If you’ve ever been hiking, you know that every little bit of space matters in your hiking pack, so there’s never room to spare for “extra” things.
This is especially true for multi-day hikes where you absolutely cannot sacrifice even the smallest ounce of space. If anything, your pack starts collecting carabiners holding onto other things like water bottles, flip flops, and even snack bags.
So when you need extra food, it goes in your pockets. Or you learn to do without. Or forage. Or even sacrifice other important gear because you need your food. That’s what it’s all about, sacrifice. It’s the name of the game.
But what about your hygiene? Everyone knows that water filters are essential for hiking and getting clean water for drinking, washing, and the likes. How about your dental hygiene? What are you supposed to take when you’re on the trail?
This is small and inconspicuous enough to fit in your pack. I’d only suggest bringing this if you’re hiking for multiple days at a time (3+ days).
While toothpicks would get the job done better on fewer days hiking, these may come in handy if you’re hiking for up to a week or more (think the Appalachian Trail). After a handful of days, your teeth desperately need real flossing, so these are relatively small enough to fit in a tiny dental pack that should be fine in your hiking pack.
Water is going to be the most important thing you have available while hiking for more reasons than your dental hygiene (and general hygiene). You’ll need it to drink multiple times a day for your own thirst and health. You’ll need it to keep clean, wash anything off of you, and keep your clothes clean. You’ll need it for cooking and for coffee or anything else you may have in the morning.
Basically, water is of the utmost importance when you’re out in survival mode in the wilderness. So, water filters and some sort of hiking stove are incredibly essential if you’re going to rough it out in the wilderness on your own. There is no substitute to a good water filter and a great and compact travel stove. Don’t shirk on either of these items when you’re out shopping for gear, because they’re two of the most important things in your entire pack if you want to keep fed and quenched throughout your hiking trip.