Unless you enjoy whittling twigs into chopsticks or stabbing tinned ravioli with a pen knife, forgetting the cutlery and reverting to eating with one's hands can be one step too far removed from civilization for many campers. Piltz Design's modular Picnic cutlery provides something a bit more elegant for those not interested in joining the usual spork brigade.
One of the biggest problems with eating on the hiking trail or even negotiating your way through some takeaway is the choice of eating utensils. True, there’s always the cheap disposable plastic cutlery to fall back on, but they barely hold up to one meal and using them on the Yorkshire Moors is scarcely eco-friendly.
There are other alternatives, from the ubiquitous set of stamped metal knife, fork, and spoon that never stay hooked together or are impossible to work apart, and the marvelous workmanship of pocket knives and multitools complete with folding fork and spoon. Though, unless they’re designed to disassemble, these make it impossible to switch from one to the other without a folding ballet – not to mention that the set tends to catch on things and taste suspiciously of pocket lint.
Of course, there’s also the all-in-one version of the spork with fork at one end, spoon at another, and a knife edge included somewhere along the way. It’s a tidy bit of design, but does involve quite a bit of twiddling as the meal progresses.
The 77 g (2.7 oz) Picnic Cutlery’s take on the problem is to redesign the implements into three lozenge stainless steel knife, fork and spoon shapes that interlock and fit into a 9 cm (5.5 in) soft, black-colored plastic case that’s sealed shut with a zinc alloy lid that doubles as a bottle opener. The case is designed to be small enough to hook onto a key chain, with a 40 cm (16 in) nylon strap to keep it from going missing on the trail. The lack of a proper handle may make it feel a bit like eating with a set of scoops, but as an ultra-portable solution, it seems up to the job.
The Picnic cutlery sells for £29.50 (US$49.50).