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Published May. 2, 2022

I’ll admit it, when it comes to camping utensils: I’ve owned a spork or two in my time. Even one of those with a built-in knife. But the spork just didn’t satisfy me. I could never spear my pasta or even hold an adequate amount of soup without it dribbling through the prongs. And the knife? Please. To find something (anything) better, I tested 13 utensils and utensil sets, and even a couple of sporks, and arrived at six of the best camping utensils available today. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Camping Utensils

Utility

Do you need lightweight camping utensils for backpacking or a durable set to take the kids car camping? Do you tend toward simple freeze-dried meals that require only a (longish) spoon, or are you eating full-sit dinners with a fork and knife? Determining how you’ll use your camping utensils or the things you need in camp will help narrow down the right set for your needs. 

Materials

The best camping utensils are typically made from metal (aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium), or plastic. Each of them have their benefits and flaws. Metal utensils—both aluminum and stainless steel—are affordable options, but aluminum tends to be less durable, while stainless steel can be heavy. Titanium utensils are both lightweight and durable but typically more expensive than other options. Plastic utensils typically run cheaper than metals but will break sooner. Some also contain BPA, or bisphenol A, a chemical found in certain plastics and resins. 

BPA Concerns

Materials with BPA are used for food and beverages, and have been found to seep into the food or liquid that they contain. This is a concern for many, as BPA is known to negatively affect the brain and prostate glands of children, infants, and even fetuses. There may also be a connection with increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. There has been a push to eliminate BPAs in products used for food and beverages. Two compounds that are sometimes used instead of BPA are BPS (bisphenol S) and BPF (bisphenol F). While studies are still being conducted on the long-term effects of these compounds, there is concern that they may present health risks equal to, or even greater than, that of BPA. 

Weight

Unless you’re backpacking, weight might not be your biggest concern. Titanium, aluminum, and plastic tend to work best for lightweight backpacking materials. Stainless steel, though durable, feels quite heavy by comparison. 

Durability

Since utensils are often stuffed haphazardly into backpacks or camping boxes and the rest of your camping dishes, they need durability. Stainless steel and titanium tend to be more durable materials for camping utensils than other choices. 

Cost

If you’re purchasing a single set of utensils, most of these options won’t break the bank. However, if you plan to purchase sets for a family of four or more, you might want to consider the price before purchasing several.

Best Overall: Snow Peak Titanium Fork & Spoon Set

Snow Peak

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Key Features

  • Manufacturer weight: 1.1 ounces; measured weight: 1.2 ounces
  • Length: 6.5 ounces
  • Materials: aluminum
  • Includes a fork and spoon

Why It Made the Cut

This spoon and fork combo from Snow Peak hit the sweet spot in my testing. It’s light enough for backpacking, yet extremely durable and functional. 

Pros

  • Lightweight enough for backpacking
  • Fork performed well during testing
  • Highly durable for its weight

Cons

  • No knife option
  • Carrying pouch felt heavier than other carabiners I tested

Product Description 

If you’re looking for one set of utensils for both car camping and backpacking, then the Snow Peak Titanium Set is the best option available. Its titanium construction is slightly thicker than the MSR Titan duo I tested, which showed during the durability test when it bent only slightly. This impressive win in durability only cost the Snow Peak .2 ounces over my best backpacking pick. 

Even better, the fork won the pasta hold test among the lighter weight camping utensils and the spoon came in second, with a pleasing angle that makes slurping hot soup on a cold day no problem. My only real complaint is the lack of a knife, but overall, this set is hard to beat.

Best Multi-Function: Outdoor Edge ChowPal

Outdoor Edge

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Key Features

  • Manufacturer weight: 2.4 ounces; measured weight: 2.2 ounces
  • Length: 6.5 inches
  • Materials: stainless steel
  • Includes fork, spoon, and knife

Why It Made the Cut

A knife, fork, and spoon all-in-one gets an upgrade with a bottle opener and can opener, and the knife on this set soared during the test.

Pros

  • Excellent knife
  • Interlocking pieces
  • Extremely sturdy

Cons

  • Limited spoon capacity compared to others
  • Three pronged fork compared to the four of the others

Product Description

Despite the unusual appearance of the Outdoor Edge ChowPal, this well-designed utensil is both compact and versatile. When the two pieces lock together, the knife and fork stow safely, so you don’t have to worry about stabbing yourself, yet they’re still easy to deploy. And the knife/spoon separates from the fork for a proper dining experience. I really appreciated the knife, which is more akin to a pocket knife than a traditional table knife. And realistically, that’s what I want when I’m ready to slice into my salami in the backcountry anyway. 

The only true ding here is the spoon, which is significantly shallower than others I tested—it will work well for scarfing up mashed potatoes, but if you’re planning on a lot of cold-weather soups, you might be disappointed. 

Best for Backpacking: MSR Titan Fork and Spoon 

Key Features

  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Length: 6.8 inches
  • Materials: titanium 
  • Includes a fork a spoon

Why It Made the Cut

This ultralight duo only weighs a smidge lighter than my best overall pick, and I also appreciated the slightly longer spoon for digging food out of my pot.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable for a backpacking set

Cons

  • Fork didn’t perform as well as others in my test

Product Description

Sure the Snow Peak set performed better in every test over the MSR Titans, but I know that’s not what you gram counters care about. So if you’re just after that sub-10 pound base weight,  the Titans will help get you there, saving you a precious .2 ounces with plenty of functionality and durability for that big adventure (the spoon I took on the Colorado Trail is still kicking several years later). And there is one more upside—the spoon is slightly longer than the Snow Peak, making it that much easier to get the last of those Idahoans out of the bag. 

Best Minimalist: GSI Pouch Spoon

Key Features

  • Weight: .5 ounces
  • Length: 8.75 inches
  • Materials: acetal 
  • Just a spoon

Why It Made the Cut

This affordable, lightweight, durable spoon is long enough to reach into the far corners of your favorite freeze-dried meal bags without taking up a ton of space in your pack. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Budget friendly
  • One of the most durable tested
  • Long enough to use with dehydrated pouch meals

Cons

  • Literally just a plastic spoon

Product Description

You know who you are, you backpackers (likely thru-hikers) that have been singing the praises of the disposable spoon scrounged from that last roadside gas station after you lost your titanium one somewhere in the Sierras. And I get it—I’ve done it too—but here’s the thing: that’s supposed to be a stop gap when you lose your spoon, not your new UL hiker trash gear plan. 

This is the spoon you want. It’s dirt cheap, surprisingly durable, and springs right back into place no matter how far I try to bend it. It’s even pretty long—definitely longer than that piece of white plastic. Even better: it’s BPA, BPS, and BPF free, so there won’t be as many chemicals leaching into your body with each bite. 

Most Compact: Decathlon Quechua MH500, Stainless Steel Foldable Camping Cutlery

Decathlon

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Key Features

  • Weight: 3 ounces
  • Manufacturer length: 6.5 inches unfolded and 3.5 inches folded; measured length 6.75 inches unfolded and 4 inches folded
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Includes a fork and spoon 

Why It Made the Cut

The Quechua MH500s felt surprisingly sturdy in my hand during the test, and when folded, it fits inside the smallest cooking pot in my camping box.

Pros

  • Easily packable
  • Affordable
  • Sturdier than other collapsible camping utensils 

Cons

  • Angle of the spoon makes it difficult to use for soup
  • No knife
The Best Camping Utensils of 2022
The Quechua MH500s are sturdy and easily fit inside a cooking pot when folded. Laura Lancaster

Product Description

Packing a pot box, trying to stuff in towels, plates, cooking pots, and camping mugs is the camping version of tetris. Which makes the foldable design of the Quechua MH 500s a real game changer. These easily fit inside a cup or cooking pot without an awkward spoon poking out the top and preventing you from closing the lid fully. 

I also liked that these were among the cheaper sets of the full-metal camping utensils I tested, and they’re affordable enough to buy a set for the entire family. Unlike other collapsible utensils I’ve tried, these are surprisingly rigid when unfolded and felt just as sturdy as the other full metal sets in this test. 

Best Budget: ust Klipp Utensil Set

Key Features 

  • Manufacturer weight: 2.2 ounces; measured weight: 3.6 ounces
  • Length: 6.5 inches 
  • Materials: stainless steel
  • Includes a fork, spoon, and knife

Why It Made the Cut

A bargain basement price and good functionality makes the Klipp utensil set a great choice for car campers on a budget. 

