These silicone bowls are the perfect camp cookware

These Squishy Silicone Bowls Are the Perfect Camp Cookware

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Some people marry to be with their loved ones, while some marry to make a living. I joke that my wife got me married for her backpacking gear. It wasn’t so much the big stuff—I have my own tent collection, and at 6’2” I’m too tall to fit in her sleeping bags or wear her packs. I was attracted to the small luxuries. I had an aluminum pot, an off-brand canister stove and a cast iron pan. She had a JetBoil. Her Snow Peak Mini Hozuki was much better than the bulky lanterns that I brought along to our relationship. But of all our now jointly owned hiking gear, there’s nothing I covet as much as her Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls. 

These two silicone bowls—at 26 ounces and 9 ounces, they’re more like a bowl and a mug—are indeed squishy. They can be stuffed into a small pack with spare socks or without taking up too much space. They’re great on trips where pack space is at a minimum: international destinations, overnight missions with a small pack. I’ve also tossed them into a compression sack with my spare layers to maximize space. But they’re also stiff and reliable enough for regular use. Thanks to their deep design—they’re shaped roughly like a globe with the top third cut off—they don’t slosh, and the soft, insulating material ensures my hands never get burned, even when I fill the smaller one with hot coffee. 

While the Squishy Bowls aren’t the absolute lightest vessels on the market—at about 3.3 ounces, the large one is about twice the weight of a standard-issue plastic camp bowl from REI—they make up for the extra grams in a few ways. For starters, they’re unbreakable. I’m notoriously rough on my kitchen gear: I’ve snapped my fair share of sporks, poked holes in water bottles, and melted plates with stray embers. But no matter how roughly I’ve treated these bowls, they always bounce back, and they’re older than my wife and my 8-year-old relationship. They’re easy to clean too, never holding onto the phantom spice from last weekend’s chili mac. There are no crevices in the bowl that food particles could get stuck to, unlike normal collapsible ones.

As time goes by, I find more uses for the Squishy Bowls. The bowl was handy for rescuing our little raft on a day-paddle last summer. I kept it in my daypack. I’ve also found them useful for collecting water from small streams: All I have to do is mold the edge of the mug or bowl against the bottom, and the trickle flows right in. You should wash them before you start to eat.

Look: I’m not one to mess with true love. God bless you for finding your soulmate, the person that you are ready to spend the rest your life with. But marriage is forever—just like the best camp cookware. Before you get married, take a look at their gear. 

Guyot Designs Squishy Boss Bowls $15 for a Set of 2. 1.5 oz (sm), 3.3.3 oz(lg).

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