by: Megan Kopp
I studied the three, tissue-sized packets of Utensil Wipes that arrived in the mail for review. The “all natural” wipes are made with water, 4% lemongrass essential oil, food grade sodium lauryl sulfate, and food grade silicon emulsion. No alcohol or unnecessary chemicals. The cheery lime green package proclaims “the pure and natural way to easily remove dirt and residue on the go; no water required.”
At first, I wasn’t convinced that they would be a useful addition to my hiking, backpacking, or car camping kits. Why would I use them when soap and water were available? They seemed a little on the wasteful, one use and throw away, side of the scale.
Pulling open a package, I immediately inhaled the scent of lemongrass. Research papers attest to the antibacterial properties of this essential oil. The roughly 17 cm square wipes were extremely moist and somewhat sudsy, but the re-sealable package effectively blocked the strong scent and kept the moisture inside.
Taking the package along on a hike up past Helen Lake, we cut a slice of Hobo Cake with a folding pocketknife. Dates, raisins, molasses – think sticky sweet. A quick swipe with a Utensil Wipe and the blade was as good as new. Utensil wipes would be a useful addition for picnic hikes.
We take a road trip to the Southwest (Utah, Arizona, or New Mexico) every spring for early season hiking and backpacking. Breakfasts are often bagels with peanut butter and honey; avocado, cucumber, tomato and cheese wraps make up lunch. The goal is always to get south as fast as possible and washing dishes is not something we’re willing to spend a lot of time doing on the road. Since we weren’t heading south, I tested the wipes at home cleaning knives smeared with peanut butter and then cheddar cheese – easy clean. Utensil wipes might be a perfect solution on the road.
Although I’m still not convinced I’d take the wipes on a backpacking trip, two out of three ain’t bad!
About the Author:
Megan Kopp is a freelance writer with one foot firmly planted outdoors. Discover more about her travel and outdoor passions at www.megankopp.com, follow hiking and outdoor-related tweets @cdnhiker, or check out outdoorsy Pinterest boards.