Tag Archives: spork

Fixating on the small stuff- an Every Day Carry

OK, time to fess up. This post has got very little to do with hiking. I never, ever, carry the stuff I am chatting about here on any hike. It is bulky, heavy and other than one or two of the contents, mostly of little practical use on any backpacking trip.

What it is, is an example of what I am prone to do. Which is plan. Learn from my mistakes and inaction and be better prepared for repeated events in the future. I have been like this since I was a nipper.

Every day I go to work I have a pack slung over my shoulder. For the great majority of my time I work in London, but I always have a torch, screwdriver set, multi tool, water bottle and any number of other items in various pockets of my battered urban commuting 35lt pack from The North Face. Also, being in England, I have a waterproof  packed, every single day of the year…

The Vanquest EDC SLim Maximizer pouch that Three Points of the Compass carries on every work day and trips away from the house by car

The Vanquest EDC Slim Maximizer pouch that Three Points of the Compass carries on every work day and trips away from the house by car

Recently I have been pulling much of my oddments together into one of the fantastic Vanquest EDC Slim Maximizer Organisers. I have also added a few recent purchases and am now content that my Every Day Carry (EDC) has the tools and other equipment that have not only proved themselves of use to me over the years, but now also give me a little more practicality and usefulness. I can put many of the contents to use most weeks, and on occasion most weekdays. It can get slung in the car for trips away and visits to my Mum where there may be the odd task that requires completing, as her battered old red biscuit tin under the sink with its even older selection of poor tools isn’t quite cutting it these days.

I have packed a lot into my EDC. Not only can I carry out a number of repairs, alteration, fixing or general ‘handyman’ tasks that require attention, but I also carry a modicum of First Aid items and small selection of hygiene products that will see me through the very occasional unexpected overnight stay.

Vanquest EDC Maximizer with contents installed

Vanquest EDC Maximizer with contents installed

Hygiene and First Aid

I have included a minimum of hygiene equipment for the occasional and unexpected overnight stop. Two of the great little compressed towels are incorporated. These can be used with the mini dropper bottle of Dr. Bronners Castille soap. This is a very concentrated and versatile soap that I can also use for shaving, brushing teeth or washing out clothes. A small compact Avid razor is included. These are of a very thin profile and I wish they were still made as I have few left. The mirror is one of the mini Star Flash acrylic mirrors (in a baggie to prevent scratches) and the toothbrush is a two-part affair from Muji. I also carry a small dropper bottle of hand sanitizer. For convenience, I have this more easily available and packed outside of the wash kit.

My First Aid kit is basic, a few band aids, dressings, tape, a couple of alcohol wipes, nitrile gloves and a little medication: Ibuprofen and Piriton. There are a few extra meds in my ‘midget’ EDC kit that I also carry. This is so very heavily based on that devised by The Urban Prepper that I need not show it here. Though I do also include 5m of 1mm spectra cord, different meds, a razor blade, emergency cufflinks (yes, really) and a couple of other items in my ‘Altoids’ tin in addition to his list.

Electronics

Electronics in my Vanquest EDC are limited but useful. I have included a high quality Micro/USB charge cable, folding Mu USB plug. The 200mm long Innergie charge and sync cable is very adaptable. This will fit USB to Micro/Mini/30 pin Apple, I also have a Lightning adaptor on the end. Spare batteries carried are two CR2016 and two CR2032. All of this is in an especially tough and waterproof baggie. Two torches and a flood light are carried- the Thrunite T14 Penlight takes two AAA batteries (fitted), has a Cree XP-G2 LED  and delivers four forms of light:

  • Firefly (0.3 lumens for up to 137 hours)
  • Low (24 lumens for up to 12 hours)
  • High (252 lumens for up to 51 minutes)
  • Strobe (252 lumens for up to 90 minutes)

As back up to this, the Photon Freedom Micro belies its diminutive dimensions. While it can deliver any strength of light from dim through to its maximum 5 lumens, the almost indestructible body holds two CR2016 or one CR2032 batteries. and will run for up to eighteen hours. Also in the kit are two AAA batteries stored in AAA to AA cell converters.

