“Oh crap. I forgot to bring my spoon,” said a backpacker I’d just met at the campsite. I know that exact feeling. I’ve left my big plastic backpacking spoon at home on the drying rack next to the kitchen sink too many times to count. After a long day of hiking, it’s a bummer when you discover that you don’t have any eating utensils to shovel hot food into your mouth.
The solution: carry a backup spoon. I always carry a small, plastic-wrapped spoon in my food bag so I’m never without. I pick them up at coffee shops and keep one in my food bag, along with the staples that I keep in it between trips: a few bouillon cubs for adding salt to soupy meals, a couple of packs of tea and sugar, and two tic tac boxes containing spices.
“I have an extra spoon if you want it,” I said, handing her my extra spoon. “Keep it.” I think I made a new friend for life that day.
On long multi-week hikes, it’s not uncommon for me to carry several extra plastic spoons. I scarf a few every time I buy a coffee in town and drop them into my food bag. They weigh basically nothing and it’s nice to have a hermetically sealed, clean spoon when my main spoon is getting grotty.
I still prefer eating with a long-handled plastic spoon ($1 buck at my local REI – probably the least expensive thing in the store.) It’s nice and durable, not flimsy at all. But they’ve stopped selling it.
Yes, I pack for my fears. The fear of backpacking without a spoon. An army marches on its stomach.