Essential Tips for Brushing Teeth During a Camping Trip and Leaving No Trace

Hey there, fellow adventurers! Are you planning a camping trip soon? Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush! We all know that keeping up with dental hygiene is important, but it can be easy to let it slide when you’re out in the wilderness. But fear not! With a few essential tips, you can keep your pearly whites shining bright even when you’re miles away from home. 

And let’s not forget about leaving no trace, because as responsible campers, we want to ensure we’re doing our part to protect the environment. So let’s dive into some essential tips for brushing teeth during a camping trip and leaving no trace.

1. Bringing The Right Tools

Brushing Teeth During a Camping Trip

When it comes to dental hygiene on a camping trip, it all starts with the right tools. First and foremost, make sure you bring a toothbrush. You can either bring your regular toothbrush from home or invest in a camping toothbrush that’s designed to be more compact and portable. Another option is a disposable toothbrush, which is lightweight and convenient if you’re looking to save space in your backpack.

Read more: How to Keep a Camping Toilet from Smelling?

Of course, you’ll also need toothpaste, but you don’t want to lug around a bulky tube that takes up precious space in your pack. Opt for a travel-sized toothpaste or even toothpaste tablets that dissolve in your mouth. And don’t forget to bring dental floss or other interdental cleaners, which are just as important for maintaining good oral health.

Lastly, consider bringing a container to hold all of your dental hygiene tools, such as a toiletry bag or plastic container. This will keep everything organized and make it easier to find what you need when it’s time to brush your teeth. With the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining good dental hygiene on your camping trip.

2. Finding a Good Location for Brushing Teeth

Brushing Teeth During a Camping Trip

Now that you’ve got your toothbrush and toothpaste, it’s time to find the perfect spot to brush your teeth. The most important thing to keep in mind is to choose a location that won’t harm the environment. You don’t want to brush your teeth in a spot that will contaminate water sources or damage the surrounding ecosystem.

Ideally, you should choose a spot at least 200 feet away from your campsite and any water sources. Look for a location with flowing water, such as a stream or river, to make rinsing your mouth and toothbrush easier. But remember, never use soap or toothpaste in or near a water source. Instead, use a small container of water to rinse your mouth and toothbrush, and then dump the water at least 200 feet away from the water source.

Also: How to Stay Warm Camping in 30-degree Weather

If you’re camping in an area with no access to flowing water, consider bringing a small amount of water with you specifically for brushing your teeth. And always make sure to pack out any waste, including toothpaste, dental floss, and other disposable items.

By taking a few extra minutes to find a suitable location for brushing your teeth, you’ll be doing your part to minimize your impact on the environment and keep our wild spaces clean and healthy.

3. Proper Brushing Technique

Brushing Teeth During a Camping Trip

Now that you’ve found a good spot to brush your teeth, it’s time to focus on the proper brushing technique. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, using a circular motion and gentle pressure.

Start by wetting your toothbrush and applying a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use gentle circular motions to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth, as bacteria can collect there as well.

If you’re using a camping toothbrush, be aware that the bristles may be stiffer than those of a regular toothbrush. To avoid damaging your gums, be sure to brush gently and use a light touch.

After brushing, use a small amount of water to rinse your mouth and toothbrush. Don’t forget to pack out any disposable items, such as dental floss or toothpaste, in a sealable bag.

4. Cleaning your tools

Brushing Teeth During a Camping Trip

After you’ve finished brushing your teeth, it’s important to properly clean your dental hygiene tools. This not only helps to prolong their lifespan, but it also prevents the spread of bacteria.

Start by shaking off any excess water from your toothbrush and allowing it to air dry completely before storing it. If you’re using a disposable toothbrush, be sure to dispose of it properly in a trash bag.

If you’re using dental floss, be sure to pack out any used floss in a sealable bag to avoid leaving waste behind. You can also rinse off any interdental cleaners, such as a water flosser, and allow them to air dry before packing them away.

Check out: How to clean Camping Water Containers?

When it comes to toothpaste, be sure to cap it tightly and store it in a sealable bag to prevent it from leaking or drying out.

By taking the time to properly clean and store your dental hygiene tools, you’ll not only keep them in good condition, but you’ll also do your part to minimize your impact on the environment.

5. Leaving no trace

As responsible campers, it’s important that we leave our campsites and surrounding areas in the same condition as we found them. This means taking extra care to ensure that we leave no trace of our visit, including our dental hygiene routine.

When brushing your teeth in the great outdoors, it’s important to pack out any waste, including toothpaste tubes, dental floss, and disposable toothbrushes. These items can take years to decompose and can harm the environment if left behind.

To minimize waste, consider bringing a biodegradable toothbrush and toothpaste or using a small amount of baking soda instead of toothpaste. This will not only reduce your impact on the environment, but it will also lighten your pack.

Remember to always follow Leave No Trace principles when camping, including packing out all waste, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife and their habitats.

What kind of toothpaste do you use when camping?

When camping, consider using biodegradable toothpaste such as Tom’s of Maine or Dr. Bronner’s. These toothpastes are made from natural ingredients that break down quickly in the environment and won’t harm wildlife. Another option is to use baking soda, which is a natural and effective tooth cleaner. Regardless of which toothpaste you choose, remember to only use a small amount and to pack out any waste.


We hope these essential tips for brushing your teeth during a camping trip have been helpful to you. Remember to bring the right tools, find a good location for brushing, use proper brushing technique, clean your tools, and leave no trace.

By following these tips, you can maintain good oral hygiene while enjoying the great outdoors and minimizing your impact on the environment. Don’t forget to choose a biodegradable toothpaste, pack out all waste, and dispose of it properly to ensure that our natural areas remain pristine for future generations to enjoy.

Now go forth and explore the wilderness with a healthy and happy smile!

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