These will also fit the Lil Larry Nebo floodlight. This is handy piece of kit that will provide task lighting. It has a magnetic base so can be used for changing tyres or during power outage. While in its full length it takes three AAA batteries (fitted), it can also have a section of its length removed so that just two AAA batteries can be utilised. In full configuration it provides:

  • High (250 lumens for up to 3 hours
  • Low (95 lumens for up to 10 hours)
  • Red Hazard flasher (for up to 10 hours)

    The contents of my EDC kit. It is pretty much stuffed to the gills

    The contents of my EDC kit. It is pretty much stuffed to the gills

Leatherman Raptor shears

The Leatherman Raptors are tough enough to cut a penny into quarters

The Leatherman Raptors are tough enough to cut a penny into quarters and the strap cutter is quickly and easily bought into use when required

These are an amazing piece of kit and really well made. Invariably they get used most as simply a better set of scissors than those on the Leatherman Charge carried in my EDC. However the 320HC stainless steel blades on these shears will cut through just about anything I may encounter- clothes, leather, webbing, straps etc. The tiny serrations on one blade really grip well and prevent items sliding out of the blades. There is a carbide glass breaker for auto glass windows in the base and a seat belt cutter that is easily deployed yet remains locked away until required. Obviously this can be more often used simply as a box cutter. There is handy little ring cutter placed discretely and un-noticed under the handle too. I seldom require the 5cm ruler and have never used the oxygen tank wrench incorporated. One of the best features of these 163g shears though, apart from their high quality, is their ability to swiftly fold away, or open, easily, with simple little lock buttons. They do come with a holster for First Responders, but I don’t include that in my kit. Instead I have it fixed to a mini carabiner hanging from the Maximiser pouch key fob and keep it in place, nested against my Leatherman bit extender, with one of the rare earth magnets in my kit.

Bit, driver and drill system

This kit has a complete and highly adaptable system. It mostly involves the excellent Leatherman Charge. Mine is one of the older models. Most frequently tasks will utilise the bit holder in the Leatherman Charge, possibly with the Leatherman Bit Driver Extender, extended still further if necessary with 1/4″ hex extender. Or the 1/4″ extender can be used just with the Victorinox Bitwrench. I can also use one of my three drill bits in any combination here. While it takes a little time, I have drilled clean through 2 inches of wood with the 6mm drill bit attached to the Leatherman Charge.

The Gator adapter will fit a wide range shapes of head- nuts, screws, bolts, rings, hooks etc.

The Gator adaptor will fit a wide range shapes of head- nuts, screws, bolts, rings, hooks etc.

The majority of the bits included in my EDC are the ingenious flat, double ended, Leatheman Bits plus a couple of extras. In total there are 44 bits in my EDC, plus four tiny Phillips and flat head mini bits. Two sockets are also included. A dedicated 10mm head/ 1/4″ hex drive, while the Gator socket adaptor grip will fit heads from 7mm-19mm.

With the contents of my EDC I can loosen and tighten most common and uncommon screw heads, bolts and nuts from 1mm to 19mm. While Torx head bits are included, what I am looking for, to eventually include, are some 4mm micro bits for Security Torx heads. As an aid to this capability, a small adjustable spanner or the (smallest available) Knipex water pump pliers can be pulled from the kit. The pliers have recently replaced the small set of mole grips I used to carry.

