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Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Nesting Tableware Set? This is what qualifies as dad gear in your world?


In my world, camping is the man’s domain. The kitchen at home is man’s domain too, but I really only get excited about the camping part, and this camp utensil and dish set is pretty nice.

REI Nesting Tableware Set Service for 4: $44.95

REI Nesting Tableware Set
REI Nesting Tableware Set
  • Fork x 4
  • Knife x 4
  • Spoon x 4
  • Cup/Mug x 4
  • Bowl x 4
  • Plate x 4
  • Wash tub x 1
  • Cutting board x 1
  • Drying rack x 1

All of this nests inside a square plastic tub that doubles as a wash basin, with pour spout. The lit is very secure. One side fits tongue-in-groove into one site and snaps securely over the pour spout on the other side. The lid doubles as a cutting board.

The utensils snap into a drying rack with plastic tab that keep them from falling out. I first saw the REI Nesting Tableware Set last fall when my brother-in-law got them from REI as the employee christmas present. That must have been a prototype because the plastic rack for the utensils now includes the plastic tab to keep the utensils from falling out. They have little lego-type snaps to hold them in, but they don’t really work that well.


We used this set on my son’s birthday campout at Folsom Lake last weekend and I’m really happy with it. It is very compact and fits well with my REI Pack and Prep Tote/Table (Review Here) allowing me to pack almost all of the food and cooking gear, except the stove and iron ware, in one thing. Basically, the tableware set and tote/table pare down our camp kitchen kit down from two rubermaids + 2 or 3 grocery bags, down to the tote/table and one or two bags. It’s much more efficient.

The plastic Utensils are plastic. So they aren’t going to cut Tri-Tip with them. But you are camping, so pick up any of these wonderful Bear Grylls cleaving instruments and quit whining. The plastic is not super rigid which means it flexes a bit, which can be annoying to use at times, but I was able to fork-cut pancakes so they’re still useable. The up side of the flexible plastic utensils for camping is that they shouldn’t shatter on you. This may change in very cold temperatures. But since it’s an REI product, they stand behind it and will replace it if anything goes wrong.

So go get the REI Nesting Tableware set and then throw it in your REI Camp Pack-N-Prep Tote Table then throw that into your dad-mobile and drag your family, kicking and screaming if necessary, as far away from town as you can get after work this friday.


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