Best Camping Utensils of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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Written By
Corey Buhay


Published Aug 24, 2023 3:00 PM

Camping utensils are some of the most overlooked pieces of gear in the outdoor toolkit. But you have only to forget your utensil once—or use one that snaps the minute you try to dig into a jar of frozen peanut butter on a cold morning—to understand just how vital they are to the camping experience.

These days, there’s a wide variety of utensils, each one specifically shaped and designed for different kinds of trips—from RV base camping to ultralight backpacking trips. Choose the wrong product, and you could end up with a broken utensil, an awkward packing experience, or an unpleasant mouthfeel that distracts from the hallowed experience of the in-camp feast. Choose the right utensil, and you’ll enjoy every bite that much more. These are the best camping utensils we’ve tested for any need.

How We Picked the Best Camping Utensils

Camping utensils may be a relatively simple product category, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Even tiny variations in the angle of a fork’s tines, the finish of the material, and the folding mechanism can have remarkable impacts on the eating experience and how likely the utensil is to break.

We tested camping utensils and sets from Gerber, MSR, GSI, and more. -Corey Buhay

To help you make the right choice, we considered 16 different utensils and utensil sets from eight top gear companies. Over several weeks, we tested each one, carefully weighing price, versatility, durability, packability, and various aspects of shape and design. These seven emerged as the best camping utensils of 2023.

Best Camping Utensils: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Snow Peak Titanium Fork and Spoon Set

Best Overall

Best Camping Utensils: Snow Peak Titanium Fork and Spoon Set

Specs

  • Weight: 1.1 oz
  • Length: 6.5”
  • Material: Titanium

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Comes with a convenient carrying case
  • Spoon and fork nest easily together
  • Narrow utensil heads make for easier eating
  • Balanced and comfortable in the hand

Cons

  • More difficult to pack than foldable models
  • Pricier than some of the other utensils we recommend

Snow Peak titanium utensils provide the best of all worlds: the Japanese titanium construction makes them strong yet lightweight, while the full-tang handle ensures that they’re well-balanced and feel as good in the hand as they do against the mouth. Compared with other camp utensils, which tend to have a very shallow angle of attack, both the spoon and fork are curved to maximize eating ease and efficiency. I liked that the spoon head is also relatively narrow, which earned it top marks from our smaller-mouthed testers.

Snow Peak Titanium Camping Utensils Set
The compact carrying case is one of the highlights of this titanium set. -Corey Buhay

Unlike aluminum forks and spoons, these titanium utensils never impart a metallic taste to camp food—a huge plus in my opinion. They’re also much less likely to bend or break than other types of camp cutlery and I could tell from the sturdy feel that they’ll hold up for many seasons. Finally, this set’s convenient carrying case means that it’s easy to pack and keep organized. It works equally well as travel cutlery or for tossing into a kid’s insulated lunch box. Thanks to that versatility, the Snow Peak camping utensils set earned top marks and a best overall designation in our test.

Best Budget: MSR Folding Utensils

Best Budget

Best Camping Utensils: MSR Folding Utensils

Specs

  • Weight: 0.35 oz.
  • Length: 4.3” (folded)
  • Material: Nylon

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight and easy to pack
  • Fits into a standard camp mug when folded
  • Safe to use with coated cookware
  • Free of BPA and other chemicals
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Feels flimsier than other models
  • May not be safe to use at very high heats

These lightweight and foldable MSR camping utensils provide top-notch packability at an ultralight weight. That makes them our favorite travel camping cutlery when both space and weight are at a premium. The Foldable Utensils were also the best budget item we tested. Each one costs less than $5, and you can purchase a set of four for even more savings. The nylon construction is more heat-resistant than traditional plastic, and it’s safe to use on non-stick cookware.

MSR Folding Camping Spork
The heat-resistant plastic is a nice touch when cooking over a fire. -Corey Buhay

The only downside we could find? The locking mechanism is a simple plastic toggle activated by squeezing the sides of the handle. As a result, the more vigorous eaters in our test reported that it spontaneously collapsed while digging into heartier camp food.

MSR Folding Spork
The folding design made this spork easy to tote around. -Corey Buhay

The nylon is also less sturdy than other materials. While we were unable to snap it in half, it was prone to bending when used to scoop chilled peanut butter. Nevertheless, the packability and budget-friendly price point makes it the best value of any utensil on this list.

