However minimalist you are, eating outdoors requires some basic tools, and some sort of cutlery is essential for preparing and eating food. While fingers are fine for some foods, milky cereal, hot pasta and other messy dishes will definately require some eating utensils. Toddlers to teenagers and adults too will all need some sort of cutlery. We have tried out a few different options to find the most compact, useful and handy sets for our family.
IKEA KALAS 18-piece cutlery set
When we first started camping with our children we just took IKEA children’s plastic knives and forks for the whole family, as they are incredibly cheap and light and not at remotely precious. I’ve found it fine for us adults to use too but its not very compact to store and needs a box to keep it in. But it is SO cheap.
Price: £1.20 for the whole set (6 knives, forks and spoons)
OutdoorGear Cutlery Set with Can & Bottle Opener
This handy stainless-steel set slides together into a small handle which doubles as a can/bottle opener. Plus it all comes in its own black pouch for storage and carrying around. I love how compact this cutlery set is. The knife and fork are almost full size and feel great to use. The spoon is a bit larger and although looks flat it still worked really well, even on milky cereal. This was my favourite out of those we tested, its a great design, and I think as its metal it just felt the most ‘normal’!
Price: £3.99 for one set (1 knife, fork, spoon and bottle/can opener)
Quechua 3-piece Cutlery Set Camp Hiker’s
This is a clever design made of very light and durable plastic (polyamide) which can be clipped together. Its very compact and functional. I found it a little small so preferred the OutdoorGear set, but this is ideal for hikers needing light gear or for small children.
Price: £1.99 for one set (knife, fork, spoon)
This iconic lightweight spoon-fork-knife combo has become a design classic. It works well and feels good to hold and is extremely durable. If you need to travel super light then one of these for each of the family would be fine, but there are times we have found we need actual knives!
Price: £2.79 each or £7.99 pack of 4
From: Light My Fire / Amazon
What do we use?
We have two metal OutdoorGear sets for mum and dad, and a Quecha plastic set for each child, plus a couple of sporks knocking around from our pre-kids days which I still use as I think they’re cool! All stored in a small plastic tub along with a sharp knife, and wooden spoon.
It may seem daft trying to save space with cutlery but I really have found that reducing space for even the small things overall makes a big different to the size of our camping kit.