Camping without forks, spoons, and other eating utensils is definitely possible, but it’s not comfortable, and it forces you to eat like a neanderthal. Luckily, several companies make high-end cutlery sets that are great for camping. They can be packed away in your backpack, or they can be dangled from your belt, and they’re usually a lot tougher than the stuff you have laying around in your kitchen.
In this article, we’ll cover five of the best cutlery sets that you can take on your next camping trip, and we’ll give you a little information that can help you choose the right set from our five suggestions.
Last update on 2020-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What To Look For
You might be wondering why it’s important to carry a high-quality camping cutlery set. Well, in short, a camping cutlery set prevents you from using your field knife to cut food items, and it keeps you from having to carry around bulky forks and spoons like a neurotic homeless man. A spoon fork knife combo allows you to discreetly carry an entire set of eating utensils in your pocket or backpack, and most models weigh the same as a normal pocket knife.
In this section, we’ll talk about the different things that you should look for in a spoon fork knife combo, and then we’ll review some of the best backpacking utensils you can buy.
You can buy any old piece of junk at Walmart, and it’ll work just fine at your dinner table. However, you don’t want to buy a cheap and rather useless eating tool when you plan to go out into the woods. That tool might become your only cutting tool, and it might end up being your main survival tool. You want something that is made from a high-quality metal, and it has to be constructed in a way that can handle a reasonable amount of abuse.
When it comes to most other camping knives, carbon steel is the best blade steel for any situation. However, you should take into account that you will be dipping your camping utensils into soups and other foods, and that will corrode carbon steel. A high-end stainless steel tool or a titanium tool is the best thing you can buy.
Try to find a steel that sharpens easily and stays sharp for a relatively long time. Even if you don’t end up using your camping utensils in an intense situation, you won’t want to have to sharpen your tool’s knife every five seconds.
Utensil sets that don’t pack away in a safe manner can easily leave you with an extra hole in your body. You don’t want to walk around in thick brush with a knife and fork dangling off of your hip without any safety features.
Find a set that has a good case. That’ll keep you safe, and it’ll keep your eating utensils from getting dirty while you move around.
Your eating tools shouldn’t weigh more than your field knife. You won’t use them as much, and if they’re too heavy, they’re an unnecessary burden. After all, we’re talking about a set of tools that is specifically meant to help you eat properly. You don’t need them. You can easily cut up meat with your field knife and lap up food like a dog. An eating tool is a convenience.
A standard set of eating utensils will weigh more than a slip-joint knife or a single-blade folding knife. However, it shouldn’t weigh too much more. Hold your eating tools in one hand, and hold your EDC knife in your other hand. If your eating tools outweigh the knife that you rely on the most by a lot, you should try to find a lighter set.
As we said earlier, you might end up using your tool for more than just eating a nice stew or a piece of fresh fish. Since your eating tool can easily become your only tool, you want to make sure you buy something that can handle a variety of tasks.
Of course, a spoon, knife, and fork are all necessities. However, you should also look for corkscrews, can openers, and other little features that can be useful in multiple types of situations. Don’t think of them as wine openers and can-prying tools. Consider the different things you can use them for. For instance, a corkscrew can be used to drill small holes, and a can opener can be used as a small pry bar.
Camping Utensil Reviews
The Briost set isn’t a hobo knife, but it is a convenient set of eating utensils that will give you all of the tools that you usually have at home.
First, all of the pieces are separate. They’re actually like the knives, forks, and spoons that you use at home, but there are a few differences that make them suitable for taking them on the go.
All of the pieces are made out of titanium. Titanium is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and durable. It can also be sharpened fairly easy, but the included knife isn’t one that you’ll need to sharpen. It’s like a serrated butter knife. Briost didn’t cut corners when it came to making these eating tools, either. They’re thick and sturdy tools, and you would have to intentionally abuse them to break them.
The set comes with titanium chopsticks, too. Chopsticks can obviously be used to handle your food, and if you like to take your portable cutlery to restaurants they can come in handy. However, you can use them creatively on a camping trip. If you want to make kabobs, roasted marshmallows, or a type of meat that needs to be skewered, a chopstick will easily take the place of a traditional skewer. All of the pieces are milled to reduce their weight.
Finally, an odor-free carrying case and a carabiner clip are included with the set. So, you can clip your utensils to your backpack, or you can stuff them in your purse with ease.
This set is nothing like a combo tool, and the knife won’t function well if you have to rely on it while camping, but it’s a great set for when you’re camping, and it’s even a good choice for when you’re just out and about.
