Pocket Knife Toothbrush Spork (with video)

UPDATE April 4, 2015: Made a new lighter version which includes a pen.

While traveling my gear has evolved constantly. There's always the urge to make things lighter and more convenient. Sometimes it means changing habits in exchange for ditching an item, like getting accustomed to layering up rather than hauling a winter jacket around. Other times it's about multi purposing one item rather than having two separate, like using your tent or rain fly as a pack cover. And other times it's simply upgrading an existing piece of gear, like getting a new sleeping bag that's made with lighter materials.

I came across this thread on a backpacking forum outlining how someone used a tent stake as the base for their eating utensils and toothbrush. They used some tubing on each piece so it could slide on to the end of the stake, the stake becoming the handle.

I thought that was pretty cool, so I snapped off a piece of home brew siphon tubing and used the same concept, except used the ruler (fish fillet thing?) extension on my pocket knife instead of a tent stake. The beauty is that I used the saw on the same knife to cut off the head of a toothbrush, and just about any cheap toothbrush will work in the future once the current one degrades. I used the plastic wrapper the toothbrush came in with holes poked in it to act as the toothbrush holder.

A while after I'd done this I got a new cooking pot that came with a lightweight spork (they call it a foon). Already owning a good spork I wasn't going to keep it. Then I realized that the top came off and could slide right on to that same extension on my pocket knife. Even had it not, I could have rigged up a similar tube situation as done with the toothbrush head.

In the end I've cut some (albeit minimal) weight and excess: toothbrush handle, spork handle and as a bonus, nail clippers. As for that, I finally gave cutting my nails using the pocket knife's scissors a try. I thought it would be much more difficult and time consuming compared to regular clippers, but it turns out to be just as simple and takes only a fraction of a thought's worth of more time to do this way. So nail clippers are gone too.

An added benefit is that I had already gotten in the habit of always having my toothbrush in my pocket rather than in a random backpack pocket, so now I have the same bulk in my pocket, but it's my pocket knife too. I rarely kept that in my pocket until now, just because I don't use it on a day to day basis. Now it's right there when I do need it and I actually use it more just because it's there.

All together it's pretty simple, pretty geeky and while it's not a huge decrease on my overall weight and bulk, it's still an improvement and a convenience. I'm sure better ideas will come along and this too will be replaced, upgraded or altered in time, that's all part of the fun.


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