting: use a poultice of baking soda and water.

15. Windburns: moisten some baking soda and apply directly. Soak and wash diapers with baking soda.

16. Use soda as an underarm deodorant.

17. Add to water to soak dried beans to make them more digestible.

18. Use to sweeten sour dishcloths.

19. Use dry with a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

20. Apply soda directly to insect bites, rashes and poison ivy to relieve discomfort. Make a paste with water.

Edited by djjmikie on 12/05/2008 15:47:04 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Baking Soda on 12/05/2008 15:54:59 MST Print View

Sure it is great. Except for it tastes like warm fuzzy yuck-o ;-) I know a lot of people use it (and it is great for many things!) I just cannot use it to brush my teeth. ;-) Too gritty for me as well.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
"My little baggie of important dinky stuff" on 12/06/2008 07:50:32 MST Print View

I agree that it tastes yucky, but, for me, the weight savings and multi use make it worth it.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Dental care on the trail on 12/06/2008 14:28:15 MST Print View

Baking soda is:
--Lots lighter than toothpaste
--Highly recommended by dentists
--Doesn't leave white spots on the ground when you spit it out
--Can be used for many things as described in a prior post. The most useful for backpacking are for bites/stings and as a deodorant.

Another dental item, if you have fixed bridgework: Glide (Crest) makes individual packets of threader floss, with one end stiffened. I take each out of the individual paper packet, cut off part of the floss (since it's much longer than I need) and put them in a tiny ziplock (the kind you buy at the artsy-crafty store in the bead section). One per day. It's much easier for backpacking than using separate floss threaders, which tend to pop out of their package and disappear forever once they hit the ground.

Please do not neglect your teeth on the trail. Abcessed teeth are painful. Root canals and extractions are NOT fun. Restorative dental work is expensive! In the last 10 years, I've had to spend close to twice as much as Sarah has so far.

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/06/2008 14:29:03 MST.

Michael Landman
(malndman) - F

Locale: Central NC, USA
Re: Just a thought... on 02/13/2009 09:24:38 MST Print View

"Anyone know if McNett's Tenacious Tape will patch a platypus?"
Superglue applied to a small piece of paper or cardboard will work and holds for years.