Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Best Recyclable Cups, Bowls, and Plates to Make Your Next Camping Trip Easier

Image used with permission by copyright holder

A good outdoorsman understands and lives by the “leave no trace” principle, wherein it is the solemn responsibility of those who venture out into nature to depart from the wilderness as clean (or cleaner) as it was before the visit. That means setting up a campsite that has minimal effect on the area (don’t chop down a tree to clear space for your tent, e.g.), following safe fire practices, cleaning up your trash, and packing out everything you brought into the forest, field, or mountains.

But having spent more than our fair share of time scraping old crusty oatmeal, mac and cheese, and other leftovers off of our camping dishes and utensils after returning to civilization, we sometimes long for an easier way to do things. With recyclable camping dishes, you can stick with the “leave no trace” ethos but avoid cleaning day-old food gunk off of reusable plates.

These are some of the best recyclable cups, bowls, and plates we’ve used while out in the field.

Plates

Earth’s Natural Alternative Sugarcane Fiber Plates

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Now, mind you, we’re all about the “leave no trace” approach, but if you did happen to accidentally leave an Earth’s Natural Alternative Sugarcane Fiber plate behind at your campsite, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Not only are these plant-fiber dishes recyclable, but they are also compostable. These affordable 10-inch plates are made from the stalks of sugarcane plants, a material that would usually be discarded, and are unbleached, dye-free, and made without any tree fibers.

Bowls

Naturally Chic Palm Leaf Bowls

naturally chic bowls
Image used with permission by copyright holder

These handsome and completely recyclable bowls from Naturally Chic are just about the most convenient piece of camping dishware we know of for one simple reason: You can burn them. Made entirely from Areca palm leaves, they are about as all-natural as a product can get, and they are quite effective as kindling or as a bit of fuel for your fire. They can hold cold liquids for several hours and stay reliably intact even with soups, oatmeal, or other hot foods for at least an hour. Chow down, then pack ’em out or burn ’em up.

Cutlery

Woodable Wooden Disposable Cutlery

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Leave the spork behind, sir, and instead pack these lightweight but durable utensils from Wood Trove. The brand’s wooden disposable cutlery, made from all-natural Chilean pine wood, looks great and works well. The knife actually has some cutting ability, the fork stabs handily, and the spoon is … a functional spoon. You can wipe this cutlery clean and get a few uses out of it, or you can recycle it or even compost the stuff (though it will take a good deal longer to break down than your table scraps, mind you). While great for camping, Woodable utensils are also a fine choice for use at a party or event.

Glasses

Govino Go Anywhere Beer Glasses

Govino
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Camping without beer is simply anathema unless your campout involves a long overland trek, in which case camping without whiskey is anathema. And who says you can’t sip those suds in style while roughing it? The 16-ounce Govino Go Anywhere Beer Glasses let you and the boys (and girls) enjoy a proper pint even when far afield. Upon your return to society, you can wash them out for reuse or toss the glasses into the recycling bin and move on with your life. The Govinos have a classic pilsner glass shape with a handy thumb notch recessed into the side to give you a firmer grip. Having spilled beer at a campsite before, I can say that’s a fine feature; it’s a long trip to the store for resupply after such a tragedy, see?

Tossware Wine Glasses

tossware wine glasses
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s a lot to love about Tossware glasses, and the fact that they are made from 100% recyclable and recycled PET polymer is at the top of that list. Despite the readily disposable nature of a Tossware glass as posited by the brand name, these cups can actually be reused multiple times provided you hand wash them. The 14-ounce wine glasses are sturdy and shatterproof, and they have a curved rim that’s comfortable against the lips. The company also offers lids that can secure to the top of the glasses, keeping your beverage protected against bugs and bumps alike. And if your campsite is one for sipping whiskey instead of wine, Tossware also makes a tumbler that’s perfect for spirits.

Editors' Recommendations

Steven John
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
Don’t let rain dampen your trip: Tips for camping in bad weather
There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong gear. Stay camping in all weather with our top tips
Best Tips for Camping in the Rain

The path of the committed outdoorsman is paved with poor weather, sodden trails, and tents being battered by the elements. Camping in the rain isn't top of many people's agenda, but in my opinion, some of my best nights sleeping outside in a tent have been camping in the rain. The sound of raindrops bouncing off your flysheet and the comfort of a warm, dry sleeping bag after a long day on the misty trail is a personal favorite.

Keeping yourself comfortable when you're camping in the rain requires practice. It's important that you have the right gear, but it's more important that you know how to use it so that your camping trip doesn't become a washout. Here are our top tips for camping in bad weather — if such a thing exists.

Read more
Gear up for your next big adventure with the best camping gear and accessories
Spring is the perfect time to take stock of your gear closet and upgrade your tired camping essentials and accessories
Person camping on a river using a one person tent.

Spring is officially here, and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere anyway, that means the start of five to six months of the year's best weather. It's the perfect time to get outdoors or at least plan your next outdoor adventures, whether that's hiking, kayaking, biking, hitting the beach — whatever you're into. It's also a great time to take stock of your outdoor gear to see what, if anything, might need an upgrade.

If you're into camping, that might mean shopping for a new tent, a portable fire pit, or the best power station you can get your hands on to keep your tech gadgets powered up for car camping. With all that in mind, we’ve selected some of our favorite front-country and backcountry essentials. These are our picks for the best of the best camping gear accessories of 2023 (so far).

Read more
Get the best camping axes for cutting, chopping, and prepping your way around the campsite
Camping axes are the OG multi-tool to help you build, tear down, and everything in between in the backcountry.
A midsection of a man wielding a hatchet in the outdoors.

No man should head into the backcountry empty-handed, and one of the first and most trusted tools that every outdoorsman adds to their pack is a quality camping axe (or hatchet). Along with high-quality survival knives and reliable multi-tools, a compact hatchet is a gamechanger when you reach camp. These OG multi-purpose tools come in handy for any number of jobs, like felling small trees, clearing branches, butchering game, and splitting wood.

Unlike their counterpart, the full-sized axe, the best hatchet can be carried easily into the backcountry, or stowed in a bug out bag, ready to be relied on in a survival situation (or in a The Last of Us-style zombie apocalypse). One hatchet isn't necessarily like all the others though. Different handle lengths, hefts, and heads all combine to give you a raft of unique tools, so we put together this list of our favorite camping axes to help you pack for your next adventure.

Read more