Pros

  • Low price
  • Reasonably durable
  • Good functionality across all three utensils

Cons

  • Too heavy for most backpackers

Product Description 

If you’re buying utensil sets for the whole family, and you don’t want to have to buy them twice, the ust Klipp merits serious consideration. For a quarter of the price of similar sets, it provided great durability and only bent slightly during that test. The fork and knife both rated “good” during the pasta and the salami test, respectively, while the spoon was one of the best I tried for slurping up soup, which held a high volume of liquid with a nice angle on the grip. 

The only ding here is weight, which I measured at 1.2 ounces above the stated manufacturer weight. I don’t think these make the best option for backpackers (the MSR Titans, the Snow Peak, or the GSI Pouch Spoon fit better for that category), but for car campers and picnickers, these make an excellent, ideal budget option.

The Rest of the Field

I also tested the following camping utensils:

  • Sea to Summit Delta
  • Sea to Summit AlphaLight
  • The tableware set from Coleman
  • Industrial Revolution Utility Spork
  • Gerber Devour Ti Multi-Fork
  • GSI Outdoors Spork + Sticks
  • HydroFlask tableware set

All of these products had their pros, but they either broke during durability testing, were over priced, or were not designed as smartly as a direct competitor (or all three). Any product that broke during durability testing was disqualified from making the cut.

FAQs

Q: How much do camping utensils cost?

Camping utensils can cost as little as a couple of dollars for a simple spoon to as much as $30 for a titanium spoon and fork set. While the price differentials between a single set can be small, these add up if you purchase multiple sets at a time. 

Q: Why is titanium used in camping utensils?

Titanium marries the best of both aluminum and stainless steel, as it’s both lightweight and durable. However, titanium is generally more expensive than either aluminum or stainless steel. While this might be a limiting factor when choosing a cooking pot, the price differential between stainless steel or aluminum utensils and titanium utensils is less significant (as is the weight savings). 

Q: How can I clean utensils while camping?

While you’re camping, you can hand wash your dishes with soap in either your portable camp sink or at the campgrounds designated camp sink (usually located by the restrooms). For backpacking, you can, if you want, take some of your filtered water 200 feet from the nearest water source and use the tiniest amount of biodegradable soap to clean your utensils properly, perhaps even with a cut-off chunk of sponge. Or you can do what the rest of us do and just rub it off with your bandana and toss it back into your pack for the next day—I won’t tell. 

A woman holding a blue spoon eating soup
While the Sea to Summit Delta utensil set didn’t impress me with its durability, it held more soup than anything else I tested. Laura Lancaster

Methodology 

To find the best camping utensils, I looked at sets from GSI, Hydro Flask, Snow Peak, Gerber, Coleman, Sea to Summit, MSR, Decathlon, UST, Industrial Revolution, Full Windsor, and Outdoor Edge. I began by independently confirming their weight and length against manufacturer specifications. As such, there are some discrepancies noted in the key features for each write-up. Next, I tested the functionality of each utensil and measured how much liquid each spoon could hold before it spilled over the sides, how effectively each fork picked up olive oil-coated al dente penne pasta and some of the best backpacking food, and how well each knife sliced into a salami. 

Next, I tried to break them by bending each utensil at its weakest point (usually the neck). If it bent, I would then bend it back and forth several times to see whether the material would weaken. At the end of testing, I considered which utensil would work best for a variety of outdoor activities, including car camping, backpacking, and thru-hiking, as well as which utensil set would work best for someone planning to engage in all three. 

While several of these camping utensils included extra functions, like bottle opener or wrench, I did not consider these in determining which was the best for each category.

Final Thoughts

A camping utensil has but one job: transport food into your mouth. So, if you’ve carried this utensil around all day in your pack, only to find out that it has broken on you when you’re at your very hungriest, well, you’re going to be one unhappy camper. That’s why I’ve put such a premium on durability in my review. Clever designs and lightweight materials are cool, but they do you no good when your spork is busted into three pieces. Choose the best camping utensils for your activities and prioritize durability above all else. 

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