1/4" hex drive drill bits can be used in a number of configurations

1/4″ hex drive drill bits can be used in a number of configurations

Solkoa Grip-S handles

Solkoa Grip-S handles with 24" flexible wire saw fitted

Solkoa Grip-S handles with 130mm wood saw blade fitted

Separated Solkoa Grip-S handles with 24" flexible wire saw fitted

Separated Solkoa Grip-S handles with 28″ flexible wire saw fitted

Though expensive, the hard anodised 6061 aluminium Solkoa Grip-S handles (there are two, joined together) are very useful. Not only can any standard flexible wire saw be fixed in using the set screws in each handle, and I include a 28″ wire saw in this EDC kit, but the handles can also take any round or hexagonal drive tool, up to 1/4″  diameter. A two ended flat/Phillips head bit is stored in the handle and the two handles are quickly separated by loosening one of the set screws with the flat screwdriver on the Gerber Shard pry bar. Any universal saw blade can be fitted into the Grip-S handles. I could have included a couple of the small jigsaw blades, which fit, but instead included two larger 130mm blades. One for wood (and nails) the other for metal.

Other items

I won’t go into detail on every item as reading from the list below they really are self-explanatory. There is an emergency twenty pound note secreted in the rear of the notebook. Tape measure gets used frequently. The titanium short-handled spoon is a ‘must have’, nappy pins can be used for hanging washing to dry and a thousand other uses, as can the paper clips and bobby pins. The lengths of wire can be bent into hooks for retrieving items or combined with the rare earth magnets to similar purpose. I would add a sachet of Sugru but it goes off too quickly if stored out of the fridge.

Item Description Notes
Pouch Vanquest EDC Slim Maximizer  
Combination padlock   TSA compliant
Adjustable spanner Small- 100mm. Jaws open to 13mm Unknown make
Pliers Knipex Cobra water pump pliers. Grips up to 27mm wide

 

Model 87 01 125. The ‘125’ in the model number refers to their length
Leatherman Raptor- Folding medical shears 420HC stainless steel scissors, strap cutter, ruler (1.9″/50mm), oxygen tank wrench, ring cutter, carbide tip glass breaker  
Leatherman Charge Ti  multitool Titanium scales. needlenose pliers, regular pliers, hard wire cutters, wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, S30V knife blade, 420HC serrated knife with cutting hook, saw, scissors, 8″/19cm ruler, can opener, bottle opener, wood/metal file, diamond coated file, large bit driver (double ended 1/8″ / 3/32″ flat screwdriver bit fitted), small bit driver (small, double ended flat/Phillips screwdriver bit fitted), medium flat screwdriver. Pocket clip fitted  

 

Leatherman bit driver extension Fits into bit driver of Leatherman Charge, other end accepts Leatherman bits and 1/4″ hex bits 10mm socket is stowed attached to end of driver
1/4″ extension piece 75mm, magnetic  
Victorinox Bitwrench 1/4″ hex drive VICBW
23 double ended Leatherman bits – Hex 3/32″ ; 5/64″
– Hex 1/16″ ; .050″
– Square bit #2 ; #3
– Square bit #1 ; pozi #3

– Pozi#1; pozi#2
– Torx #10 ; #15
– Torx #20 ; #25
– Torx #27 ; #30
– Phillips #0 ; #3
– Phillips #1 ; #2

– Phillips #1-2; screwdriver 3/16″
– Screwdrivers 3/32″ ; 1/8″
– Screwdrivers 5/32″ ; 3/16″
– Screwdrivers 7/32″ ; 1/4″
– Hex 1.5mm ; 2mm
– Hex 2.5mm ; 3mm
– Hex 4mm ; 5mm
– Hex 6mm ; 1/4″
– Hex 7/32″ ; 3/16″
– Hex 5/32 ; 9/64″
– Hex 1/8″ ; 7/64″
2 x – Phillips; flat tip eyeglasses screwdriver

In two Leatherman bit holders with one mini bit and one double ended bit in the Leatherman Charge.

46 bit options, though a couple are duplicated.

