REI TI WARE LONG-HANDLE SPOON
By: Chad Poindexter
October 25, 2010
stick1377 (AT) gmail (DOT) com
Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I love backpacking! However, with only 1 ½ years under my belt so far, I would still consider myself a little green to it all, so to say… Initially, I started out with heavy gear but since then I have gone lighter, although I still use a little of it all. I have gone from tent to tarp, canister stove to alcohol stove, sleeping bag to quilt and
quite happily from synthetic to down. All of my hiking so far has been in the South East United States, and up to this point has been with friends or family.
Manufacturer: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
Year of Purchase: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: www.rei.com
MSRP: (US) $9.50
Listed Weight: 0.4 oz (11.34 g)
Measured Weight: 0.5 oz (14.17 g)
Listed Measurements: 8.5 x 1.5 in (21.6 x 3.8 cm) ~ Verified Accurate
Product Materials: Titanium Alloy
The REI Ti Ware Long-Handle Spoon (hereafter referred to as the "spoon") is a lightweight spoon which has been designed to make getting at that last bit of food easier, thanks to the long handle and the squared, angled ladle.
This titanium spoon is quite thin, measuring less than one millimeter (less than 0.1 cm) thick and has a shiny, smooth polished finish. The business end of the spoon is simply a ladle which is angled and is shaped more like a square with rounded edges rather than in an oval or circular shape. When measured, I have found that the ladle will hold 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of water.
The entire length of the spoon is 8.5 in (21.6 cm), however, the handle only measures 7.5 in (19.1 cm). The handle is made of the same titanium alloy and features the same shiny finish as on the ladle. The handle features a ridge, which runs down the center of the handle and helps to strengthen the spoon. On the end of the handle is a single hole in which a piece of cord or such can be attached.
"Ti Ware" is etched into the handle of the spoon, with "Ti" inside a square box so that it looks like the chemical element in the periodic table. Also, "EST. REI 1938" is etched into the spoon near the end of the handle. Other than this, there are no other markings on the spoon.
Having purchased this spoon only a few short months ago, I have at this point carried this spoon with me on three backpacking trips. Two of the trips were in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) and the other trip was on an overnight trip to Max Patch in Pisgah National Forest (PNF) in North Carolina. The temperatures I experienced on these trips ranged between 34 to 88 F (1 to 31 C). As well, I had some days with rainy skies, and others with blue skies.
I have used the spoon around 9 times to eat meals with, as well as a few other times to simply measure out coffee or sugar and then to stir my hot drinks with. I have also used the spoon to scrape out the tuna from inside the foil packages.
The first trip I packed this spoon up in my backpack for was when I headed to the GSMNP in August on an overnight trip. My goal for this trip was as light and small as possible, so this spoon fit in pretty well. We hiked up 2,700 ft (823 m) to the shelter on top of Mt. LeConte (6,500 ft or 1,981 m) via the Alum Cave trail and stayed the night. The next day after we had breakfast, we packed up and hiked back down. Temperatures here were between 65 to 88 F (18 to 31 C) and we were lucky enough to have blue skies while we hiked, and a little rain while at the shelter.
The next trip I carried the spoon on was a four-day loop hike in the northern section of the GSMNP. We began hiking at an elevation of 2,200 ft (671 m) and on the second day we hit our highest elevation near Mt Guyot on the Appalachian Trail at 6,300 ft (1,920 m). Each night we stayed at a shelter, and during our trip we had mostly blue skies, however, we did get a good hard rain on our last night out. Temperatures were between 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C) during this trip. On this trip I carried a larger pack, and while small and light was a goal, it was not near as successful as on my previous trip.
The last trip I packed the spoon up for was an overnight trip to Max Patch in the PNF. The elevation on the top of Max Patch is 4,629 ft (1,411 m), which is where we camped that night. Despite all the wind we encountered on top of the bald and the fact that it made the near 60 F (16 C) temperatures feel much, much cooler, we actually enjoyed a nice meal while on top. The next morning when we woke up the temperature was 34 F (1 C) and we found a layer of frost on our tent.
Once I began backpacking, I quickly realized that I did not like cooking in a pot because I do not like to clean dishes, especially if I don't have to. So, almost immediately I decided to cook and eat out of either freezer bags or out of the bags that meals such as the Mountain House or the Backpacker Pantry meals came prepackaged in. Doing this I would only have to boil water in my pot and thus not have to clean it, as much...
However, by doing this I soon realized another problem, the sporks and spoons I was using was simply not long enough. I found myself having to stick my fingers inside the bags in order for the utensils to reach to the bottom to get the last bit of food out of the bags. This usually left my fingers and my knuckles smeared with food. I tolerated this for a while by trying to be extra careful when getting the last little bit out. I did this by rolling the bag down (which still made a mess), as well as by trying to hold the top of the bags open as wide as I could when I was getting the last little bit out. Still not the easiest, or the most efficient.
Finally I decided to get this spoon. The long handle lured me in with promises of reaching the bottom of the bags, and after the first time using the spoon, I realized that the promise was true. (As seen in the picture to the left.) I have used the spoon in quart-sized Ziploc bags, as well as in the prepackaged bags of Mountain House and Backpacker Pantry meals. The spoon does in fact reach to the bottom without me having to actually stick my hand inside the bag.
The size and shape of the ladle makes it easy to scoop out a large spoonful of food which is great for when I am hungry and ready to eat. Also, the angle of the ladle does a nice job at helping to scoop the last little bit up and out of the bag.
Like I said at the beginning of the report, the spoon is rather thin. At first I had some concern about the spoon bending, especially when I packed it in my bag, but so far the spoon has been fine. Although, I do take care when packing it to put it somewhere safe. I have thought about tying a small piece of rope through the small hole on the end of the handle and then securing the spoon outside my pack, but I have gotten to where I would rather not have anything outside my pack if I can help it.
Since the spoon is made of titanium, I was a little concerned about the spoon heating up, at least based on past experiences with other titanium products. So far, I have not found this to be true. While eating hot meals the spoon does not seem to heat up. Also, while stirring my coffee the spoon stays cool to the touch. Of course while doing these things, the spoon does not stay in direct contact with these hot surfaces but for a moment.
In the end, I am super happy that I finally decided to get this spoon. It has made my meal experiences much better, and more importantly much cleaner. This spoon will definitely be with me on every trip I go on from here on out. And if something should happen to it, it will definitely be replaced!
THINGS I LIKE
1. Long handle.
3. Holds a lot of food.
4. Scoops food out of the bottom of the bag easily.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
I honestly cannot think of anything I do not like about this spoon. It is simple and effective.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
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