Quick Tip: Frisbee as a camp dinner plate

When I did my first trail project back in 2003, I met a gentleman named Steve Austin.

Not the Six Million Dollar Man or a wrestler, but someone far more impressive.

A legend in Colorado trail working circles, the Steve Austin I met even has a tool named him for moving rocks called, appropriately enough, the Austin.  When I met him, he was a wiry man in his mid-seventies who could out-work people less than half his age.

And , at  eighty-seven years old, still going strong. (Update August 2015: Make that 90 years old and soon-to-be 300 projects! )

And he gave out cookies too!

A big part of multi-night trail work projects is the camp meal.

After a long day of moving blow downs, building rock steps, grading a trail or cutting back brush, a hot meal in camp is always welcome.

Getting the meal at base camp is interesting.

A backpacker’s cook pot is not really good for holding the more-than-one-pot meals and a plastic dinnerware plate means the stews or chilies often served at these events sloshes over.

Even a “regular”  meal is precariously held on a knee while sitting on a camp chair.

Mr. Austin had an ingenious way of eating these wonderful meals. A way that was great for making sure that any food would not tip over: a frisbee.

Light, durable, inexpensive (often a free give away) , easy to clean and effective.

Eventually, I emulated the idea of using a frisbee for meals.

The frisbee has worked like a champ.

The food stays put, does not spill over and works for outdoor group meals in general, too.


Eggs, cheese, hash browns, tortillas and cheese with a generous amount of hot sauce. Ready to start the day!

At a recent trail work project, my dinner frisbee received some chuckles at first followed by admiration.

Good enough for a 26+ year volunteer on Colorado trails, good enough for me!

The frisbee is always stashed with my other camping gear and is something I would not leave behind for overnight trail projects.

So get a frisbee next time you sign up on a trail work project. People may chuckle, but then they’ll see the wisdom of what a great idea it is.  I know I did!


Appropriately enough, the frisbee I use was given to me at a trail work project!

Piece of trivia… a frisbee was originally a Frisbie pie plate. Throwing it around for recreation was an afterthought that took off (ha!). Call it a dinner pie plate and the idea of using a frisbee for a meal makes more sense. 🙂


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8 years ago

What a great way to use a frisbee. I’ve had many Ultimate-frisbee related pasta dinners eaten off of new discs.

I’ll say, another thing a frisbee is great at, is getting that campfire started.

Using it as a fan with some quick wrist movements can really get the oxygen to a fire and heat up those coals to help it catch.

Multi-use tool!


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