Apr 22, 2011 at 11:27 am #1272686
what do you take?
toilet paper? bug spray (i don't know if this is considered a toiletry but…)?
and do you make this part of your base weight? i know this changes depending on how long you'll be on the trail but…
thanks…Apr 22, 2011 at 11:35 am #1728024
A small amount of paper towels for general clean up a very small thing of hand sanitizer ".40ounce" same size thing of bug juice a Sm drilled Out toothbrush and some salt to use as toothepaste and some unscented baby wipesApr 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm #1728085
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
A lot of this depends on your personal situation. The following is what I take.
Dental: small travel toothbrush, dental floss (Crest Glide threader floss for cleaning bridgework), baking soda (dentist recommended). The floss is removed from its individual envelopes and put into a small plastic bag. Floss doubles as sewing thread and baking soda is useful for various medicinal purposes. I've spent too many thousands of $$$$ on dental work to stint on dental hygiene!
Sunblock–in tiny dropper bottle (I keep covered up so I don't need much)
Hand sanitizer–either in tiny dropper bottle or sample bottle, depending on length of trip. Because of the effect of even tiny quantities of soap on aquatic life, I will not take soap.
Lotion, unscented–also in tiny dropper bottle. I use just a few drops massaged around each fingernail twice daily. If I don't use it, I get horrible hangnails which inevitably get infected.
Body Glide (for feet), repackaged in small plastic bag.
Lip balm–I really like the Burt's Bees stuff, although I do worry about bears being attracted to the beeswax.
If my hair were longer (I keep it quite short), I would take a small pocket comb. I wear a hat most of the time when backpacking. Back in the days when I had long hair, I took a pocket comb and combed out and rebraided my hair daily. My mother used to French braid hers, but I never mastered that skill. I do take a comb for my dog (to lessen the amount of dog hair and eliminate possible creepy-crawlies from the tent), which he carries in his doggie pack.
For the thick liquids (sunscreen, lotion), I remove the little dropper insert from the dropper bottle.
I take one and a half "Handi-Wipes" (semi-disposable towels found in a package at the supermarket) which usually last me a season. They are lighter and dry several times faster than those expensive pack towels and are just as absorbent. The half-towel is my washrag/dishrag and the whole one is my towel/dishtowel. I like to sponge off hands, face, neck, ears and body areas most likely to sweat each night at bedtime.
The controversial (on this forum) subject of TP: Because of medical conditions, I take, per day, three paper towel rectangles (11"x6") (far more absorbent than TP) and one unscented diaper wipe for cleansing of the nether regions. Needless to say, I pack out the used items. We women need to be extra careful here, especially those of us prone to infections. As for me, I absolutely won't pluck any green vegetation in fragile alpine areas, and if I tried to use rocks or pine cones I'd end up in the hospital!
I include all this stuff in base weight except the TP and a couple other items I need for the nether regions. Those are the only ones that vary enough from trip to trip to be worth recording as consumables, or, as I prefer to call it, "variable weight." (That's my accounting background coming to the fore.) I just eyeball to make sure I have enough in the little bottles for the trip, and the total difference between a 3-dayer and a 7-dayer might be 0.3 ounce.Apr 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm #1728089
The whole key to that is tiny containers. You want containers that hold just the necessary quantity of each item to cover the length of your trip. My tube of toothpaste is less than half of the diameter of my little finger, and it lasts for about a week.
–B.G.–Apr 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm #1728119
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Depends upon the length of the trip. On weekends I take:
Dr. Bronners soap in mini-dropper
Toilet paper (sorry Mike C)
Deet if there are bugs
Maybe sunscreen if I don't have a tan yet
That's it except for some minimal 1st aid stuff.
Your teeth won't fall out if you don't brush or floss them for a couple of days. But sometimes I might take toothpaste and a finger brush.
Longer trips are pretty much the same, but I will always take toothpaste and a finger brush.
I include soap, toothpaste, deet, and sunscreen in my base weight for no particular reason.Apr 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm #1728259
That was more information than I needed.
Thanks so much guys and gals
I'm going to get mini droppers tomorrow fromthe store. I'm only going in overnighters right now but I want yo make it a habit of taking the same stuff evrytime.Apr 22, 2011 at 10:05 pm #1728275
bob where do you get a squeezable container that tiny?Apr 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm #1728280
All liquids decanted to the smallest possible container to cover the duration of the trip:
Alcohol gel hand cleaner
Mont Bell Ti potty trowel
Toilet paper (travel size)
Micro towel (or bandana)
Floss (tiny sample roll or sewing bobbin)
CombApr 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm #1728284
>bob where do you get a squeezable container that tiny?
My guess is he squeezes it into a drinking straw?
You can also dry little dots of toothpaste on some wax paper, and take exactly the amount you need. Mike C describes this somewhere in the forums…now, if I could only get the search function to work…Apr 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm #1728285
One toothpaste tube, shown larger than life:
Where did it come from? I used to have to fly to Japan on business, and this was in the overnight amenities kit on JAL. The original toothpaste was awful, so I cleaned it all out thoroughly and then just re-used the squeeze container.
To get toothpaste INTO it, you just hold the big tube opening tightly against the small tube opening and squeeze until you get one or two spoons full of it across.
When I use it on a backpack trip, I use only a bean-size portion. That helps keep the odor down to avoid attracting animals.
–B.G.–Apr 22, 2011 at 10:43 pm #1728286
I stand corrected.Apr 22, 2011 at 10:48 pm #1728288
"My guess is he squeezes it into a drinking straw?"
