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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Cook Sets > Wildo Eating Essentials Campware Set > Test Report by joe schaffer
Wildo - Eating Campware Set
NAME: Joe Schaffer
HEIGHT: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
HOME: Bay Area, California USA
I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping year-round with a goal to match my age in nights out each year; about 30 solo. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.
Product: Eating Essentials Campware Set
Manufacturer: Wildo Sweden AB
Set: 340 g (12 oz); 26.7 x 20.3 x 7.6 cm (10.5 x 8 x 3 in)
Spork: 8.5 g (0.3 oz) 16.5 x 4.8/1.5 cm (6.5 x 1.9/0.6 in)
Kasa Bowl: 296 ml (10 oz); 36 g (1.25 oz); 11.5 cm (4.53 in) D x 4.3 cm (1.7 in) High
Kasa XL: 887 ml (30 oz); 80 g (3 oz); 15.5 cm (6 in) D x 6 cm (2 in) High
Flat Plate: 68 g (2.4 oz); 15.5 x 2.1 cm (5.7 x 0.85 in)
Deep Plate: 82 g (2.9 oz); 15.5 x 4.4 cm (5.7 x 1.7 in)
Fold-A-Cup: 237 ml (8 oz); 25 g (0.88 oz); 9.4 x 7.2 x 2.9 cm (3.7 x 2.8 x 1.1 in)
Lilac (hereafter referred to as purple)/Pink (pictured)
This is a seven-piece set of eating ware that will fully accommodate one person and probably get most of the job done for two. It has two plates; one larger bowl; a smaller bowl or large cup; a cup that will fold down to half-height; and two sporks with knife edges. All pieces except the cup have holes for hanging. The material is plastic. The set fits snugly into a mesh bag with a draw string/cord lock closure and a small carabiner to hang the package as desired. The (purple) Deep Plate nests in the (pink) Flat Plate. The folded-down cup nests in the small bowl which nests in the large bowl. The sporks stack, and while they don't nest completely inside the large bowl, they do fit conveniently enough. The large bowl then sits on top of the plates.
Set: 11 3/4 oz (334 g); about 8 1/4 in (21 cm) wide x 10 1/2 in (26.7) long x 3 1/8 in (8 cm) high, in the sack
Kasa XL (pink bowl): 2 7/8 oz (80 g); holds about* 26 3/4 oz (0.79 L); 6 in (15.24 cm) diameter x 2 3/8 high (6 cm); handle about 1 3/8 in (3.5 cm) wide x 3 in (7.6 cm) long
Kasa Bowl: (purple): 1 1/4 oz (36 g); holds about* 7 3/4 oz (0.23 L); 4 7/16 (11.3 cm) diameter x 2 1/8 in (5.4 cm) high; handle about 1 1/4 in (3.2 cm) wide x 1 1/4 (3.2 cm) long
Fold-A-Cup (pink): 7/8 oz (24 g); holds about* 6 oz (0.2 L); about 3 1/4 x 2 3/4 in (8.25 x 7 cm) across x 2 1/8 in (5.4 cm) max deep, folding down to about 1 in (2.5 cm) deep; handle about 1 in long x 3/4 in wide (2.5 x 2 cm)
Camper Flat Plate (pink): 2 3/8 oz (68 g); about 8 3/16 in (20.8 cm) diameter x 13/16 in (2 cm) high
Camper Deep Plate (purple): 2 3/4 oz (80 g); about 8 3/16 in (20.8 cm) diameter x 1 1/2 in (3.8 cm) high
Spork: 3/8 oz (12 g); about 1 7/8 in (4.8 cm) max width x 6 3/8 (16.2 cm) length
Sack w/biner: 7/8 oz (24 g)
*What it will hold without spilling in use; as opposed to the actual maximum volume.
Received: April 26, 2017
Being on a mission to upgrade my culinary designs beyond preparations that fit in my trusty mug, I'm delighted to try this set. The pieces seem substantial and worthy of an expectation of reliability. I may not test or ever use all the pieces at once, but it's nice to have a choice to suit the circumstances of each outing. I think I should note for context that my protocol over the last 15 years has been 22 oz (0.6 L) insulated mug and a soup spoon. How successfully I change my cuisine to match the capabilities of the new tools probably will largely determine my ending impressions.