- It’s a sturdy and well-built set
- It includes chopsticks that creative campers can use for multiple tasks
- The carrying case makes it easy to keep track of each piece
- The pieces are milled to reduce their weight, but the milled sections don’t make them uncomfortable to use
- The case is made from an odor-free material. So, your other camping gear won’t smell when you pack your eating utensils into your kit
- The knife is just a slightly upgraded butter knife. It’ll slowly cut its way through meat and harder vegetables, but you won’t be able to use it for other camp tasks
- Since it’s not a combo tool, you can easily lose individual pieces of this set if you don’t put them back in the case after you use them. They won’t fit in your pocket, either
This set is smaller than the Briost set, and it doesn’t have chopsticks. However, it’s less expensive, and it is built well.
Each piece is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, and the handles have holes punched out of them to decrease their weight even more. There are also hex-wrench holes punched into the ends of the handles, but we really can’t think of any practical use for them. Unless you find a tiny nut that needs to be loosened, you will never use them.
Each set comes with a carabiner clip that allows you to clip the pieces together. That keeps them organized fairly well, but there’s nothing protecting you from the knife’s edge, and the fork’s prongs are exposed, too. We recommend putting this set in your camping pot or something else that it can’t puncture.
- Aircraft aluminum is durable, but it’s cheaper than titanium. So, you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good set of eating utensils
- The handles are extra thick to keep you from bending or breaking them
- Holes are punched into the handles to reduce their weight
- A carabiner clip is included
- The fork’s prongs and the knife’s blade aren’t covered. If you clip it to your backpack and fall, you might get a fork stuck in your butt. This is a set that you must clip to a safe spot or throw in a container
The Gerber ComplEAT is a more tactical-looking set of eating utensils, and it has the most to offer to campers.
Instead of just offering a knife, fork, and spoon, the ComplEAT offers all of that and a multi-functional spatula and keychain-style multi-tool.
The knife, fork, and spoon are all fairly standard, but the spatula has a serrated edge for cutting tough materials, and it can be combined with the fork to create tongs. The small multi-tool can be used as a can opener, bottle opener, pry bar, and vegetable peeler. All of the parts can be nested together for storage reasons.
This is probably the best set that you can buy for camping. While it doesn’t have a dedicated knife, the spatula can work as one, and you’ll probably have a nice folder on you anyways.
- It has more functionality than other sets
- All of the parts nest together in a safe and portable way
- The spatula that also functions as a knife and tongs is a unique addition
- The only con that the ComplEAT has is that it doesn’t have an actual knife. If you’re camping you should have a knife on you, and the spatula does have a cutting edge. So, this con isn’t a big deal
This set is very similar to the Briost set. It has a fork, knife, and spoon set, and it has a set of chopsticks. However, it also comes with a titanium straw, and it has a long-lasting pipe cleaner tool that you can use to clean the straw. It’s a little more expensive than the Briost, but the price difference is almost negligible.
It does not have an odor-free case, though. Instead, it has a cloth case that is coated with a waterproof coating. This is a fancy set that won’t look out of place if you use it during your everyday life, but it’s also functional enough to be good for camping.
- The titanium straw is a welcome addition
- The set’s other pieces are on par with the Briost set
- The waterproof case is easy to store and resistant to bacteria
- It has all of the pros that the Briost set has
- This set is nice, but the knife isn’t very sharp. It’s another glorified butter knife. If you take it camping, make sure you pack a proper backup knife
This Devico kit isn’t very robust, and it almost feels like a downgraded version of the other kits. However, it does have one thing that works in its favor quite well. It’s a very cheap kit.
For about the price of a fast-food meal, you can get a stainless steel set that allows you to take a fork, spoon, knife, straw, pipe cleaner, and chopsticks wherever you go. The tools aren’t as thick, and the metal used to make them isn’t the best, but they work well. This is a great budget kit for people who don’t want to spend 30 or 40 dollars on a high-end set of portable cutlery.
- It’s a lot cheaper than all of the other sets
- It has all of the basic tools that you need for eating camp meals, and they’ll blend in at restaurants too
- It comes with a cloth case that is rigid. It’s not waterproof, but it works well
- Every piece is made out of food-grade stainless steel. The steel isn’t as resistant to corrosion as titanium.
- The tools are also fairly thin
Those are all of the best backpacking utensils we could find. We believe that the Gerber ComplEAT is the best set on this list for campers. It’s made by a company that is used to supplying campers and outdoor enthusiasts, and every tool lends itself to the outdoors well.
However, the ComplEAT will not blend in during your everyday life very well. If you want a kit that you can take anywhere without people staring at you, you might want to go with the Briost or Sea to Summit sets.
- The compleat is comprised of 4 components: spoon, fork, dual-sided spatula, and a 4 function multi-tool.
- All 4 components together weigh less than 2.5 ounces, and nest together for a slim storage solution.
- Rather than leave those useful TONG behind, the compleat offers a unique solution: create them instead.
- Detachable tool features a serrated Package opener, can opener, bottle opener, and a veggie peeler.
- Limited lifetime warranty
Last update on 2020-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API