Saturday, April 23, 2011

Being a Radical

When people make fun of ultralight backpackers they always give a particular example of radical, ridiculous, over-the-top weight-saving behavior.  I know you know what it is.   Cutting the handles off toothbrushes, right?

Well I always laughed at that also.  Until recently when I started putting my gear together for a three-day hike on the west rim trail of the pine creek gorge.   I noticed that the child's toothbrush that I take backpacking was getting pretty worn out.  So I went to look for a new one.  Ack!  Have you seen the toothbrushes these days?  They are ridiculously heavy!  The plastic is needlessly thick and the handle is covered with a heavy layer of rubber.  Good heavens!  Why the heavy duty construction?  This is for brushing teeth, not chipping away at glaciers.  Even if I weren't a backpacker I would be offended at wasting that much of the earth's resources on a toothbrush.

So I've officially joined the ranks of the backpacking radicals.  A few minutes with my dremel tool and the toothbrush is about the size and weight that any human really needs.   On the left is the old toothbrush I'm replacing and on the right is the new radicalized toothbrush.

I'm really excited about this upcoming hike.  I'm going with two other backpackers who've hiked this trail before.  We are leaving early Monday morning and I'll return on Wednesday evening.  I'll be sure to post some pics.