Ultimate Camp Kitchen - Wish List - Gear Reviews

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When heading into the woods for an extended period of time, the one category of gear that I struggle with most is around the kitchen.  It seems like I always end up with way more stuff than I need and what I do bring has had the tendency to disappoint.   Here are a few camp kitchen essentials I think make the super short list.

Snowpeak- Titanium Sporks:  At just over half an ounce, these sporks add nearly no weight to your pack and will handle most eating tasks beautifully.  Unlike most sporks you can actually fork something with them.  Stabbing chunks of breakfast sausage and fried potato like a champ.  Plus, the funky colors make it easy to tell when someone "borrowed" your gear.  MSRP: $9.95
Colorful and tough, these make short work of nearly any back-country meal

Innate - Camp Towel:  Having a towel around camp seems like it may be a bit frivolous, but trust me, you will use this one more than you thought possible.  From drying dishes to yourself after a swim in the lake, this super absorbent quick drying towel is all you will need.  At about 1 foot by 2 feet, it may not be huge but it just never seems to get saturated, it could keep drying forever.  Add a little dish soap, a couple quick rubs together and a rinse, and it was as good as new.  MSRP: $17 (Small) - $22 (Medium) - $34 (Large)
One towel - 6 days - dishes - swimming - NO Problem

Primus - Thermal Bottle:  For those trips where temperatures are extreme, a quality vacuum sealed thermal bottle is a must-have.  This Primus bottle comes in 1.2 and 1.5 liter models and keeps its contents stable for hours.  In the summer heat it kept ice for over 2 full days (makes those back woods beverages SO much better).  With temps dropping like a rock around here, I will get to test the cold weather performance all too soon.   MSRP: $22
Keep your lemonade cold or your soup hot  far longer than necessary

 Sea to Summit - Kitchen Sink:  I was blown away at how well this sink worked.  We were able to power through a pile of dishes after each meal in half the time it usually takes with just a large camp pot.   The low profile and bulging design made it almost unspillable.  Go ahead and use hot water, not a problem, and dishes actually get clean.  Use it to soak your feet after a rough portage (just try not to let your germ-phobic friends see ya' doing it, they kinda freak out).  MSRP:  $15-25 depending on size
Water bucket, Kitchen Sink, Bath Tub, Dog Bowl.... use as you see fit
Sea to Summit - X-Set:  Pack space gets gobbled up by most mugs, bowls and even plates, unless you have an X-Set.  The 3-piece set (plate, bowl and cup) collapses down into a  1" tall, 12" round zipper pouch that fits almost anywhere in your pack.  The base of each piece is a rigid plastic and the collapsing sides are a food grade silicone.  I cut my steak on my plate and scooped oatmeal from the bowl without issue.  I was pleasantly surprised how little heat transfer there was when using the cup for my morning coffee.  No need to sacrifice performance for space savings any more...  MSRP: $29.95
Carry a Plate, Bowl and Cup in the space of a Frisbee
SOG - Aura Camp Knife:  If I could only bring one knife into the woods (last time I brought 3, I know - I know) this would be the one. This 6" fixed blade can handle almost any cutting task and stayed sharp long past when it should.  A tough yet comfortable non-slip handle made using it a dream.  If it does get dull, unscrew the sharpener from the end of the handle and bring back that razor edge in a few seconds.  MSRP: $53
Cut, carry, sharpen - all in one package

Industrial Revolution - Stormproof Matches:  Struggling to get a fire going in the rain will never be an issue again with these matches.  They light easily on the striker on the outside of the waterproof container.  Once lit they burn for 10 to 15 seconds (most matches are 3-5 seconds) and will burn even is submerged in water.  Remember the old M-80 firecracker fuses, that's what they are like.  Don't light one in your tent though, you can't just blow this out when you are done.  MSRP: $5.99 for the kit

Weather vs. Fire - Fire Wins!

Platypus - PlatyPreserve Wine Bladders:  If you like your wine, and the good ole box wines just don't satisfy your sophisticated pallete, then head down to your cellar and grab what you want.  Pour it into the PlatyPreserve bladder and it will be good for several days, easy.  Platypus says it may even last for weeks because of you squeeze the air out of the bag before capping it, you have eliminated the chance for O2 to mess up the program.  Tough and reusable, weight saving and collapsible; back-country wine reinvented.  MSRP: $9.95 each or $29.95 for a 4-pack
Want your favorite Cabernet in the woods?  PlatyPreserve it...

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