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My little baggie of important dinky stuff
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victoria maki
(clt1953) - F

Locale: northern minnesota
re: little baggie of dinky stuff(baking soda on 02/13/2009 09:43:12 MST Print View

To all those people who hate the taste of baking soda: There is a powdered tooth powder which tastes a heck of a lot better than baking soda. You can get it at the health nut store. Brand escapes me. Mint or cinnamon flavor. Very light weight....

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
my first aid kit on 03/12/2009 20:20:47 MDT Print View

a few band-aids, a small roll of tape, a tiny ziplock of ibuprophin, a few small pieces of moleskin and a gauze pad.

All this goes in a ziploc sandwich baggie. No idea what it weighs. I add a little if I have a partner, and I pare it down if I'm solo.

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
toothpaste pellets? on 03/13/2009 09:18:41 MDT Print View

As cool as they sound intead of making the little toothpaste pellets why don't you just brush your teeth with baking soda?????? It actually works better than tooth paste and its proabbly lighter to.

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
My ditty, first aid bag on 03/13/2009 09:19:58 MDT Print View

Here's my ditty and first aid bag for an upcoming, 3 day, really light trip:

Contents: (starting top left)

1. Princeton LED light - .4 oz - not as light or bright as the Photon, but I already had it. I had to use a hot pin to make a hole in the bottom for kevlar cord (left over from a project)

2. Firelight mini - .4 oz - sans sparker, use small blade of knife

3. Tinder-Quik tabs (3) - ~.1 oz - when I can't find anything else to catch a spark

4. BodyGlide/duct tape/thread& needle - .4 oz - bodyglide repackaged in chapstip tube for chaffing/blisters. Duct tape is a bit archaic, but has worked for blisters. Needle and thread are under plastic wrap under duct tape. This prevents it from getting gummed-up with adhesive. I would have to unwrap the tape to reach them, but I rarely need to.

5. Toothbrush - .2 oz - this is the same brush that Roman posted above, but I've done some cutting. I cut off part of the handle, and then cut 3/4 of the way around the cover, right below the head. I left the 4th side long enough to tuck up against the handle, which locks the cover in place.

6. Dr. Bronner's in dropper - .5 oz - for washing up/brushing teeth. It doesn't taste very good and goes against what I wrote earlier in this thread about fluoride. Replacing 2/3 items with one was just too appealing. I'd probably take proper toothpaste or dots on longer trips.

7. Swiss Army knife - .9 oz - just two blades; I don't think they even make this anymore. Smaller blade is used with flint, larger is good for shaving tinder. There are lighter options, but I've had it forever and it's a sentimental favorite.

8. Whistle - .1 oz - cut from a Whistleloc buckle. I wouldn't otherwise need this kind of buckle, so I just went at it with a hot X-acto knife. Really light and only $.65!

9. REI thermometer/compass - .4 oz - thermometer is good for assessing gear at different temps. Compass is small, but most of my hiking is on a trail of some kind.

10. Ibuprofen (18, 6/day) - .1 oz - apparently I'm a drug addict, but this is the only medicine I ever find myself using and sure helps at the beginning and end of a long day.

11. 3 std band-aids, 3 butterfly closures - ~.1 oz- enough to replace if needed, but not overkill.

12. 5x4 Aloksak - ~.1 - keeps everything dry.

Total= 3.9 oz - so apparently there's an extra .1 oz somewhere in there, but my scale isn't very precise, this especially shows on light items.

*No bug or sun dope - I mostly hike in shade and have long sleeves and a hat for sun. Bugs aren't much of problem yet, and I treat my clothes with permethrin.

*No water treatment - I'm trying nonconventional water treatment like boiling or using a filter straw, which wouldn't be in the bag. Normally, I use chlorine dioxide tablets.

