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The Best Ultralight Backpacking Spoon

A backpacking spoon is one of the most cherished pieces of gear a hiker carries. We tested seven different ultralight spoons for performance, price, and weight to help you make your utensil decision!

Paul Bodnar      Educational       7/23/2020
Paul Bodnar
Educational
7/23/2020

I recently learned about the GSI Essential Spoon and the Morsel spoon, which are both lightweight backpacking spoons with soft edges made of silicone and rubber, respectively. These spoons were interesting to me, because it seems like the soft edge would make it easy to clean the sides of a pot. So, I got out my old trusty ultralight backpacking spoons for a comparison test.
No company solicited this review, and I purchased all tested items.
GSI Essential Spoon, Nylon with Silicone Edge
Three backpacking spoons and sporks.
Morsel Spoon, Rubber Edge
Three stainless steel spoons.
My backpacking spoons: alloy, titanium, titanium (L-R)

Methods

To test the effectiveness of each spoon, I measured out exactly 50 grams of creamy peanut butter into a small titanium pot, evenly distributed on the bottom of the pot. I scooped the peanut butter out of the pan by taking one 360-degree scoop around the bottom of the pot. Then I wiped the spoon clean. I repeated this scoop-and-clean process 2 more times, for a total of 3 scoops. Then I weighed the pot to calculate the amount of peanut butter remaining in the pot. I did this process 3 times for each spoon and averaged the results. The best working spoon would remove the most peanut butter.

Spoon Performance After 3 Scoops

Click to enlarge.

Results

The GSI Essential Spoons (small and long handle) were the big winners for peanut butter removal performance: these spoons removed 93% of the peanut butter after just three scoops. The Morsel spoons performed almost as well and removed 89% of the peanut butter. My old Snow Peak titanium spoon removed a surprising 87% of the peanut butter making it a strong performer (especially when you consider it has over 5,000 trail miles and still looks new!). I also like the titanium strength of my old ultralight spoon because I occasionally burn something (hey I’m not perfect). The extra scraping ability of a sturdy titanium spoon comes in handy getting the burned remnants off the pot.

A backpacking spoon.

Price vs. Weight & Performance

Click to enlarge.

Conclusion

I am not completely sold on changing from my old titanium spoon. But if you don’t like the feel of a titanium spoon or spork you might want to give these new ultralight spoons a try.  Just remember they aren’t as strong as a titanium spoon so treat them with care.


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A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

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About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the PCT again in 2010 to do research for his guide book, Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the PCT.