I use portions of plastic drinking straws mostly for single-use quantities. The photo of the toothpaste tube shows it after it was used for one week.
I finished up loading my empty gelatin drug capsules with single-use quantities of foot powder and that sort of thing. Feet can become problems if you are walking around in wet boots for long.
The aerosol bottle is shorter and wider, so it holds DEET.
–B.G.–Apr 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm #1728295
Mike In SocalParticipant
I have to wear contacts. Glasses just don't work for me and I need to put up with the extra hassle of carrying saline solution. I find that the 4 oz. bottles will last me about 3 full days.Apr 23, 2011 at 12:15 am #1728306
About the only thing I can add to this thread is support for what Mary D mentiond:
The controversial (on this forum) subject of TP: "…take… per day, three paper towel rectangles (11"x6") (far more absorbent than TP) and one unscented diaper wipe for cleansing of the nether regions. Needless to say, I pack out the used items…"
If you ever run into a..uhhh..problem, it's well worth using cut-to-size paper towel and baby wipes to clean up. They don't disintegrate when wet. Keeps you smelling better and you'll never get kicked out of a shared tent. I rinse the wipes at home, then re-energize them with a little mild soap. Somewhere in one of the BPL articles I read that hand sanatizers don't work as well as we would like, so I rely on plain soap and water, well away from camp or waterways.
Because I only carry 2 different amounts – one set for 4 days, and one for longer trips, these are part of my base weight. Taking home extras is better than running out.Apr 23, 2011 at 5:09 am #1728313
usplastics has the full range from 3 cc on up.
How do people feel about flip top caps? Too big a chance of failure?Apr 23, 2011 at 7:10 am #1728333
@johnjLocale: Orange County, CA
I'm still gearing up, but I think I'm going to be a "soap, not sanitizer" guy. Too many articles on the webs doubting the effectiveness of sanitizers. Example.
[update: reading more carefully, I see Gene also mentioned this]Apr 23, 2011 at 8:00 am #1728344
I've bought small plastic vials in small batches on eBay. Stores that sell scented oils often have a great selection of small vials.
Flip tops are an accident waiting to happen. In prefect world, use screw tops and a small odor proof bag. Raccoons love toiletries: my daughter had her pack raided for the lipstick. Peppermint soap and toothpaste make them crazy.Apr 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm #1728607
Nooneentioned this. Why?
Also what soap do you take?
I was thinking of putting some of my regular 3 in 1 shampoo that I use everyday. Shampoo conditioner and body wash but it has a really strong smell.Apr 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm #1728610
Unless I was thru hiking, I wouldn't even consider shampoo. 5 day trips with no real shower is not a big deal…honest
And deodorant attracts bears…for real
If I feel like I'm out there long enough to require soap, I take dr. bronners. That stuff will take care of your hair, body and teeth and its biodegradable.
For sanitation, I carry purell.
Edit* Just read the link above. Interesting to hear about hand sanitizer not being what its made out to be. I think I'll still carry it though. I don't like the idea of washing my hands with fresh river water ( giardia, crypto etc etc) which would mean that I need to tap into my drinking water to thoroughly wash my hands with soap…not sure I'm into that, and even less so considering that I can't recall any time I've gotten ill because of a tripApr 24, 2011 at 12:06 am #1728662
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
A toothbrush is unnecessary, even on longer trips.
You can tear the fibers off of plants, I like to use thistle, and actually use that to floss your teeth. A simple carved toothpick helps too.Apr 24, 2011 at 2:13 am #1728670
Antifungal foot cream- need healthy feet
Skin cleaner "wipes"- also a first aid item
Soap- on longer trip or trip I wanna wash my head/hairApr 24, 2011 at 5:11 am #1728684
1) Baking Soda – teeth
2) Medicated Foot powder – For feet and chaffing.
3) Minimal bug dope and sunscreen, I stay pretty covered up.
4) 2 wipes a day – Helps keep chaffing away (I will carry a few extra grams to hike happy!)
5) Burt's Bees Lip Balm – It's the balm!
6) Handywipe – all around wash clothe/towel.Apr 24, 2011 at 11:44 am #1728782
@jnelson871Locale: CA Bay Area
Tooth Powder (baking soda and salt)
Sun ScreenApr 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm #1728794
My contribution to going wild: no deodorant and no shaving. If people are going about with a single edge razor blade in lieu of a knife, how do you justify deodorant? +1 on attracting critters.
You can shampoo with Dr Bronners, but the whole process is going to pollute and getting a good rinse while keeping the suds out of the local water source is a challenge. For comparison, doing a sponge bath takes a lot less water than a full-out shampoo. A good simple rinse with cold water will go a long way too. If you are through hiking, it's time to have short hair.
As to alcohol gel hand cleaner, it is quite effective and you will find stations on every floor and at elevator lobbies in some hospitals. I use it when I don't have access to good quantities of water. Soap and water are good as they remove the dirt that is harboring the bacteria in the first place. I wouldn't worry about hand contamination when washing with wild water sources in North America. You could still back it up with alcohol gel if it is really suspect.Apr 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm #1728797
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I carry many more items than most but they are in very small containers and I bring just enough to last until I can resupply. Toothpaste, Dr Bronners peppermint, mineral oil, alcohol wipes, a small comb, lip balm, sunscreen, 100% DEET, deodorant, lotion (for cracked skin on fingers), sanitizing gel, and a couple towelettes for when it's too cold, dark, windy, rainy/snowy, or tired to clean up with water.
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