Gear Obsession: Spoons


Several years ago, I was on the Ozark Highlands Trail and damaged my plastic spoon while cooking (similar to #4 above). It still worked but the melted part caught my teeth with every bite. The next evening we made camp at Lynn Hollow close to Arbaugh Trailhead. A trail buddy, Bob, noticed something shiny sticking out of the sand next to the creek. There was a metal spoon that accompanied me the remainder of the trip (#6 above). I retired it after that trip due to its weight (1.5 oz.), but I’ve kept it as a souvenir from that trip. This “spoon story” crept into “The Trails Provide,” in Do South Magazine. 

I failed to pack a spoon once when I was on Arkansas’ Ouachita Trail. I managed to drink soup the first night out and used a stick to stir while cooking. On the next day, I stopped at a shelter on the trail and opened the storage box intending to read a few journal entries while taking a break. There sat a Wendy’s Restaurant spoon (.1 oz.) still in its plastic wrap. I used that spoon for several trips (similar to #1 above).

Because of these experiences, I’ve developed an obsession with spoons. I recently found a bamboo spoon and was fascinated with its lightweight and good natural feel. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold much and will probably not come into regular use. The titanium spoon (#5), a gift from my wife, is my main spoon but, for some reason, I always like to carry a backup.

If you have a gear obsession, I’d like to hear about it.

warnock_1 bobrr

Creek crossing on Missouri’s Ozark Trail

To read more about packing, check out How to Prepare for Multi-Day Backpacking Trips.

7 thoughts on “Gear Obsession: Spoons

  1. Pillows! Don’t laugh. Much of my gear is UL these days but I refuse to not carry a pillow. I know, I know, people stuff their spare clothing into a stuff sack to use…what I want to know is WHAT spare clothing? Socks don’t make much of a pillow! I do carry a sleeping set of clothing, but often my hiking clothes are damp from sweat (or rain) and need to air out overnight, not be stuffed into a waterproof bag to further odiferize (if that’s not a word, it should be!). So anyway, I have tried the inflatable pillows and was not impressed. Moved on to the Thermarest compressibles (I have both small and XL!) which I really like, but they have a definite weight penalty. Just received my latest one this weekend (I was backpacking in the Pecos so just getting ready to open it), a Goose Feet down pillow that I intend to use with one of those meant-to-be-disposable inflatables used in hospitals. The inflatable will stuff in a pocket on the back of the down pocket to add some height. Stay tuned…

  2. I understand your pillow obsession. I must have a pillow! Have used inflatables in a light fleece sleeve. Like your Goose Feet down idea. I started using an empty Platypus 3 liter water bottle as the inflatable in my fleece sleeve and sometimes stuff my down vest inside for extra loft. Also use the Platypus for extra evening meal water but use it up before bedtime. Tried ziplock bags but they tended to leak air during the night.

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