Whether you’re planning to picnic along a hiking trail, camp in the wilderness, stay in a hostel that has cooking facilities, or simply bring your lunch to work, easy-to-pack dishware and cutlery is a must. But, imagine my surprise when I was introduced to a stylish, eco-friendly mess kit produced by the Seattle-based company UCO. Their new Bamboo Elements Mess Kit is mostly (90%) natural, made of bamboo fiber plus a little corn starch! The kit includes a lid that doubles as a plate, plus a bowl that, when “locked” together, forms a leak-proof container for carrying along food items. And the shock cord that secures these and the cutlery -- a four-in-one Switch Spork utensil (fork, knife, spoon or extended-length spoon or fork for stirring a pot of stew or spearing a hot dog on the bbq, for example -- doubles as a clothes line, of sorts, so that the just-washed dishware can be hung out to dry. The holes in the cutlery are not for aesthetics; rather, they can be used to clip them to your bag, slip the tether through them and hang them to dry, or cinch them and other utensils together when transporting them. I always love gear that performs well and looks good, too.