I just got a nice, matching/nesting, titanium eating utensils set. As with so much of my stuff, it came out of Hong Kong. While it was discounted over buying the same set here from a US vendor, it was no where near my 90%-for-50% criteria… more like 25% off regular pricings.
Apparently, back in September when I unexpectedly broke camp at 3AM and vamoosed, due to a drunken/coked-up screaming match in the next campsite, I must have left behind my SnowPeak spork, and a light-weight, WallyWorld ABS fork and knife that were all clipped together. I had especially liked that spork, and I would frequently use it right here at home because it was a great tool for breaking up stews and the like. Good size, good “heft”, fun to eat with… just a nice piece of gear. Because of the loss, I was in the market for a new set of eating utensils. When I saw these at a reasonably good price, I decided to treat myself to the expense, and added them to that 11/11 deals cart. They finally came on Friday.
These are KEITH brand,and are available stateside, but nearly identical sets are also available from other well-known vendors. These sets actually do differ slightly in features, design and execution, unlike much of the camping stuff that seems to be just a change in the logos. I liked the KEITH because it was more sturdily made, and included a nice, microfiber pouch for toting the set around. I hate having stuff jangling noisily in my pack.
In the center of the second photo you can see the long-handled spoon. [I use it to replace the military issue [brown] MRE spoon at top-right. MRE pouches are quite deep, and that longer handle makes eating right from the bags much easier] The point here being the spoon is just stamped out of a thin piece of titanium with a ridge down the handle to add strength. Despite the great material, it makes it “seem” flimsy. I was disappointed with its feel in my hand once I put it to use. Over time I also came to realise that the bowl is too shallow to be of any real use. Several of the other available cutlery sets were made in the same manner, and I did not want to repeat the disappointment.
The KEITHs are of a thicker gauge metal and have a much better “hand”. The fork, and especially the tines, are a bit shorter than I would truly like, but the spoon is nice and deep, and the knife has some rugged serration for cutting. The set looks to be pretty good at the price. I gave $16.45 US shipped.
Just a quick run-down of the other pieces in the second photo: across the center is a US military issue field fork that also came Friday as a gift from one of the guys over on the MRE Info Forums [sadly, it is the match to a large field spoon, also USDOD issue, that has gone missing… they would have made a good pair for base-camping] /the set of breakdown SS chopsticks, also originally from China, are handy for cooking chores, and I just have always loved eating with chopsticks/the titanium double-ended spork and the green ABS one live in my range-bag and lunch box respectively and the little Buck neck-knife is my camp-cooking slicer and steak knife.
It should be obvious to anyone who has read this blog with any regularity, that I LOVE to eat. And I love to eat well in the woods. It is a way of enjoying your end-of-day time and taking care of yourself that makes the outdoor experience more rewarding. I don’t go camping to be miserable and eat bad food. Having some really nice utensils along is one of the luxuries I allow myself. With this kit, I have enough choice to pick and choose variously appropriate combos to go out on various trips, but I suspect the new titanium set and the long MRE spoon are going to be my “go-to”s from now on.
Verdict: this KEITH matching utensil set is dite pricy, but probably worth it as an infrequently-to-be-bought luxury item.