Edited by dsmontgomery on 03/13/2009 09:26:06 MDT.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
How much toothpaste to take? on 04/14/2009 17:19:11 MDT Print View

Mike, Your idea of the toothpaste dots is an interesting idea because you know exactly how many teeth brushings you are taking. I usually take a travel sample tube of toothpaste which I think weighs about 1oz. The empty tube weighs about 0.1oz I believe. Isn't this sort of neglible?

Here is my question to the forum: How many teeth brushings are there in a travel sample tube of toothpaste?

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: How much toothpaste to take? on 04/14/2009 17:33:31 MDT Print View

Laurence, how big are your teeth?
To answer your question- it depends, if you watched my 14 year old it would be gone in about 3 brushings, I get about 25 to 35 out of one. I use about 1/2 a pea size. YMMV
BTW- I use the travel size when I travel not when I hike, I think the travel size is way to heavy. I use baking soda in a small BPL mini dropper bottle. I can squeeze out a small amount onto my brush and also use the baking soda for other needs if they come up.
I can't use Bonners- I hate the taste of soap. My mom would think I liked the taste of soap given the number of time I had my mouth washed out as a kid. I now have a very "clean" vocabulary.

Edited by bestbuilder on 04/14/2009 17:38:19 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
dinky stuff on 04/15/2009 14:44:14 MDT Print View


The toothpaste tube is totally a minor little bit of weight. Nothing to stress about.

But - The DOTS were fun to make. So, that's about as technical and nerdy an answer as I have.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
tiny toothpaste tubes on 04/15/2009 14:57:26 MDT Print View

i lived in china several years & my wife is from japan - we got these teeny tiny toothpaste tubes from hotels over there (haven't found them for sale anywhere here yet, but haven't done a real vigorous internet search yet either)

i haven't weighed one, but they are roughly 1/10 the size of the typical "trial size" tubes here. can't weigh much at all & i made one last on a 5day backpack (i think they are meant for single use)

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
tiny toothpaste tubes - found 'em! on 04/15/2009 15:07:43 MDT Print View


minimum order: 10,000 dozen (i'll keep looking, unless a few thousand BPL members wanna go in w/ me?)

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: How much toothpaste to take? on 04/15/2009 16:07:09 MDT Print View

I've gone the Dr. B's route, but I was researching toothpowder for a while before that. Never tried it but it sounded like the ticket if you need the toothpaste flavor and whatnot.

Lots of different brands, but here is one.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: How many brushings in a travel-sized tube? on 04/15/2009 22:58:47 MDT Print View

Hiking the PCT last year I brought a semi-used tube and it made it to Tehachapi or so (550 miles or so, a bit over a month) with a little still in it. I used it very sparingly.

I've been getting ready to hit the PCT again and this time I filled my travel-sized tube full. I think it'll last at least 3 months, maybe the whole way. It took a long time and a lot of patience to refill it so I don't mind carrying the whole thing.

Here's my bag of little stuff. Not as small and light as you all, but it's for a 4 month trip.

My small items

Items 1-5 are pocket items. Number 5 is my repackaged DEET which I won't always carry. I hope to find an even smaller bottle for it because even that one is too big. Number 1 is my repackaged sunscreen. It'll probably last the entire trip since I wear long sleeves.

#7 is Immodium. One dose. I hope that's enough. #8 is neosporin in a sample foil packet in a tiny ziploc. I hope to refill it if I use it up. #9 is Ibuprofen, #13 is vicodin.

Number 14 is my emergency waterproof matches kit, repackaged in a small vial that held candy coloring powder. I bring 3 matches and 3 trick birthday candles with sandpaper glued to the vial. I might not carry this until mid-September.

Number 10 are my reading glasses. Number 11 is a needle in a pencil lead refill container. I used the needle a lot last year. Popping blisters, sewing broken shoes, attempting make-my-own projects on the trail...