The website and the brochure attending the set delivery are brilliant in presentation of product and lend a feeling of substance to a brand with which I have no previous familiarity. (Can't deny I also wonder how they have that kind of marketing budget to sell camping dishes!) I don't find MSRP. I would like to know if the product is suitable for microwave or dishwasher. BPA-free materials are PP and/or TPE. I don't know what either of those are. I would also be curious to know how much heat the material will tolerate before giving off chemicals or melting. I find metal can be too hot to hold comfortably, so plastic suits me in that regard.
Seeing no reason to wait for the woods, I began the test with the last two morning's gruel in the pink bowl. It is exactly the right size for both my breakfast ration and for dinner as well. The handle is a little short and seems to give deference to being held in the left hand. The bowl is plenty rigid enough to hold between thumb and fingers. It's comfortable that way even with hot contents.
The spork has the industrial capacity I prefer, but it's a little too wide and I felt like having to give myself a dentist's admonition to open accordingly. It seems I want to approach the load as if it were in a ladle, nibbling from the side and off the top rather than shoveling like the crazed wolf usually in camp at meal times. The handle seems to flex under loading more than I like and I fear if I misjudge tension it will catapult a charge to an unintended target. The broader issue is the knife edge on the right side. It's probably no sharper than necessary to cut through al dente macaroni, but my inner cheek doesn't like feeling it on the way out. The tines of the spork are certainly long enough to do something serious (as opposed to others I've tried which are annoying and only cosmetic), but I also don't care for the feeling of the points as they engage my tongue. Trying it left-handed made me feel a significantly higher degree of attention is required than normally attends my mealtime behavior. Certainly it is possible I don't know the proper mechanics of eating with a spork. I would call sporks compromised dribble spoons, particularly with my history of menu items being exclusive to what can be eaten by spoon. What might be a really cool piece of engineering is if the curvature of the spork edge matched the curvature of the bowl, whereby it would cleanly muck the corner.
I can hold the cup when it's hot, and it doesn't burn my lips. Cups are a packing pain and this is as good an idea as I've ever seen in trying to make one less troublesome. Maybe making it to fold more times doesn't work, but a capacity of at least double would suit me better. I would prefer a little thicker, rounder, more lip-friendly top. The purpose of the handle appears to be pulling the folded portion back up. I wouldn't think it necessary.
Perhaps I'll become foodie enough to haul in a dessert or specialty dish of some kind where the smaller purple bowl would be fine. I already see it as great for picking huckleberries as I should be able to fill it up before getting so old I forget where camp is. The handle seems unnecessary. The top edge is lip-friendly.
The two plates look similar, but the purple one is somewhat deeper. I don't get the design of the flat edge around part of the plate, other than to make a space for a hole to hang the plate. That flat edge isn't substantial enough for my fat little arthritic fingers to gain purchase on any heft in the plate. I find it actually easier to grasp the plate elsewhere.
The flat on the dish edges and bowl handles helps with initially lifting the dish ware to get my fingers underneath. It also provides a more suitable thumb rest than the edge alone and makes it easier to keep my thumb out of the contents. It hosts a hole without putting a hole in the duty part. I don't think the weight of these benefits provides corresponding advantage and I'd probably forego the handle in the interest of packability and the flat dish edge because it siphons off a bit of volume. I'm not likely ever to hang dish ware to the outside of my pack as I like bears to hear I'm coming but I don't want to show them I eat well. (I also have concerns about anything flopping around or hanging up in brush.)
The carry bag of coarse netting snugly packages the set for minimal rattles. The bottom of the bag's shape very efficiently matches the circumference of the plates. The top has a small carabiner for secure attachment to an outside pack strap. I wonder if there might be advantage in adding a small loop in the bottom seam to help stabilize the package in transit should an outside-the-pack carry be desired.
In a point-of-purchase tagging error I've seen before, the tags showing in the top picture are glued to the food surface, excepting the cup's, which lays loosely. Soaking in water got the paper off easily enough, but the glue's as stubborn as pitch. I scraped it with my fingernails and got most of it. Then I applied a 3-M scrub pad to the pink bowl's remaining glue residue. (I don't know if that stuff would be bad for me, but I'm at an age where the idea of putting any amount of glue down there suggests total avoidance.) The surface dulled. I also let boiling-hot water set in the dishes for a few minutes and then scrubbed. I can't feel any residue now, but there is a different coloration where the tags were stuck. In the outback I know better than to use sand, of course, but I do sometimes require needles or cones and I'll test for woodsy scratch resistance. As I might get pitch on the material, it would be nice to know what kinds of chemical cleaners would be acceptable; and even better to be advised of some of the more common solvents that should be avoided. For example, I've never used alcohol yet but I sometimes have white gas. Will either of those bugger the material? When I get really mad at tree sap I might try carb cleaner at home. I suspect that may melt this material, but if not, it would sure be a time saver. Or, maybe chemicals should never be used because they might seep into the cell structure--would be nice to know.
