By: Korrin L. Bishop
Gossamer Gear happens to sell the world’s greatest bamboo backpacking spoon. If you haven’t made the switch yet, it’s time. However, we won’t get too in-depth about that in this post, as it has already been well-documented. This post is going to focus on how to take care of your awesome bamboo backpacking spoon now that you have it.
Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that is odor-, stain-, and water-resistant. It is technically a grass, making it quite lightweight, but is also as strong and durable as wood. Also as with wood, if taken care of properly, it can last a long time.
Keeping Your Bamboo Spoon Seasoned
Think of your bamboo spoon as you would a good wooden cutting board. You need to periodically treat it to preserve its natural oils and prevent its fibers from drying out and becoming cracked or rough. For best results, we recommend doing this when you first get your spoon, and then before and after each trip you take it on.
The process is simple:
- Get some food-grade mineral oil, bamboo conditioning oil, butcher block oil, walnut oil, or coconut oil. Avoid vegetable oils like olive oil or canola oil, as these can become rancid.
- Apply some of the oil to a clean, soft cloth.
- Rub all over your bamboo spoon, letting the oil soak into the material.
- Repeat, if necessary.
- Let the spoon cure 1-2 days before use.
Photo credit: Stephanie Baker
Cleaning Your Bamboo Spoon
There may come a point where giving your bamboo spoon its daily backcountry tongue bath isn’t enough. While you should do your best on your trip to rinse the spoon thoroughly after each use, we recommend giving it a real cleaning once you get home.
You should never throw your bamboo spoon in the dishwasher, as the detergent and heat is too intense. You should also avoid soaking the spoon, as this will eventually breakdown the bamboo’s natural water resistance.
Follow these steps to getting your spoon sparkling again:
- Rinse the bamboo spoon in warm water and use a dull edge, like the back of a butter knife, to scrape off stubborn food particles.
- Wash using mild soap and a soft cloth.
- Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean rag.
- Stand upright to complete the drying process.
- Treat with oil, as described above.
- Store in a dry place away from extreme temperatures.
By caring for your spoon properly, you can have a friend to share all of those rehydrated meals with for many miles to come. Happy trails to you—and to your spoon!
Korrin L. Bishop is a freelance writer with a focus on environment, outdoor recreation, and social justice. She has publications in Misadventures, Adventure Journal, and Sierra Magazine. Learn more about her work on her website.