The box in number 12 is a small bar of soap inside a bicycle patch kit box. I found a number of places on the PCT where I could take a shower but not in a hotel, so I will carry a little soap. The original cardboard box has disintegrated so this plastic box seems good. The circle things are hair bands. I have long hair. I cannot survive without hair bands.

The orange dry-bag will also include my cellphone, which is quite heavy, and at times it will even include my camera battery charger. Not light but sometimes it is not practical to retrieve these items by mail.

I probably have too many bandaids. I probably should not carry the moleskin. It's leftover from last year and if I didn't use it then, why would I use it now?

Everything fits in the black bag.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
My little baggie of important dinky stuff on 04/16/2009 12:18:11 MDT Print View


I love these numbered photos!

JJ Mathes
(JMathes) - F

Locale: Southeast US
My little ditty bag on 04/20/2009 19:36:45 MDT Print View


This is my little ditty bag contents

Item 1 Aloksak

Items 2-11 first aid kit
2-triple antibiotic, 3-mole skin, 4-tylenol/advil in zip bag, 5-assorted gauze & band-aids, 6-wound cleanser repackaged, 7-alcohol pads, 8-scissors from a sewing kit, 9-safety pins, 10-tweezers, 11-mirror taped on sides and back made from tiles at hobby store.

Items in 12- repackaged sunscreen, deet, Dr Bonners, bleach

Items in 13- tent and equipment repairs, zip ties, needle large enough to thread dental floss, patch, 3' cord, seam sealer, matches in zip bag

All items 2-11 & 13 fit in Aloksak total weight - 2.3oz
Items 12-I use more often and are pocket or cook kit items.

I keep 20" of duct tape wrapped around my hiking poles.

Fire starter kit contents, 2-cotton balls, 1-esbit tab cut into 4 pieces all fits in a 35mm film canister.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: How much toothpaste to take? on 04/23/2009 15:24:55 MDT Print View

Thanks to tips from this thread I picked up some of the ecodent tooth powder in a local health food store. The 2-oz bottle is labeled as sufficient for 200 brushings. 100 brushings an ounce... and as it turns out, what seems to be plenty for 2 weeks plus, wrapped into a foil tube, weighs about 0.15 oz. Much better than 1.25 oz full travel size! Actually, my very roughly eye-measured amounts suggested .08 oz should be fine for a couple weeks if used sparingly. Cool!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: How much toothpaste to take? NONE maybe on 04/23/2009 16:06:21 MDT Print View

The reality is that you don't actually NEED toothpaste to clean your teeth. Most of the work is done by the mechanical brushing action. That is not a message you will get from the toothpaste companies, but check with your dentist to confirm.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: My little ditty bag on 04/23/2009 18:34:41 MDT Print View

I like that you (JJ) have simply stabbed your needle in some foam. I may swap out my needle in the pencil lead container for foam, or else I'll get me some pencil leads and a mechanical pencil for journaling instead of a pen.

John Fry
(m6amba) - F
colgate wisp on 04/26/2009 04:41:32 MDT Print View

have you guys seen those new single use toothbrushes?
they have tooth paste on them already, and have a floss pick on the other end....
the colgate wisp
granted its not my philips sonicare elite tothbrush, but im not at home...

i just picked up a pack to try...only downside...not biodegradable... :(

i have always used small toothbrush from dentist, and travel toothpaste....going to switch to baking soda this year, i dont mind the taste
but im VERY interested in giving the toothpaste dots a try, what a neat idea!

David Brunstein
(ariztazer) - F
Container Brands? on 04/29/2009 23:59:24 MDT Print View

Hey Mike:

Cool kit! Thanks for posting this.

Can you share with us the exact type of containers you use for aqua mira, sunscreen, Dr B;s, etc. Did you purchase them all on this site?

It's a little tough to make out the sizes from the photo.



Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
little storage bottles on 04/30/2009 10:41:17 MDT Print View

the above is a link to the BPL page with a listing of storage containers. The tiny dropper bottles are awesome.