Toilet paper is a must have – almost in the same bracket as food and water. Unfortunately, not all places have TP on demand, such as the in wilderness and in lots of places in South America. Leaves don’t really cut it either, as I learned during the Lares Trek, a 3 day trek in the high altitudes of Cusco, Peru.
That’s where ‘travel toilet paper’ is supposed to save the day. Except it doesn’t.
Travel toilet paper is basically toilet paper without the cardboard cylinder in the middle, and at rip off prices. Without the cardboard, the toilet paper is inevitably more compact and therefore easier to pack with you. The absent piece of cardboard might even save you from carrying an extra half-ounce in your travel backpack.
Although the travel toilet paper might save you a bit of space in your pack, it still isn’t worth it, at least in my opinion.
Let’s break down the math:
Scott: $5.49 ÷ 12 = $0.46 per roll
Coleman: $4.97 ÷ 3 = $1.66 per roll
$1.66 – $0.46 = $1.20
You’re saving $1.20 per roll by buying normal toilet paper. By simply pulling out the cardboard from the paper, you could easily make your own ‘travel toilet paper’. Or you could even unravel your normal toilet paper and fold it up and put it in a sandwich bag.
The only real appeal for travel toilet paper would be its compactness. Maybe it’s nice to have such compact toilet paper, but is having the cardboard cylinder removed for you really worth an extra dollar per roll?
$1 can go pretty far in South America and parts of Asia. In Puno Peru, you could buy one fifth of a touristy but tasty 3-course meal and in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, you could buy a big bowl of soup. Saving money by buying normal toilet paper could buy you some delicious local foods and see even more while traveling.
Well, at least the Coleman toilet paper is made in the USA.
Have you ever used travel toilet paper? Leave your comment below.
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