BOSTON MARKET SPOON
There's no such thing as a free lunch, but your most-used camp utensil shouldn't cost a cent.
Why spend money on a piece of gear you're going to lose? Step into any fast-food joint or convenience store and pick up an ultralight plastic spoon. My favorite is from Boston Market. This recyclable utensil is strong enough to stir a 2-quart pot of mashed potatoes and long enough to scrape every bite from the bottom of a freeze-dried food package. The large oval head scoops up a big mouthful, and the slight bend in the handle is more ergonomic than a typical throwaway. Plus, the sturdy plastic won't melt in your hot chocolate or scratch nonstick pans. Since most backcountry meals consist of noodles or rice, an overpriced titanium spoon is just silly. (Oh, sorry, you're going camping on Mars?) Besides, that metal monstrosity at right weighs 10 times as much as my spoon. Best part: With 630 Boston Markets in 28 states, you can snap one up today. 0.1 oz. www.bostonmarket.com.--Kris Wagner
VARGO OUTDOORS STAINLESS STEEL SCORK
What does this 1-ounce tool teach us? Expect more from your spoon.
True, you can eat your mac 'n' cheese with a plastic spoon and get a new one after every trip. You can also use paper plates and burn them. Heck, today you can even buy disposable underwear. But is that the team you want to play on? This stainless steel utensil elevates you above the throwaway culture, and gives you a useful tool to boot. First of all, it's a two-in-one spork, so you'll never again resort to slurping soup through a fork or stabbing trout with a spoon. But it also adds a can opener and slotted screwdriver to the handle, considerably upping the ante when it comes to multitasking silverware. And since it weighs a mere ounce and costs just a few dollars, you have only yourself to blame if you pack a flimsy plastic spoon and end up eating with your hands. $7; 1 oz. (570) 523-9251; www.varooutdoors.com.--Dennis Lewon