Camping? Make Your Own Wooden Spoon!

Planning a camping trip this summer? Test your carving skills by making a wooden spoon for your campsite. 

This fun and functional project from Wilderness Adventure Camp by Frank Grindrod will leave both you and your kids with a sense of accomplishment and a good story (including a spoon as proof!) to share around the dinner table when you return home.

Photo of three wooden spoons.
Photo © Jared Leeds

What You Need

  • A piece of wood (seasoned pine, basswood, or birch work well)
  • A knife
  • A pencil or piece of charcoal
  • Embers from your firepit
  • A round stone about the size you want the bowl of your spoon to be

What You Do

Photo of piece of wood and knife on log.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Use the batoning technique (complete details in Wilderness Adventure Camp) to create a blank—the flat form that will become your spoon. The blank shown here is 1 foot long × 2 inches wide × 1 inch thick.
Photo of piece of wood and knife on log.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Carve a notch into each side of the blank, about a third of the way from one end. Using the notches as stop cuts, carve down the longer sides of the blank. This will be the handle.
Photo of piece of wood with outline of a spoon on a log.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Draw a spoon shape on the blank with a pencil or piece of charcoal from your fire.
Photo of embers burning in the bowl of a wooden spoon.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Carefully place an ember in the area you outlined for the bowl, using tongs or green sticks. Hold the ember in place and watch carefully so it doesn’t burn too deeply.
Photo of embers burning in the bowl of a wooden spoon.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Blow gently on the ember but not hard enough to make it flame up. You want a shallow layer of char over the whole bowl area. You may need several embers. Make sure you return them all to the fire when you are done with them.
Photo of stone shaping the bowl of the wooden spoon.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Let the charred area cool, then scrape out the burned parts with the stone until you uncover a fresh layer of wood. Repeat as needed until the bowl of your spoon is as deep as you want it to be.
Photo of finished spoon on a log.
Photo © Jared Leeds
  • Use your knife to round off and smooth the bowl of the spoon. Carve the handle until it is smooth and comfortable to hold in your hand.

You can make a larger spoon for stirring and serving food and a smaller one for eating. Last but not least, enjoy your dinner with the satisfaction of knowing you made your own wooden spoon.

Text excerpted and adapted from Wilderness Adventure Camp © Frank Grindrod.

Frank Grindrod

About the Author

Frank Grindrod is a wilderness survival instructor, a public speaker, and an expedition leader who has been featured on ABC's Chronicle, as well as on MassLive and other local New England TV and radio. He has led trips in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and the Florida Everglades. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Smith College and the University of Georgia, where he taught wilderness survival courses. Grindrod is the owner of Earthwork Programs in New England and, over the last 20 years, he has trained thousands of people to become more capable in the wild.

Learn more about this author

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