7in1 from Colapz - the ultimate cutlery

In the Spring I took part in a crowdfunding project again - as so often there was a delay here and there - but finally two pieces of cutlery arrived in the autumn ;-)

The unique thing about this cutlery from Colapz are, on the one hand, is the chopsticks which are well suited for these Asian noodle nests in this country, and on the other hand, the fork and spoon can be put together to form salad/grill tongs. I had seen the latter at Tupperware and learned to appreciate it in everyday party life.

The set is titled 7in1 by Colapz and these are the functions mentioned:
- Salad tongs
- chopsticks
- bottle opener
- Knife with serrated edge
- Knife with a straight blade
- spoon
- Fork
... but actually there is an 8th - the fork which is also a spoon, and a 9th - the bottle opener can be used as a support for hanging on vessels.
In total, it weighs 51g, which is divided into the knife & spoon at 17g, fork & chopstick at 12g, silicone pebble at 13g and storage bag at 9g.
At 19cm in length, it is in the middle of my camping cutlery sets.
It is made of reinforced nylon and can be recycled with code 7.
Unfortunately, this was neither noted on the cutlery nor on the cardboard box. As an interested user, I was able to find out about this on request ;-)
A version made from a biodegradable plastic is planned for the future!
And the 7in1 is dishwasher safe too!

In terms of handling, the fork & spoon is very straight, which takes a bit of getting used to at first.  
The serrated edge blade in the hand is just as unusual when you use the spoon-knife tool as a spoon or bottle opener.
The bottle opener can also be used as an support to hang the spoon on the edge of a container.
If you leave the grey silicone pebble and storage bag at home and thus do without the salad tongs, it falls into the lightweight category at 29g.
In terms of price, it is also in the middle range at £ 15 and can be ordered via the Colapz website.

Conclusion: Due to the range of functions, I find it ideal for tours with micro-campers and the mobile HQ where there is also salad on offer, plus it comes with a simple zip lock bag on ultra-light trips ;-)

ClipCroc from WandsPro - the dishes with the "clip"

In the summer of 2018 we met Rich and Chris from the Australian company WandsPro at the OutDoor Tradeshow in Friedrichshafen. WandsPro were exhibiting at this European outdoor show  for the first time to obtain early feedback about their brand new cups, bowls, dishes and plates from the ‘ClipCroc’ range.

We were lucky enough to take two of the dishes for testing. Over the past few months we have tested them out while hiking, camping, caravan, RV and we tested them in everyday kitchen life in the home as well- here is our summary:

The plates are made of polypropylene (PP-5) and thus food safe, dishwasher safe, freezer and microwave safe. We tested with normal cutlery and they stand up to normal everyday use, however using sharper kitchen knives they of course show wear and tear cut marks, as is often the case with plastic tableware. While microwave use is approved, we noticed that you shouldn’t microwave with tomato-based foods, ketchup or high coloured foods or food dyes (curry sauce) because these food colourings can stain the plastic when heated in the microwave. This type of food dye staining is something that affects all plastic kitchenware products but again it is worth noting. I'm sure all my readers know when I’m hungry I often prepare a can of ravioli but this little fauxpas has stained the chic look of the blue plate!
The unique feature is ClipCroc has the ability to ‘clip’ each piece of crockery tableware together hence the naming of ‘ClipCroc’. This modular storage system caught our attention, as we knew something similar from the very first Tupperware camping equipment trials, but due to Tupperware’s square shape they were never used for serious outdoor use and did not offer any of the many advantages that the ClipCroc range does.
The ClipCroc offers a highly practical storage system as all the tableware items can be clipped together offering a simple and stackable storage system! But more than this, the ‘ClipClean’ feature allows all dirty plates to be clipped together, with a clean one clipped on top, allowing the washing up to be done later! We tested this feature with water and oily liquids and only a small amount leaked out of the sides – of course this would be an extreme situation for the plates to be watertight! Sure, they are not 100% watertight and not suitable for transporting liquids - but WandsPro does not promise that either! In normal use, with normal leftovers and the left-over remnants of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise, the ‘ClipClean’ feature works perfectly allowing the clipped-together crockery to be transported safely in a bag or left until there’s a good time to wash up!
Weighing 104g they are within the usual weight class of other plastic plates.

With an ergonomic design and a nicely sloped edge, the dishes are an excellent shape overall. WandsPro highlight a volume of 450ml representing a nicely sized dish, but I discovered their brimmed capacity volume is 650ml so I feel they could also be used as a soup plate! Of course, when filled to the brim they are not easy to carry but, none-the-less, they could be used as a suitable soup plate when far from home!

With a diameter of 22.5cm they fit perfectly on my large cooking set from the Trangia range.
Compared to other plates on the market, ClipCroc Dish have a small eyelet and lanyard hole on the edge which can be used to help store them or hang them somewhere to dry.
Overall, we are very satisfied with the ClipCroc plates from WandsPro!
As a tip, we always recommend bringing one extra plate more than is needed which can then be clipped on the top of the dirty ones to serves as a ‘clean lid’ for transporting them later!
The plates are only available overseas in a set of x4 pieces for $39.99 AUD. Unfortunately, we could not find a European distributor, which we very much regret ;-(
Therefore, if you are travelling to Australia sometime soon, you should definitely check out this unique set of Clip-together Crockery while you’re there! WandsPro have a unique range of clip-together tableware for any outdoor adventure and we think they have the chance to revolutionize the camping plates and dishes market with their ClipCroc range!!