Wolfteeth universal gator socket adapter,with 1/4″ drive adapter Fits 7mm – 19mm sockets. Also fits various nuts, screws, hooks, bolt heads, broken taps and knobs  
Socket- 10mm head/ 1/4″ hex drive   A common size
Gerber Shard pry bar In addition to pry, has Phillips head, two flat screwdrivers, wire stripper and bottle opener  
Solkoa Grip-S handles 2 x hard anodised handles with set screws joined together over double ended Phillips/flat head screwdriver Will hold any round or hexagonal, up to 1/4″ head, tool or any standard flexible wire saw
28″ flexible wire saw (in baggie) For use with Grip-S handles  
Stanley 152mm wood saw blade For use with Grip-S handles Model STA21192
Stanley 152mm metal saw blade For use with Grip-S handles Model STA22132
Retractable steel razor With snap off stainless steel blades  
Excel aluminium handle Handle has adjustable jaws. Inside handle are six various mini file needles and an additional sewing awl Model 70001
Hex drive drill bits- 6mm, 4mm,2mm For use with either Grip-S handles, Leatherman Charge or 1/4″ drive turn key  
1/4″ plastic turn key    
Double ended steel craft tool Arrow point and spatula end  
2m steel tape measure Muji Code: 8215607
1m x 16swg tin plated copper wire    
1m x plastic wrapped 12swg steel wire Use with magnets for retrieving lost screws, keys etc.  
4 x small rare earth magnets   Three stored attached to the bit holder and one attached to the bit extender keep tools in place in the pouch
Small tin with slide top Contents:

2 x stainless steel M6 hex bolt, nut, washer

3 x zinc plated wood screw

2 x small countersunk brass woodscrew

2 x rawlplug

2 x nails

1 x small, 1 x large stainless steel screw eye

1 x stainless steel split ring

 
2 x nappy pin    
1 x paper clip

1 x medium paper clip (insulated)

1 x small paper clip

   
2 x bobby pins    
1 x binder clip    
Anker Powerline USB/Micro 3′ braided cable. Very tough double-braided Aramid exterior and toughened Aramid fiber core
Mu folding USB plug Single USB outlet. 1amp There are two USB oulet Mu plugs available, this is sufficient for my needs
Photon Freedom Micro Button torch  
Thrunite T14 Penlight Cree XP-G2 LED

Firefly: 0.3 lumens, 137hours
Low: 24 lumens, 12hours
High: 252 lumens, 51minutes
Strobe: 252 lumens, 90 minutes

With 2 x Alkaline AAA (Duracell Plus Power).

One cell reversed to prevent accidental discharge

Lil Larry Nebo- floodlight Magnetic base, C.O.B. LED chip technology

High: 250 lumen, 3 hours

Low: 95 lumen, 10 hours

Red hazard flasher:  10 hours

3 X Alkaline AAA (NEBO). One cell reversed. Light can be reduced in length with just 2 AAA batteries but I keep mine full length
2 x Li-ion Duracell AAA batteries Stored in Sodial AAA to AA battery cell converters  
2 x CR2016 batteries    
2 X CR2016 batteries    
Sharpie pen, stainless steel Black, refillable, 0.4mm fine point Model 1849740
Zebra F701 ball pen, stainless steel Black medium Model 44970
Faber Castell Perfect Pencil With eraser and integrated extender/sharpener  
Backpocket Journal Tomoe River Edition From Curnow Bookbinding & Leatherwork
£20   Stored in back of notebook (above)
5m x 550 paracord In quick deploy hank  
2 x velcro cable ties    
6″ Nite Ize Gear Tie    
2 x 400mm cable tie

1 x 150mm cable tie

  These are threaded into the lining of the pouch interior
2 x mini-biner    
1m gaffer tape   Flat wound onto silicone release paper
Sewing kit 2m black Gütermann Sew-All  thread

1 x large black button, 2 x small white buttons

Threader

2 x No. 7 embroidery/crewel needles

1 x No. 18 chenille needle

1 x Microtex 60/8 machine needle (for use with Excel handle)

