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The Toob: Backpacking Toothbrush

The Toob Backpacking Toothbrush

The importance of dental hygiene, including tooth brushing, can’t be overemphasized on backpacking trips. You’ll feel better if your teeth are clean and people won’t shy away from you because your breath smells bad.

One of the oldest pieces of gear that I still carry with me on overnight trips is a portable travel toothbrush, called The Toob. It’s a completely self-contained toothpaste and toothbrush system that lives in my bear bag.

It’s quite simple really. It’s a plastic tube that breaks into 3 pieces. The middle piece holds a sawn-off toothbrush. The bottom piece holds a small tube of toothpaste that you fill from the bottom and slides inside the middle piece. The top piece is a cap that covers the toothbrush and keeps it from getting dirty. It has a small hole at the top that helps the toothbrush dry out when not in use.

When you run out of toothpaste, you simply refill the tube. You can also buy replacement brushes when you wear those out.

I’ve owned mine for eleven years now and it comes with me when I backpack or travel on business. It’s perfect!

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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  1. Oh yeah! Even tooth brush is important. This is the most convenient tool anyone will not forget to bring in the wild since it is the only material closest to cleanliness when you are in the wild :D! That one is very simple as you describe it but useful.

  2. I use a cheap travel toothbrush and baking soda as a dentifrice. Banking soda is dentist recommended, lighter than paste and has multiple uses). I finally discovered Crest Glide threader floss for my bridgework. I remove the wound up floss from the individual packets and put them all in a tiny plastic bag. Of course the floss is multiple use, too, if you take a needle with a big enough eye!

  3. Kinda off topic, but what kind of toothpaste do you generally take into the woods? I looked into it a few years ago and all I could come up with was Bens because it was "all natural" it might biodegrade better… but I have no real evidence. Baking soda is an alternative I've used, but I don't if that has any impact either.

    Is any toothpaste better than another as far as leave-no-trace?

  4. I use Crest, but given the small quantities involved, I doubt it makes any difference. One thing I was taught, was to blow the water I use to rinse out my mouth so that it sprays widely into the brush and isn't concentrated on one spot. I suppose an even better way it to dig a hole and bury it.

  5. I'm with you Grannyhiker on this one; we use our mix of baking powder, myhrr, prickly ash, and something else with our dollar store toothbrushes (yes plural, seeing that we get 6 for $1).

  6. Philip, do you have problems getting the top of the inner tube off when it's time to refill? The dried toothpaste that dries in the threads is like glue…I can't get the thing off by hand. It takes a pair of pliers, and even then just barely. Maybe there's a trick…?

  7. Mark, I used to have that problem, but not anymore. You just need a firm grip around the top black ring around the bottom of the tube. Twist and it should come out. Otherwise try using a latex glove.

  8. Phillip,

    I recently came across these at REI and added one to my order. It seems to be a pretty neat idea and I am glad to hear that you have used yours for 4 years (at the time of the post!) I posted a little review about the TOOB brush over on my blog as well.

    Concerning the lid getting stuck on from the toothpaste, I am debating just putting a tiny amount inside it for each trip, and then rinsing it right back out and cleaning it up before I store it again. Do you just leave the toothpaste inside the container after a hike, or clean it out. (Although I am sure you get out much more than I am able too..)

  9. Hey – I'm still using the original stem. They sell replacement brushes. I just leave the toothpaste inside between trips. I also use it for regular travel so it gets used rather often. I still haven't found anything that is better than this product.

  10. I am use Toob Tooth Brush for over 3 years and I just really clean it when I refill the tooth paste, it my go to tooth brush for travel and camping and back woods adventures!
    I got tired of the cheep tooth brushes!

  11. On average , how many uses can you get from one full tube? If a person would want to use powder, instead of paste, would it be possible to fill it with the powder?

  12. Toothpaste is not necessary to clean teeth. Brushing with water and flossing is all that is needed. That’s what I do when backpacking. I have a friend that uses Campsuds :)

  13. I’m coming to this post from the 15 May 2022 Newsletter. I used the Toob for a year, in all seasons, before giving up on it. I found it hard to fill, hard to hold when brushing, and hard to open (to access the paste) with hands that were not warm and dry. I’m glad to read that others have had success with it.

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