Best for Backpacking: GSI Glacier Folding Spork

Best for Backpacking

Best Camping Utensils: GSI Glacier Folding Spork

Specs

  • Weight: 1.3 oz
  • Length: 3.9” (folded)
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Foldable and easy to pack
  • More durable than most other foldable models
  • Smooth finish feels good in the mouth
  • Fits into a standard camp mug when folded
  • Safe to use at higher heats

Cons

  • Heavier than most plastic or titanium utensils
  • Tines may be too short for meals requiring a true fork

Thanks to its clever design, smooth finish, and best-in-class packability, GSI’s Glacier Folding Spork has quickly become one of our favorite pieces of camping gear. A horizontal toggle slides the length of the handle, nestling against the head of the spork to lock it in place. As a result, the spork never collapsed on us mid-bite. It also passed the frozen peanut butter test, proving itself strong enough to scoop even the densest of spreads. The curvature of the head is ideal for efficient eating and feels pleasant against the mouth.

Woman using GSI Glacier Folding Spork to eat a camping meal
Despite the folding design, I was surprised at how sturdy the Glacier folding spork is. -Corey Buhay

While the GSI folding spork is heavier than most of the other utensils on this list, the two-in-one benefit of the spork negates the need to bring multiple utensils, and we liked knowing it wasn’t going to break on us. Overall, the luxurious feel, smart design, and superior packability made it our favorite for backpacking trips of every length.

Best Set: JetBoil JetSet Utensil Kit

Best Set

Best Camping Utensils: JetBoil JetSet Utensil Kit

Specs

  • Weight: 1.3 oz
  • Length: 5.2” (folded)
  • Material: Nylon

Pros

  • Foldable and easy to pack
  • Set includes a spatula, a relative rarity
  • Fits into a JetBoil pot when folded
  • More budget friendly than other utensil sets
  • Safe to use with coated cookware

Cons

  • Feels flimsier than some metal utensils
  • May not be safe to use at very high heats

The spatula may be the most underrated piece of camping gear—a fact you’re well aware of if you’ve ever tried to flip pancakes or quesadillas in the backcountry without one. The argument is usually that they take up too much space, but JetBoil’s clever JetSet Utensil Kit renders that point moot thanks to a clever, telescoping handle that reduces this spatula, fork, and spoon set to a length compatible with most JetBoil pots. The nylon construction is safe to cook with and will withstand moderate heats, and the longer handles make the spoon and fork compatible with most pre-made backpacking meals as well as larger cook pots.

Best Knife: GSI Rakau Knife Set

Best Knife

Best Camping Utensils: GSI Rakau Knife Set

Specs

  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Length: 11.6” (full kit)
  • Material: Stainless steel

Pros

  • Great balance and weight
  • Smooth wooden handles
  • Included sharpener, cutting board, and cleaning cloth
  • Comes in a convenient carrying case
  • Full tang promises lifelong durability

Cons

  • More expensive than plastic-handled cooking knives
  • Less packable than folding models

Wooden handles, wickedly sharp blades, and an included sharpener earned the GSI Rakau knife set top marks from our most gastronomically inclined testers. Unlike plastic-handled camping knives, each of the three Rakau knives has a nice heft to it, which makes chopping both easier and more pleasurable.

GSI Rakau Camping Knife Set
I found a use for all three knives when camp cooking. -Corey Buhay

We especially loved the chef knife, which has a scalloped blade for finer chopping tasks. The paring knife, which is slightly smaller, was ideal for slicing fruit and vegetables, while the serrated bread knife came in handy for separating hamburger buns and slicing baguettes for camp appetizers.

Woman chopping onions with the GSI Rakau Camping Knife
The GSI camping knives can slice through almost anything with ease. -Corey Buhay

All in all, the set, which also includes a bamboo cutting board and cleaning cloth, is ideal for base campers and car campers looking for a slightly more gourmet camp cooking experience. We just recommend using it against a foldable camping table or another sturdy surface; these are bonafide kitchen knives, and are not to be trifled with.

Best Lightweight: Sea to Summit Alpha Light Fork

Best Lightweight

Best Camping Utensils: Sea to Summit Alpha Light Fork

Specs

  • Weight: 0.2 oz
  • Length: 6.5”
  • Material: Anodized aluminum

Pros

  • Lighter than any other utensil we tested
  • Anodized finish for improved durability
  • Budget-friendly
  • Central ridge for added rigidity
  • May be more durable than foldable models

Cons

  • Slightly less durable than titanium models
  • Finish doesn’t feel as good against the mouth as stainless steel or titanium

Sometimes, the only important metric is weight. Whether you plan to hike cross-country or simply prefer a minimalist kit, the Sea to Summit Alpha Light fork has the right combination of packability and featherlight weight to keep your load to a minimum. The secret lies in the material—hard anodized aircraft aluminum is extremely strong, even when rolled into paper-thin sheets. That allows the fork to be no thicker than a piece of card stock, yet nearly as strong as the titanium utensils we tested.

