IMG_1420It is when you really need something that you realize that you forgot to bring it. This is especially true when you are wilderness backpacking and the thing that you forgot can not be picked up at a moments notice at a nearby store. This was precisely the case for me when, on multiple backpacking trips, I would sit down to my evening meal or morning breakfast only to realize that I had forgotten to pack a fork. On another occasion I had not brought any form of cup to drink my coffee out of. On these occasions I figured it out and made due with out these implements but I found myself wanting a self-contained all inclusive solution that I could throw into my pack and rest assured that I had all of my dining needs covered, start to finish. The Light My Fire Meal Kit 2.0 is exactly that, and more.

The Meal Kit 2.0 is essentially a camping mess kit. Mess kits are nothing new in the camping world. Depending on the kit you get it may included, a plate, a fork, a pan, maybe a cup? Very few of these kits include everything that you need to dine like a quintessential gentleman or woman in the backcountry. They cover the basics, but why settle when you can have it all?

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A quick rundown of what is included in the Light My Fire Meal Kit 2.0. You get a plate, a bowl, a cup/mug, a spork (fork/spoon/knife), 2 smaller lidded containers and a cutting board/strainer. Not many kits out there include even half of these implements. The kits that do, are often close to double the weight and don’t pack down nearly as small as the Meal Kit 2.0 does. The whole kit only weights a total of 384 grams (.846 lbs.). Again, this is close to half the weight of most other mess kits and it is mostly due to the fact that those other mess kits are primarily made of steel, aluminum or titanium. The majority of items in the Meal Kit 2.0 are made out of polypropolene, a very tough plastic that is resistant to other chemicals and with a low end melting point of 266°F (13° C), it fully capable of holding hot foods safely. This material is also 100% BPA free and is completely dishwasher and microwave safe, so it can easily double as your go to everyday lunch container for work as well.

So the Meal Kit 2.0 includes more than most other mess kits out there and it is lighter as well. But won’t it take up far more space in my pack than those other mess kits? Not really. The plate of the mess kit acts as a lid to seal the bowl and all of the components nest inside of this triangle shaped container with ease. The cup/mug collapses down to half its full size and the rest of the items were engineered to fit perfectly next to or inside of each other so that it all fits together. Actually there is some room to spare. The two lidded containers that are included can be fit inside of the kit with their lid on so you could store food or anything else you need inside of them as well. The kit includes a tough rubber harness that holds it all together so that the kit stands no chance of falling apart in transit.

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The expert design by Light My Fire is not exclusive to the packability and weight of the Meal Kit 2.0. They looked at every detail of the items that they were including and added as much utility as possible it seems. For example, the lip of the bowl that serves as a stopper for the lid, it has a small slot in it that the fork end of the included spork fits perfectly in so you don’t have to lay it down on the dirty ground. The cup/mug includes graduated measuring lines and a spill proof sipping lid so you can make a perfect cup of coffee and not waste a single drop. The triangle cutting board has holes along its one side which allows it to double as a strainer. Also, the kit is available in a variety of bright colors (and also black) so that all items are highly visible and much harder to misplace.

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The whole thing is very simply designed but in such a manner that nothing was left out. Much like the vast majority of Light My Fire’s products there is a real elegance to what might be considered a mundane set of tools. At around $25 at most retailers and online shops this mess kit is a no brainer. In order to get the same amount of utility from other brands you will need to make multiple purchases and it will generally run you almost double the cost, much like the weight. You will be hard pressed to find a lighter weight, more packable, and cost friendly dining solution on the market. The Meal Kit 2.0 works just as well in the backcountry as it will in your office break room and because of this has become my go to, all inclusive solution that I was looking for in the first place. Throw this kit in your pack and you will never be left with that feeling of dread that comes from forgetting your fork that I had unfortunately gotten to know so well. The Meal Kit 2.0 has got you covered.

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