Technical specifications:
Diameter 22.5cm
Height 2.6cm
Weight 104g
Volume 650ml (this measurement is when filled to the brim but it is not easy to transport liquids when filled to the top) – therefore, as per the brochure, 450ml is the realistic volume per dish!

Firepot-Meals from Outdoorfood

In the past, we have tested several dishes from manufacturers specialized in the outdoor market - here is our newest candidate which has already become our favourite, read why!

In the outdoor-area of the OutDoor-Trade-Fair in June of this year, we became aware of the British manufacturer Outdoorfood, who offered two different Firepot trekking meals for us to try; a vegetarian menu and one with meat.
As a committed meat eater we were delighted about the high meat content in the dishes - we are wondering for a long time about the true level of meat content in many trekking dishes and ready-made meals from the supermarket ...
So we have told the guys at Outdoorfood about our upcoming #NordkappProjekt to the geocache "Nothing but stones" and promptly sent us a trial pack which reached us just before we set off on our adventure to the North Cape. Thanks for the great support!
Firepot offers different dishes, which are pre-cooked before having any moisture removed. This makes them very light. For drying, a special in-house process is used which is different to the normal freeze drying process used by other companies. In addition they don't use preservatives and the dishes are not "over-spiced".

On the outside, each food pouch are detailed but easy to follow instructions for adding boiling water, stirring, re-sealing and waiting (10-15 minutes depending on the dish). We used our KOVEA Spider and Trangia cook-set to boil water (see separate review), and within no time, a delicious meal was ready.
We were able to walk to the "Nothing but stones" and the Ringebu-Fjell we were able to make Chilli Con Carne, Orzo Noodles with Bolognese, Dal, Rice with Spinach, Pork & Beans, and; Risotto with Celeriac. All were extremely tasty!

The Firepot dishes have decent energy content, with normal portions rated at 500 to 650 calories per pack depending on the dish.
And for those who need more than a "normal" portion, Outdoorfood offers "extra-large" portions!
We are curious to see how the Firepot dishes from Outdoorfood integrate into the German ready-to-go food for the trekking market. Firepot has our top recommendation in any case !!!
Here are a couple of tips to get the best out of your Firepot meal on the trail:

Tip1: In some dishes came out al dente after the specified preparation time. So if you prefer your pasta or noodles well done or "scotta", you can keep the pack closed for several more minutes.

Tip2: We found it is best to use a long handled spoon or fork and to eat directly from the pack, in order avoid greasy fingers. Shortened sporks and spoons favoured by ultralight backpackers are a recipe for sticky fingers! The KniSFor has proven itself with a carefully thought-out handling with an extended knife as an extended spoon handle!

You can order the full range of Firepot meals through the www.outdoorfood.com website, or from Amazon with prices starting at € 7,50 per pack.

Spider-Stove from Kovea

As specialist book authors and outdoor bloggers, one of the annual highlights for us is our visit to the #OutDoorFN in Friedrichshafen, the largest outdoor gear trade show in Europe. This year we found a lot of very interesting and innovative gear, including the KOVEA Spider stove. This is the story of how we came to discover and appreciate it:

One evening we found the person in the tent next to ours was cooking on a very compact little gas stove with a pre-heat tube. We came into conversation about the stove, and its owner, Steve explained that the preheat tube acts both as a safety device to prevent fireballs occurring, but it also enables the stove to work at very low temperatures, down to -20°C! He explained that gas stoves without this special tube cannot be used at such low temperatures. Although there are a number of other models of gas stove with the pre-heat tube, KOVEA has been the most successful at miniaturising it, so now it is so small you hardly notice it.

We continued talking stoves and travel cooking into the evening and I explained about our forthcoming seven-week-tour of Scandinavia with our favourite Trangia cook set. We really like the easy of use of the Trangia but would prefer a more powerful and controllable flame which doesn't soot up the pots. Steve told us that the KOVEA Spider, which is designed especially for cooking efficiently and with clean combustion, also fits perfectly under the windscreen of the Trangia cooker. He said that when folded up, it also fits inside the Trangia kettle.

So at last we had found the perfect gas stove for our Trangia cook set, and we set off for our #NordkappProjekt!
Seven weeks later we are back home having used the KOVEA Spider and Trangia cookset every day over the summer, including at the North Cape of Norway. We used it with the cheap aerosol-type butane gas using an adapter, which I reviewed in autumn 2015. And we used the Spider with and without the Trangia windbreak. With all this usage, we can absolutely recommend the Trangia and KOVEA Spider combination!
The Spideris now the permanent stove in our Trangia cook set!

Here a few more observations from usage over the summer:

  • The Spider is small and light (168g cooker plus 10g bag)
  • I like the technical data and detailed solutions like the foldable regulator for the gas supply.
  • The Spider consumes a maximum of 120g of gas in the hour - this information is useful to calculate how much fuel the stove will need.
  • KOVEA provides a separate piezo igniter (12g) with the Spider, which you can use to start any gas cooker. It is important to make sure that the end of the igniter is in direct contact with the metal of the burner head and that there is not too much or too little gas coming through. Once you get it right, it lights with one click every time.

And KOVEA's European supplier, MercatorGear.com, provides a really useful app on its home page.
The MercatorGear Gas Canister Calculator which enables you to work out how much fuel and how many gas canisters you will need for your trip depending on the stove, cooking time, people and days on the trail.
A very, very cool tool!