Sea to Summit Alpha Light Utensils
The Sea to Summit utensils are among the lightest I’ve ever used. -Corey Buhay

A raised ridge in the center of the handle adds rigidity and support, while a hole at the end makes it easy to clip to the back of your pack (or to the Alpha Light spoon or knife) via a small carabiner. Despite all that, the Alpha Light fork remains relatively budget-friendly. You can also purchase it as part of a set of three utensils to save even more.

Most Multifunctional: Gerber Gear ComplEAT

Most Multifunctional

Best Camping Utensils: Gerber Gear ComplEAT

Specs

  • Weight: 2.5 oz.
  • Length: 7.8”
  • Material: Nylon, silicone, aluminum, stainless steel

Pros

  • Compact carrying system
  • Safe to use at high temperatures
  • Safe to use with coated cookware
  • Set includes both tongs and a spatula
  • Textured handles improve grip
  • May be more durable than foldable models

Cons

  • More expensive than some other utensil kits
  • Heavier

Thanks to its clever modular components, the Gerber Gear ComplEAT was easily the best multifunctional utensil kit we tested this season. The spoon and spork—each made of anodized aluminum—are well-balanced, sturdy, and long enough to reach the bottom of most freeze-dried outdoor meals. The long-handled spatula—made of high-temperature nylon—is also compatible with instant meal kits. Together, however, the utensils can transform into just about anything you’d find in your kitchen drawer at home. The spoon and spatula snap together to create a pair of tongs, and an included stainless steel multitool does double duty as a can opener, bottle opener, and veggie peeler.

Gerber Gear ComplEAT Camping Utensils
The versatility of the Gerber Gear ComplEAT spatula really won me over. -Corey Buhay

Thanks to the spatula’s heat-resistant silicone edge, the tongs can handle everything from flipping strips of bacon to stir-frying veggies on a searing camping griddle. As a bonus, that same silicone edge acts as a squeegee, making post-dinner dishes a breeze. Whether you’re working with pre-packed backpacking meals or planning to grill out under the stars, the ComplEAT system has everything you need to pull off your next backcountry feast in style.

What to Consider When Choosing Camping Utensils

Weight

Ultralight backpackers place a premium on weight, but it’s a feature every camper should consider. If you’re planning on hiking long distances with your camp kitchen on board, consider packing a single utensil that’s under 0.5 ounces. If you’re car camping or base camping, consider a heavier model, which will have a more luxurious balance and a hand-feel that’s closer to what you use at home.

Durability

If durability is your priority, you may want to consider titanium, aluminum, or stainless steel in lieu of plastic or nylon. Metal utensils are much harder to break, but they tend to weigh and cost more than plastic utensils. Titanium and anodized aluminum, both lightweight metals, can offer a convenient compromise. Just be aware that titanium can get pricey, and aluminum utensils may be more likely to bend under strain.

Packability

If you’re backpacking with a smaller backpack—either because you’re doing a short overnight or because you’re dipping your toe into lightweight backpacking—you’ll likely want a utensil that’s slim and easy to slip into your top lid, or a model that folds in half. Folding utensils are especially nice. If you can fit your camping stove, fuel, lighter, and utensil into your cook pot, your camp kitchen will be easier to pack up, stow, and keep organized.

FAQs

Q: What is the best material for camping cutlery?

If you use a nonstick cook pot, opt for plastic, nylon, or wooden utensils, which won’t damage Teflon coatings. Some campers may prefer the eco-friendly nature of wooden utensils, but they’re more difficult to clean, and some folks find it tough to overlook the uncomfortable feeling of wood on teeth. If you don’t use a nonstick pot, consider choosing a lightweight aluminum or titanium utensil, which offers a nice balance between weight and durability.

Q: How do you store silverware for camping?

If you’re car camping, a large plastic bin is usually the best way to go. Most backpackers, however, simply store their silverware loose in their top lid or another zippered pocket. Others have a lightweight stuff sack to keep their cooking sundries organized. The sleekest method, however, is to purchase items sized such that your pot, mug, fuel, and utensil all nest together in a convenient, compact package.

Q: What is the safest utensil material?

Nearly all camping utensils are food-safe. If you prefer aluminum utensils, look for models that have been “anodized,” which keeps aluminum particles from leaching out. While this hasn’t been demonstrated to be unsafe, it can affect the taste of some foods. The biggest safety concern is plastic. If you leave a plastic utensil in contact with a hot stove or pan for too long, it could melt, releasing volatile chemicals. Always opt for a metal or silicone-coated utensil for active cooking, or a nylon utensil if you only plan to use it for stirring water into freeze-dried backpacking meals or cooking over moderate heat.

Best Camping Utensils: Final Thoughts

The best camping utensils balance weight with durability, feel good in the mouth, and enhance—rather than detract from—the eating experience. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect camp cutlery, check out these top options.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.



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