There are very few types of materials I can tolerate hearing or feeling scraped against each other. I can dig like a rat on this set's material and get no chills at all.
1. May 2-4, 2017: Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California. Backpacking, 13 miles (21 km). Table camping at Sky Camp and Glen Camp; elevations 1,025 ft (312 m) and 955 ft (291 m); 34 lb (15 kg) leave weight. Two camps.
2. May 14-15, 2017: Clark Fork, Stanislaus National Forest, California. 6,100 ft (1,860 m). One dirt car camp.
3. May 22-26, 2017: Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite Wilderness, California; 15 mi (24 km) backpack, 4,660-6,480 ft (1,420-1,975 m). 75-40 F (24-4 C). 44 lb (20 kg) leave weight. Three dirt camps.
4. Jun 5-8, 2017: Loon Lake, El Dorado National Forest, California. 10 mi (16 km) backpack; 75-36 F (24-2 C). 6,400 ft (1,950 m). 45 lb (20 kg) leave weight. Table & dirt camping.
5. Jun 13-16, 2017: Bergson Lake, Carson Iceberg Wilderness, California. 10 mi (16 km) backpack. 80-45 F (27-7 C) 6,420 ft (1,957 m). One dirt camp.
6. Jun 20-23, 2017: Shasta National Forest, California. 8 mi (13 km) backpack. 90-50 F (32-10 C) eating temps. 5,720-6,840 ft (1,745-2,085 m). 35 lb (16 kg) leave weight. Three dirt camps.
7. July 4-9, 2017: Emigrant Wilderness, California. 11 mi (18 km) backpacking. Leave weight 38 lb (17 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg). Three dirt camps.
8. July 11-16, 2017: Yosemite Wilderness, California. 18 mi (29 km) backpacking. Leave weight 39 lb (17 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg). Three dirt camps.
9. July 22-26, 2017: Willamette National Forest, Waldo Lake. 2 mi (3 km) backpacking XC. 60 F (16 C) dinner temp. 5,400 ft (1,650 m). One dirt camp.
10. July 26-29, 2017: Yolla Bolly Wilderness, California. 10 mi (16 km) backpacking trail. 65 F (18 C) dinner temp. 6,240-6,560 ft (1,900-2,000 m). Three dirt camps.
11. August 3-11, 2017: Emigrant Wilderness, California. 35 mi (56 km) backpacking trail and XC. 60-55 F (16-13 C) dinner temp at 7,600-8,720 ft (2,316-2,658 m). Leave weight 41 lb (18.6 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg). Seven dirt camps, eight nights.
12. Aug 18-20, 2017: Blow Lake, Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon. 3 mi (5 km) backpacking 55 lb (25 kg) on trail. 5,050 ft (1,540 m). One dirt camp, two nights.
13. Aug 22-25, 2017: Waldo Lake, Willamette National Forest, Oregon. 1.5 mi (3 km) backpacking 55 lb (25 kg) XC. 5,400 ft (1,645 m). One dirt camp, three nights
1. Pt. Reyes: I crushed noodles in the Kasa XL bowl to make them shorter, stirred in bean mix and veggies; poured boiling water on it; and let it sit for 10 minutes with the plate over the bowl, and the tortilla in the plate to capture heat. That latter part probably didn't do much more than let me think I'm clever.
While that was cooking I had time to ruminate the chemical relationship of plastic and hot water. It seems BPA proved unable to contain itself under heat. I'm not aware of any calculations regarding TPE's resistance to same. No doubt (I hope) I would have to eat the plate and maybe the bowl too for any type of circumstance to develop from the chemical composition of the dishware, but I'm thinking the vendor having raised the issue of BPA might then provide assurances that the alternatively chosen chemicals do not suffer the same potentially nasty attribute. One would think it must be assumed these utensils will be in frequent and prolonged contact with high temperature contents.
I liked feeling relatively civilized eating off a plate instead of from my mug. The bowl was plenty large enough to accommodate preparation, and maybe holds heat better than the cardboard bowl the noodles came in. It's also strong enough I can mash the dried noodle knot against the bottom instead of making a mess crushing it in my fist. The spork cut the tortilla pieces smaller as I wanted them and held the food with no dribbles.
