When camping and backpacking in the great Idaho wilderness, we’re used to roughing it. From skipping showers to re-wearing hiking socks, we don’t mind skimping on a little personal hygiene.
But when it comes to brushing our teeth? That’s one routine you can’t afford to skip. The longer that plaque stays on pearly whites, the more likely it can turn into tartar and—eventually—tooth decay.
Try these 3 backpacking smile tips that won’t leave a trace:
1. Brush 200 feet from trails and water sources.
All soap, including toothpaste, can cause problems in water habitats. Soap increases nitrogen levels and decreases surface tension, harming fish and aquatic life.
Note: Soap and toothpaste listed as “biodegradable” is still harmful to water life, as these products can only be broken down by soil.
2. Use a minimal amount.
While it may be tempting to cover every single bristle with paste, you really only need a pea-sized glob.
3. Spray it, don’t spit it.
Toothpaste is more harmful in a concentrated amount. When possible, dispose of toothpaste in a designated soiled area, such as a fire pit. Otherwise, diffuse the toothpaste by spraying it around a vast area.
Adventure on with a healthy smile, Idaho!