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can anyone beat my toothbrush and paste weight?
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Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
can anyone beat my toothbrush and paste weight? on 11/06/2012 15:11:32 MST Print View

Restorative dentistry is very expensive. I have quite a few thousand $$$ invested in my teeth. No way will I go without a brush with handle (travel brush is the lightest and most effective for its weight, I've found) and floss. (The floss can substitute for thread if sewing repairs are needed.) I do use baking soda (with my dentist's blessing), which is lighter and more versatile than toothpaste and doesn't leave white spots on the ground or foliage when I spit it out.

No way will I save a few grams with the result of spending a lot of $$$ that I could have spent for something else, like transportation for a backpacking trip or for gear! (With apologies to the dentists here!)

Edited by hikinggranny on 11/06/2012 15:15:00 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: can anyone beat my toothbrush and paste weight? on 11/06/2012 16:52:52 MST Print View

Yeah, skip the toothpaste.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
I am a little worried about some of the responses on 11/09/2012 14:32:28 MST Print View

Interesting how some of you forgo some of the basic hygiene and personal grooming whilst out in the wilderness. I guess you can say you'd 'feel' closer to nature this way and if that's your thing then yeehaa to you. I just do not enjoy a trip where I cannot 1.brush my teeth (I hate the furry feeling to start with). 2.Wiping sweaty bits and pits, even just wiping these few parts with a wet towel or wetwipes (which are lighter) enables bits not to stick and stink and so your camp relax and sleep are just that more enjoyable. 3.deodorant, 1 day is not too bad, 2nd and consequent days are just plain wrong without step 2. and a deodorant application. One of the dudes I go hiking with has a how shall I put this....unique body odour, if I smelt like that to someone else I would not feel comfortable sharing the same area as them out of embarasment.

That's me and no I am not loosing sleep over whatever grams/ounces this costs me.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: can anyone beat my toothbrush and paste weight? on 11/09/2012 17:18:16 MST Print View

I long time ago I MYOG'd this setup, still using it and love it. I now use my Swedish FireSteel Mini as the handle.

I've been to the dentist and ain't no one going to convince me to take a finger brush or baby's tootbrush. David's technique with the stick is actually very effective too. In India they use the neem tree twigs which are a natural antiseptic or some anti-x'ish quality.

Here's the original post from 2006:
SUL Toothbrush -- with REAL Full Size Head


Edited by jhaura on 11/09/2012 17:21:02 MST.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
I like your idea on 11/09/2012 22:46:42 MST Print View

Not bad at all especially if you have multi add-ons.

My spoon is a party plastic spoon weighing in at 5.something grams. So my toothbrush + paste + spoon comes to 16.something grams very close to your mark. I was actually going to hack saw bits out of the end of the spoon to make it into a spork, not for the savings in weight but more so for the extra benefit of the semi fork front edge of the spoon.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Toob Toothbrush on 11/24/2012 21:04:25 MST Print View

Toob makes a travel toothbrush. The plastic case is nonsense, throw it out, but the toothbrush heads are made of extremely light cheap plastic, and are NOT connected to the plastic casing. Replacement heads are 2 for $2.95 at EMS and, with practice, are just the right length for serious and thorough brushing.

Plus, the reusable toothpaste tube works great, and it lets you steal toothpaste from hostels and nice old ladies along the trail. I love this setup, but I don't know the grams. probably a little more than some because of the toothpaste holder, but I bet my toothbrush weight slaughters some of yours because of how cheap and light the plastic is.

Here's a link:

Edited by mdilthey on 11/24/2012 21:24:47 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: can anyone beat my toothbrush and paste weight? on 11/24/2012 21:22:27 MST Print View

It's not lighter or the lightest but it works for me.

The toothbrush is a ....

G U M self storing travel toothbrush

I stuffed the zip lock of 10 Archtek tabs inside of the self storing handle of the brush along with the brush itself. Total weight of the kit is now 27 grams with a relatively "full size" toothbrush!

Toothpaste tablets

You'll notice that there is a large chunk of plastic on the rear of the brush section of the G U M unit.

G U M self storing travel toothbrush 2

It is just begging to be drilled full of holes or somehow cut down to get rid of some of that dead weight.

The self storage "case" portion has ventilation holes. More of those could be added or enlarged for more weight savings.

Party On,


Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Colgate Wisp on 12/01/2012 03:34:43 MST Print View

the toothpaste dot last for about 4 brushings.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: Re: can anyone beat my toothbrush and paste weight? on 12/23/2012 15:20:00 MST Print View

John, your toothbrush is almost identical to the one I 'started with' before I got to it with a hack saw and other tools.

I like the pallet toothpaste idea!!

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Toothpaste carrier on 01/23/2013 21:39:36 MST Print View

If you like using toothpaste, squeeze a bunch into a plastic straw and fold the ends over. One end gets taped permanently shut, the other has an easy to remove rubber band.

This works for all kinds of things including seasonings, sunscreen, etc..

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Mine's close... 12g set on 01/28/2013 20:40:31 MST Print View

I was in Japan in November and every hotel had these toothbrush/toothpaste sets as part of the bathroom amenities. I cut down the handle to 5" and the set is 12g.

I fully admit to cleaning out every single hotel I stayed in... :D


Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Why not dried tooth paste? on 03/25/2013 03:52:56 MDT Print View

Hi folks!

Why don't you put 2 pieces of tooth paste for each day of hiking. Then dry them (2-3) days. Then put them into ziploc bag. Add some tooth powder or even wheat flour to keep pieces separated (I don't even add powder).
0) Works great!
1) ziploc is lighter than any tube
2) you carry the exact amount of paste you need.

Before use, just chew a little the piece of dried paste.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Dried toothpaste dots on 03/25/2013 10:52:47 MDT Print View

I've experimented with dehydrated toothpaste dots, and I found they don't re-hydrate all that well :-(

Perhaps that's the "nature of the beast" (= and just get over it - that they don't rehydrate completely) or perhaps there's a better way of drying them out.

In the meantime, I'm still relying on Dr.Bronners

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Dried toothpaste dots on 03/25/2013 11:13:49 MDT Print View

Eco-Dent tooth powder.

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re:Dried toothpaste dots on 03/25/2013 12:51:16 MDT Print View

I found that toothpaste dots do not re-hydrate very well either, they typically resulted in a mouthful of toothpaste chunks. I ended up deciding to apply the same technique that works for re-hydrating dehydrated meats; smaller pieces. I ended up throwing my toothpaste dots into a coffee bean grinder. The end result was something similar to toothpaste powder but it is malleable enough to pinch into a wad of paste that can easily be placed on the brush head. The best part is that it re-hydrates into more or less normal toothpaste in my mouth almost instantly. I simply carry the appropriate amount in a medicine size zip lock, for a 3-5 day trip the weight doesn't even register on my scale.