The meal left me with three things to clean--spork, bowl and plate. I don't eat with my fingers, so the spork's a push. I could have eaten out of the bowl and not bothered with the plate. They proved very easy to clean using a small amount of hot water and a rolled tortilla stub, leaving no dishwashing residue.
The plate top-up doesn't fully cover the Kasa XL bowl, allowing heat loss through the void. Bottom-side up the bowl is covered, but the plate doesn't sit flat to seal the lip. I grunted about that flat-edge part earlier, which is the offending margin that won't cover the bowl. If the plate would cover the bowl, then I'd feel it has a second function as a lid, and I could get more serious about finding ways to need it. (And--quite serious here--not much engineering would create a third use as a Frisbee.)
I'm afraid I just can't abide the cup. It's packable and easy enough to deploy, but it's too small and makes too much trouble to keep firing up the stove for refills. Even small as it is, contents cool before I get to the bottom.
Likewise, I'm very close to confirming at this early test phase that I don't like the spork. Adding to the aforementioned nits, the handle is too short to feel good in my hand. I found that as far as cutting dampened tortilla is concerned, rocking the spoon edge over it did quite a good job and the knife edge not so much. I don't know how to saw with a knife and keep the material being sawn from skidding around unless I stabilize it with my fingers (yuck) or another utensil, which I don't want to carry and would seem to defeat at least part of the design purpose of an all-in-one utensil. It is not an instrument designed to excavate chocolate powder from a baggie for transport to a vessel. The spork requires about three round trips, during which time the ants get more than enough.
I would eat off dirt before scraping a utensil of any kind on metal, so it's perfectly OK the bowl and plate cannot be put in contact with flame. They are very sturdy and I've every confidence they won't come apart (as, for example, might a cardboard bowl after multiple uses). They are light enough when regarding the possibility of mishap with said alternative; and I found them all pieces satisfactorily stowable inside my pack without any concern for crushing, bending or breaking.
2. I had the plate with me at Clark Fork, but ate my lunch sandwich for dinner. The morning was alternately warm and blustery enough with sprinkles that I felt like a breakfast of hot gruel. The Kasa XL bowl suited the 6 oz (170 g) dry mix of oats, chocolate, chocolate and peanut butter powder, cacao nibs, chocolate drops, M&Ms, Reeses Pieces, assorted nuts and dried fruit; blended with 4 oz (113 g) of apple sauce and enough hot water to soften the oats. The size makes mixing very easy with no chance of spilling. Doing dishes was no chore--swish around some hot water and drink it. As the picture shows, I've come to the conclusion I don't prefer the spork.
3. In Yosemite I used the bowl for all four breakfasts and two dinners; and the plate for one dinner. I carried the cup, but I'm afraid I couldn't overcome my inertia to leave it in the bear can. (The point might be taken that the cup stows tidily enough to merit berth in such prized storage.)
In discounting the probability I'd ever want to hang any of the ware from my pack, I failed to take into account the benefit of hanging from a tree. Hanging it in tree branches has so far effectively kept the dishware out of reach of marauding night-time creatures--no slug trails, rodent dung or teeth marks.
The Kasa (purple) bowl is too small for much use as a bowl. It does not make a suitable camp cup for me. It could work as a "Sierra" cup, but I have no use for that kind of vessel.
4. The Loon trip occupied the dishes for two breakfasts and three dinners. To no fault except of mine, the meals were of the same nature as previous outings.
5. Bergson Lake being a short hike and planned for only one camp could have offered heightened opportunity to cook. But once again I choked on packing all the stuff I'd need, having been advised I'd have to walk an extra 3 1/2 mi (5 1/2 km) from the gate to the trailhead. So it was more of the same--three breakfast gruels and two dinners in the pink bowl. I used the pink plate for a lid. I noticed that my pot nests in the pink bowl, and that nudges it up in the like-o-meter.
6. The plastic lid from a 52 oz (1.5 kg) can of Planter's Peanuts fits almost perfectly over the bowl, (with a wee piece of trimming to settle over the handle); weighing in at one-half oz (15 g). I toted this on the Shasta NF backpack and used it for two dinners and three breakfasts. I think the hot meals stayed warmer while steeping, and no bugs crawled in on the cold gruel mornings. For full disclosure, yes, I've broken the testing protocol by 'modifying' the product. However, I exceeded the minimum usage threshold before doing so and made no change to the actual product itself. And if the lid would slip on tight over the bowl like it does on its can, I'd be even a happier bowl-using camper.
