One of my favorite rooms in my house is the kitchen. When I car camp or if there is a pack string, I bring along everything, “including the kitchen sink”. In all other camp kitchen situations, I have to overcome the urge to bring the luxuries and pare it down to the essentials. I also like to encourage non-campers to come along for the fun. That usually entails me bringing extra gear that the non-camper does not own. I was on a quest for lighter dishes to serve meals; I found the Fozzils dishes on Amazon. They arrived yesterday, so it is time to try them out.
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Camp Kitchen Background
My camp kitchen components are peculiar to the type of camp I have set up. If you are feeding a group of people and you have the ability to haul the extra weight, you cannot beat a dutch oven for making some of the best camp meals. The dutch oven works great if you are camping next to your horse trailer, have a pack string where you can haul it in panniers, or car camping.
When ultralight horse camping, backpacking, or kayak camping, the better choice is a small stove, like the BRS, and a titanium mug. You will not be making any fancy meals, but you can boil two cups of water in four minutes to rehydrate freeze-dried foods.
Dishes used to serve food also vary between paper, plastic, and rubber. If I am eating packaged meals, such as freezer bag meals, Mountain House, or Packit Gourmet, I eat directly from the bag. This prevents damage to the environment caused by dish cleaning products. A side bonus to eating out of the cooking bag is that you have more time for fun instead of clean up chores.
Sometimes you need to carry extra dishes to accommodate a camp guest or serve entrees and side dishes at the same time. Fozzils dishes seemed to fit the bill because they are lightweight and you can open the snaps to flatten for compact storage. They also have the added benefit of measurement lines on the bowls and cups, which reduces the need for measuring implements.
I liked the feel of the dishes and, honestly, the design is cute. They snapped into place fairly easily and held water when assembled. The only downfall, besides having to wash extra dishes, was that I am not sure how well they will hold up over time. I took them out of the box in front of a mechanical engineer that instantly pointed out the stress marks in the plastic.
I will write an update after the dishes have been in use for a while, but I think I still prefer my slightly heavier, Sea to Summit dishes. They hold up longer, collapse flat, and nest inside each other.
People may suggest that you buy Wal-Mart collapsible dishes, but you really do get what you pay for. Sea to Summit dishes are much easier to collapse and are twice as durable as the off brand(empirical, not scientific data).
My “go to” method of serving meals will always be to eat out of the prep bag. I am going to use the Fozzils dishes when necessary, but I prefer to stick with my Sea to Summit, even if they weigh more. Sea to Summit are better quality and compact more efficiently to take less space in my saddle bags, backpack, or kayak hatch.
Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite brand of camping dishes.
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