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Published Sep 18, 2022 12:30 PM

Forks date back to about 2400 BC, so humans have been eating with utensils for about 4,600 years, yet, somehow they’re so easy to forget when you’re packing for the field. Listen, if you don’t have a camping utensil, you’re not going to starve. You’re just going to eat with your bare hands, but we’re here to change that. 

Camping utensils aren’t much different from the flatware you have at home, but they are different. They are usually designed to function as a fork, spoon, and knife. Sometimes, they’re contained in a single device while other times, they come in two- or three-piece sets. They’re also typically designed to be easy to pack and carry. 

In this guide, we’ll show you the best camping utensils in a variety of categories. We’ll also reveal things to consider when you’re shopping for a camping utensil and frequently-asked questions.

Best Overall

The Orblue 4-in-1 ranks as the best overall camping utensil because, out of all the utensils we tested, it was the easiest one to eat with. While it’s equipped with a fork, spoon, and a knife that doubles as a bottle opener, you can actually remove the fork and use it in conjunction with the other utensils.

Out of the box, the fork speared food without issue and the knife blade was sharp enough to cut meat and vegetables. Orblue constructed the 4-in-1 from stainless steel, so it’ll last you as long as you don’t leave it outside for an extended period of time. The only drawback was that it was a little bulky and heavy with everything packed into one.

For about $13, the Orblue 4-in-1 comes as a combo set, so you get two units, and a nylon carrying case. It’s also available in six different colors.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Product dimensions: Folded – 4.3 x 1.6 inches; opened – 7.5 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Style: Folding two-piece
  • Country of origin: China
Why It Made The Cut
  • Right out of the box, the Orblue 4-in-1 has everything you need for a meal at the campsite. It’s a durable stainless steel folding utensil set at a low price.
PROS

Inexpensive

Dishwasher–safe

Simple flatware design

CONS

The construction feels cheap

Bulky

The Switch Spork takes the best budget award because it’s simple and functional, and provides a lot more value than the $8 you pay for it. The two-piece design actually functions as three pieces: fork/spork, spoon, and knife.

Although describing the Switch Spork is confusing, it does make sense when you see it. The spork functions as one piece while the spoon and knife are one unit. UCO designed the spoon’s handle to function as a knife blade, which is supposed to stay sheathed inside the fork until you need it. The two units secure together with an elastic lanyard. Additionally, the Switch Spork was constructed from BPA- and phthalate-free high-strength, reinforced, and temperature-resistant glass nylon.

As an eating utensil, the Switch Spork performed well. The spoon scooped up soup with no problem, and the plastic serrated blade sliced through steak without issue, but the fork wasn’t the best at piercing steak or broccoli. Still, its blade out-performed all but two of the blades, which is impressive for a nylon utensil. Once I was done, I tossed it in the dishwasher on the bottom rack (the company says it’s not dishwasher-safe, however). There were no signs of disfigurement due to the high temperatures.

The UCO Switch Spork is available in six colors and, as of writing this, it is priced at $7.99.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Product dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 1 inch when nested; extended – 10.3 inches
  • Materials: Glass nylon
  • Style: Two-piece
  • Country of origin: Designed in California, made in China
Why It Made The Cut
  • The intuitive Switch Spork is lightweight, durable, and priced accordingly. With a 4.8-star rating out of 1,600 reviews, most people think the simple design is perfect.
PROS

Inexpensive

Dishwasher-safe

Two-piece design that nests together

CONS

Fork tines are wide

Blade faces toward the user if left-handed

Best for Cooking

The single-piece camping utensil by Full Windsor,, dubbed The Muncher, ranks as the best for cooking because it cuts, peels, and opens cans like a charm. It’s not much for eating, but it really shines for cooking.

While we’re listing The Muncher as an eating utensil, Full Windsor lists it as a multi-tool because it’s designed for nine functions. It may not look like much, but the tools include a serrated blade, a deep spork, a peeler, a bottle opener, a can opener, a cord cutter, a flathead screwdriver, and a pry bar.

However, during testing, we found out it kind of sucks as a fork. The tines are too wide and short to adequately stab food, and shoveling food in your mouth was like using a wheel barrel with spikes. Plus, if you eat right-handed, you risk the knife blade pressing into your skin. I also wouldn’t recommend using it as a pry bar.

The Muncher by Full Windsor is a bit on the pricey side, right around $40 last we checked, but it’s made from titanium, which tends to be a premium tool metal.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Materials: Grade 1 polished titanium
  • Style: Single piece
  • Country of origin: Designed in California, made in China
Why It Made The Cut
  • While expensive, yes, the lightweight and high-quality Muncher has more features than most single-piece style utensils on the market. With nine functions, Full Windsor calls it a multi-tool.

The Adventure Chef Folding Utensil ranks as the best for eating. Yes, you read that correctly. That is an actual category people asked about. According to company lore, “Adventure Chef” Adam Glick was inspired to make cooking utensils that were actually easy to pack. Historically, good quality cooking tools did not. So, he came up with what we have here. The Adventure Chef Folding Utensil is a four-in-one piece that includes a spoon, knife with serrations, fork, and a bottle opener.