On this outing I added a bit of fat to my rations that did not all make it to the arteries, leaving residue in the bowl. Hot water and a wad of Spanish moss did an excellent job of restoring the shine.
7. The Emigrant trip involved four hot dinners and five cold breakfasts in the pink bowl.
8. For the Yosemite trip I had four hot dinners and five cold breakfasts in the pink bowl. Somehow I forgot the lid. As I dug through my stuff looking for it I came across my map case. That and a pack towel for a little more insulation actually did a remarkably good job of keeping the dinners hot during the 10 minutes of cooking. (Some folks mightn't call soaking stuff in hot water cooking, but I say anything between shelf and mouth is cooking.) As about as picky as I can get, and only because I've been using the bowl a lot, I don't like the indented logo on the top side of the handle and the other indented stuff on the bottom side. My last two trips have mostly involved campfire, and that makes the pot black. When I remove the pot lid, my fingers get soot on them, which transfers to the bowl handle where it accumulates in the indents. This makes the bowl look dirty as I'm about to eat from it. The soot defies plain water, but a toothbrush and paste restore the look to factory fresh. The problem is that such campwork falls squarely into the realm of chore, which cuts into relaxation time. Leave off the indents in the handle (bottom side of bowl ok) and the soot won't have edges for purchase.
9. Waldo: High temperature and no breeze first night kept the bugs buzzing the hammock until 10:30 pm, whereupon I shut my eyes and thought about eating the next day. The next three evenings I was more mentally prepared for "hell hour" and outlasted them in campfire smoke. I had three dinners and two breakfasts in the pink bowl. I noticed one night that a few specks of dinner were not coming loose like everything normally does. On close inspection, and much to my surprise after all the times I've used the bowl, I discovered there are some almost discernible gradation markings. As it took me so long to notice them, I'd have to say they don't add much benefit for me.
10. Yolla Bolly: This trip accounted two dinners and two breakfasts in the pink bowl. With short hiking distances I had plenty of time and energy to fuss with fixings, and the large capacity of the bowl made mixing up handfuls of stringy dry stuff very easy. On the last night I pretty well scavenged my ration bag for whatever was left, and impressed myself with the ingenuity of a meal I could not have prepared in my mug. So much grub did I cram in the bowl that the weight made me more fully appreciate the handle.
11. Emigrant: My 65L bag was pretty stuffed for the 9-day trip and I confess to toting the bowl outside. Hanging it from a compression strap proved so convenient and trouble-free I wound up keeping it there the whole trip even as space freed up inside the bag. I had seven breakfasts and seven dinners in the pink bowl. I timed a few hot meals in the bowl to determine that when covered it will keep contents (soaking in boiling-hot water) hot for 10 to 15 minutes. That coincides perfectly with the stuff I eat.
12. Blow Lake: This "car" camping outing with four other people gave a better test for the whole set. I carried it all in the stuff sack, tucked inside a backpack resurrected from my pack mule days. I offered all pieces (except the cup, which I'd forgotten) to all persons. The large bowl and both plates saw some use.
13. Waldo Lake: Same group, changed venue for this "car" camping outing. The plates got more use, and the Kasa XL (pink) bowl worked great for serving crackers and whipping up a freeze-dried batch of smores as well as most of my meals. I filled the Kasa (purple) bowl with huckleberries and was probably glad it wasn't any bigger. (The berries were best ever, but they cut into chair time!) The sporks once again found no takers.
SUMMATION: The Kasa XL (pink) bowl holds a dedicated spot on the gear shelf now that I've found a suitable lid. After 74 meals eaten from the bowl it still shines, except where the glue had to be scrubbed off. The plates are OK, but not making an adequate bowl cover is a miss. The cup is too small and also does not hold heat well. The Kasa (purple) bowl is too small; and in my view does not make a satisfactory camp cup. I find the spork cumbersome and ill-fitting for a mouth which has never otherwise been noted as having insufficient proportion. The stuff sack is maybe a little too tight for packing up all pieces in a hurry in the wind. If my partner and I liked to eat the same things--being mostly prepared in a bowl--the plates would then make a good set for the two of us.
a) multiple-piece choice
b) not hot to hold
d) not partial to being scrubbed
Thank you Wildo Sweden AB and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this kit. This report concludes my test.
Read more reviews of WILDO Sweden AB gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer
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