While camping spoons may not be as sexy as new ice tools or cams it’s still nice to have a well thought out and functional food delivery apparatus when you’re in the backcountry! So when I saw the new GSI Outdoors Essential Spoon (long version) at the Outdoor Retailer show last summer I was intrigued. Needless to say, when it hit store shelves I grabbed one to test out.
- Material: Silicone coated Nylon
- Length: 9.9” (24cm)
- Size: 1 tablespoon
- Weight: 25g (5-10g heavier than many other options)
- Price: $4.95 (CAD)
What caught my attention with Essential spoon was the combination of the long handle and the silicone coating. Just one of these attributes and I don’t think the Essential Spoon would be as big of a winner, with both it’s a great backcountry tool.
The long sturdy handle works great for eating out of tall boil-in-a-bag freeze dried meals. Once the top is removed they’re typically still 20cm deep (7.9”) or so. With a regular length spoon my hands, or gloves in the winter, get covered in dinner. The longer handle is also great for stirring larger pots.
The silicone coating ensures that you don’t scrape up your pots, pans and bowls. I’m not a big fan of using titanium in my cookware as it scraps the Teflon damaging the non-stick and of course the Teflon ends up in my food. It’s not as big of a deal to put a few scratches into bowl or FairShare but it sure makes cleaning them easier if you don’t. The silicone spoon also works great at scooping and squeegeeing food out of pots, pans, bags and bowls.
Pros: Long, sturdy, won’t scratch pots, etc. or poke holes in freeze dried meal bags
Cons: Heavy (the trade-off for long and study), overly deep bowl
Overall: A fantastic option for a do-it-all: scooping, stirring, eating, etc. backcountry spoon. If you’re looking to shave every gram possible this isn’t the right tool.