Where this camping utensil really shines is in quality. The material and aesthetics cannot be beaten. It reminds me of an old Buck or Case knife. The materials are surgical steel quality and the blade comes sharp, especially when compared to the blunted serrations you find on most sets. With a Rockwell Hardness Scale of 56, which is what most kitchen knives rate, you’ll be sure to have a sharp edge that will hold for many uses.

Also, it’s not as bulky as other folding sets. With a teaspoon-sized spoon, it folds down nicely. The main issue is the same that plagues most all-in-one sets. It’s inefficient if you need to eat with a knife and fork. Therefore, you might want two of them.

Overall, the Adventure Chef Folding Utensil is a fantastic choice. It’s available in two colors — maple (brown) and distressed linen (black) — and it’s priced at $49.95.

Product Specs
  • Weight: 5.2 ounces
  • Open length: 7.5 inches; closed – 4.2 inches
  • Materials: A mix of German X50 1.4116 steel at 56-58 HRC (hardness) and surgical steel with a carbonized maple or distressed linen handle
  • Locking mechanism: Liner Lock
  • Country of origin: China
Why It Made The Cut
  • The Adventure Chef Folding Camp Utensil is the gold standard for a camping utensil. It’s simple, high-quality, and durable. It has a classic look and a sharp blade.
PROS

Durable due to high-grade materials

Sharp out of the box

Designed for the adventure chef in mind

CONS

Not dishwasher-safe

Expensive compared to other models

Bulky

Things to consider before buying a camping utensil

Materials

Gear makers provide different quality options for a range of outdoorsmen, because some may depend on their utensils for an extended period of time and in extreme environments, while others just need something. Therefore, you’ll find the utensil part of a camping utensil constructed from materials like stainless steel, aluminum, nylon glass or plastic, and titanium. They result in different price and performance options.  

Stainless steel

Stainless steel utensils are affordable and dependable. While it’s common and most often used to make flatware, it doesn’t always make the best camping utensil. Stainless steel is easy to clean and holds up well against the elements, but it will rust if it’s neglected. It’s also heavier than other options. 

Aluminum

Aluminum camping utensils are some of the lightest and best all-around. They can even hold their own against more expensive materials like titanium, but they first need to be treated and hard-anodized, which strengthens the metal. 

Glass nylon or plastic

Camping utensils made from glass nylon or plastic tend to be budget options. Compared to metal, the materials can be damaged by heat, and they dull and wear faster. 

Titanium

Most premium camping utensils are constructed from titanium because the material is very lightweight and durable. It also has excellent corrosion resistance. 

Style

Folding

Similar to the average Swiss Army knife, a folding style usually includes a knife, fork, and spoon. Minor variations exist with additions such as bottle openers, corkscrews, and can openers, etc. Some have designed their folding style all-in-one utensils to detach making it a practical option.  

One-piece (commonly known as a spork)

A one-piece typically consists of a blade and other functional tools on one end and a spork on the other. The functionality varies between models, but all are designed to mitigate weight and keep all your needs in a single easy-to-use system. 

Multi-piece

A multi-piece set has two or more utensils, typically sporting your average flatwares. Some designs feature utensils that detach, fitting in a small container about the size of an Altoids tin.  

Folding multi-piece

Folding multi-piece sets are a hybrid option if you’re looking for the packability and maximum functionality of utensils. They often have a hinged area and come with a case to carry them. Some multi-piece folding sets are built in a few material options ranging from aluminum to steel. A good article to check out that covers a few options of folding multi-piece sets is found here

FAQs about camping utensils

Q: How much does a camping utensil cost?

A: The price for camping utensils ranges from a couple of bucks to about $50. The less expensive options use less durable materials and simple designs, while the premium options are more akin to Swiss Army knives. 

Q: Which is the best style of camping utensils?

A: If paired with a good knife, a single-piece titanium spork with multiple features will complement each other. If going for ease of use, one of the hybrid or multi-piece styles will be your best choice. 

Q: What is the best material for camping utensils?

A: The absolute best camping utensils are made out of titanium. It’s a lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant material, but it’s also expensive. The runner-up is hard-anodized aluminum, and the most common is stainless steel.

Final thoughts

We landed firmly with our top picks due to their durability against the elements, dishwasher-safeness, cost, innovation, and ease of use. The Orblue 4-in-1 folding multi-piece camping utensil was a sure winner. For the price, and getting two utensils that detach, it’s hard to beat this camping utensil.  

Methodology 

In selecting the models shown here, we searched the internet for the highest-rated items using Google and Amazon, from reputable companies to industry standards being surpassed by innovation for the end user. Reading through hundreds and thousands of reviews, we selected our items based on multiple factors.

Our factors included weight, style, materials, and pricing. All of our choices, in some way shape or form, were designed to be environmentally conscious. By that, they are attempting to help save the environment by developing utensils that will last for years to cut down on waste. 

Once we had our hands on our picks, we tested them by preparing food and eating with them. The menu we tested was your average campfire delights — grilled meats, vegetables, chili, or soup. This way, we can test out how convenient it is to even use these products. So not only do you get an honest and well-thought-out description of an item, but you also get our opinion on its function.

Task & Purpose and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. We independently evaluate gear by putting products in the hands of subject matter experts. The products we test may be purchased by Task & Purpose, our staff, or provided for review by a manufacturer. No matter the source, our testing procedures and our assessments remain free from third-party influence. Learn more about our product review process.

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