Thursday, August 19, 2010

Double Score!

One of the challenges of traveling is finding suitable gear at affordable prices. Because I don't want to always eat in restaurants, my packing list includes a picnic set consisting of a plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork, spoon, salt & pepper shaker, and a can opener.

While I love my Orikaso plate and bowl that I've had for four or five years because they're extremely lightweight and take up practically no space, after a while on a long trip, I sometimes get tired of having to be careful of the plate's flexibility and my food trying to slide off the edge when I leave it flat to make the most of the 9.5-inch square. Although I can snap up the corners to make it less flexible and to raise the sides 1.5 - 2.75 inches, doing so decreases the usable surface to either 6.25" or 3-7/8" which makes a nice, square bowl.

(The current model Orikaso plate uses tabs instead of snaps and the resultant size may not be the same as mine.)

A Frisbee works well, but is heavier, thicker, and doesn't pack as well for air travel.

A Titanium plate, while durable and lightweight, costs too much for me to consider at this time.

A Corelle pie plate is a nice change from the Orikaso plate, but is suitable only for motel camping, being too heavy for air travel.

A coffee can lid is too small and too flexible for my taste.

A round, plastic plate costing US$2 - $3 seemed like the best alternative until I went to Wal-Mart a few days ago.

Walking past an alcove at the front of the store where the banking, hairdressing, and other services are located, a colorful array caught my eye.

The shelves were stacked full with plastic plates, bowls, tumblers, and aluminum and stainless steel water bottles on clearance.

Checking out the Mainstays polypropylene (resin ID code #5) square plates in fuchsia, blue, green, and orange, I was pleased to find them lightweight with very little flexibility. Generously sized at 9.75 inches, each plate has a slight, rising edge that stands 5/16" above the table top, acting as a speed bump for crumbs and other food items trying to make a fast escape, yet low enough for easy packing.

Best of all, the plates are sold for only US$0.75 for a set of four.


At only $0.50 for a set of four, I think I'll go back for the matching bowls. Since they won't pack as well, I'll continue to use my Orikaso for air travel, but I might use one of these bowls instead of the heavier Corelle bowl I've been using for motel camping. Considering the price, the loss will be negligible if it doesn't work out as well as I hope.

Double score!

No comments: