This $85 camping cutlery set is the only one you'll ever need - here's what it comes with
- Opinel makes lightweight stainless steel and carbon steel knives that will shave the hair off your forearm right out of the box.
- I took its new travel-friendly Nomad camping cutlery kit ($85) out to the beach to see how I'd make out with nothing but its three knives, cutting board, and microfiber cloth.
- It was everything I needed, nothing I didn't, and from now on I'll be taking it just about everywhere with me.
But what I received in the mail from Opinel this past month was something that possessed me, body and soul.
Opinel Nomad cooking kit
The Opinel Nomad cooking kit is an everything-you-need, nothing-you-don't set of knives. You'll get a No. 10 (10 centimeters/3.9 inches) folding paring knife with a 3.9-inch blade and built-in folding corkscrew, a No. 12 (12 centimeters/4.7 inches) folding serrated knife, and a No. 6 (6 centimeters/2.4 inches) peeler. It also comes with a small but still accommodating 10-by-3-inch beechwood cutting board, which, no, you won't be filleting fish upon, but can handle your basic hiking and camping meal prep.All the handles are varnished beechwood, a tough, tight-grained, abrasion-resistant wood often used in construction. In other words: They'll last. Each knife also comes with Opinel's signature Virobloc Safety Ring, which keeps your blades open and closed. (This might seem like it's something that goes without saying, but a couple of the brand's knives don't come with the ring, and I'm afraid that I have the scratched sunglasses lenses to prove it).Everything fits and wraps tidily into the microfiber dishcloth (also included) which doubles as a travel pouch for the whole kit: Each of the knives fit into their own elastic tab, and there's a loop at the corner that straps everything shut.
My field notes
The knives all worked as they should have, and that was no surprise. But I take Opinel's quality for granted in the same way that a lot of those familiar with the brand do.What I really liked about the Nomad was that after prepping, when everything was a mess - cilantro, pepper seeds, hot sauce, and steak juice had gotten everywhere - I could easily do a preliminary cleaning before I neatly folded everything into the cloth to contain the mess, and even after I forgot it in the back of my sun-drenched truck for two weeks, it was still exceptionally easy to clean.
The bottom line
Whether you're a regular camper or just a veritable bon vivant, you probably won't find a cutlery kit for life on the move that's designed as well or will last as long as the Opinel Nomad. No, $85 isn't cheap. But then, what's a good paring knife run for these days? A serrated one? A corkscrew? A veggie peeler? A microfiber cloth that doesn't pill or shed? How about a solid hardwood cutting board? Chances are that your arithmetic has led you to a tally somewhere around $85.
Suffice all that to say that from now on, this kit is going to be coming with me just about everywhere.Pros: Small, stowable, lightweight, excellent knife blades
Buy the Opinel Nomad cooking kit for $85 from REI, Amazon, Patagonia Provisions
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