Stored in SD card case
Spoon Small, Sea to Summit, hard anodised alloy  
Mini Bic lighter With 1m electricians tape wound on to it Has quick release mini  zip tie on it to prevent accidental discharge of gas
Hand sanitiser Alcohol free  In mini dropper bottle
Hygiene kit Mirror (mini StarFlash), Razors (Avid, fold flat), 20ml Dr Bronner’s liquid soap in mini dropper bottle, folding toothbrush, 2 x compressed travel towels All in 130mm x 120mm Aloksac
Uncle Bills Sliver Gripper Tweezers With holder  
Fox 40 Micro whistle    
Shelby mini tin opener    
First Aid kit 2 x alcohol wipes, 2 x plasters (silver), 1 strip ‘cut to size’ plaster (10cm), 1 x dressing (small), 1 x Melolin dressing (5cm x 5cm), 4 x 45cm strips Leukotape, 30cm x 1cm zinc oxide tape, 30cm x 2.5cm Transpore tape, 4 x Ibuprofen, 7 x Piriton.

1 pair Nitrile gloves

All in baggies

 

 

A few grams here, a few grams there… in search of the perfect spoon

 

 

KFS we called them in the army, it stood for knife, fork, spoon. More frequently simply called ‘utes’; shortened from utensils. I haven’t taken a full set of cutlery on a solo camping trip for quite some years. Three Points of the Compass was so easily tempted down the Light My Fire Spork route. The family and I have all had Sporks in a variety of colours, I even seem to recall a glow-in-the-dark variant a few years back. It formed a minor source of amusement to my young daughter before she too was tempted by the dark side- titanium. However there are far more efficient and useful spoons out there. It seems that every outdoor gear manufacturer is churning out their own version, often given a portmanteau- foon, lhfoon, spork, knork, spife, I have even seen a variant that has a spoon with a handle that consists of chopsticks, OK, enough of that.

Beyond simply lifting food into the mouth, a decent eating utensil has to do far more. It needs to be of a good size to actually hold the food, stir it in a pan, lever off beer bottle caps, actually stay in one piece for the duration of a hike, reach the depth of a pan or meal-in-a-bag, be comfortable in the hand, be of a size that is packable, be your new best friend at meal times, and so on. Some other factors are not so obvious, depending on the type of food being eaten, there may be the wish to pierce or stab it, use the side of the bowl to cut it if not using a pocket knife, not take the non-stick surface off a pan if that is your favoured type, be affordable, bright and colourful enough not to be lost, of a media that can be sterilized in flames, have means of clipping to the pack or similar… any of these or none of these, it is your call.

I have found that it is one of three types of spoon I need for most hikes. A short spoon works well with the shallow bowls or cooking pans I prefer, a longer, or ‘standard’ length of implement that combines a decent size of spoon bowl together with effective fork tines, or a longer handled implement for reaching down into a Jetboil or ziploc bags etc. I need only take one of these and over the years I have settled on what I prefer for each type.

A word on titanium. The use of titanium in the outdoors world excites great comment. Many people are not particularly keen on the perceived taste of this material in the mouth, or the feel of the unpolished bowls that some anodized utensils demonstrate. Anodizing is the electrochemical process that converts the metal surface of a spoon into a durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish.

There are those who feel it is an overpriced commodity that while lightweight, can be easily replaced with far cheaper and far lighter plastic alternatives, or, only slightly heavier yet far cheaper metals. All fair comment. You pays your money…

Below are my thoughts on some that I have used.

 

Bamboo spoon, unknown make.

Bamboo spoon

Bamboo Spoon 191mm 8g

I experimented very briefly with one of these spoons. Purchased ridiculously cheap on-line, they are strong. Wood will not melt while stirring food in a pan, really light at only 8g, but the bowl size is no more than a shallow teaspoon. It is of no real use whatever when it comes to shoving food quickly into a waiting mouth. There are probably better sized alternatives out there but life is too short to go looking. Though I do note that Gossamer Gear does an interesting looking version.

 

Plastic spoon

Plastic spoon

Plastic spoon 160mm 5g

You cannot really get much cheaper or lighter than one of the spoons either sold or given away in shops, supermarkets and restaurants. That shown above is only slightly larger than a teaspoon but larger ones can be found. While some are very flimsy ‘one time use’ affairs, other can be remarkably well made and, with care, will last some time. And when you break it, or lose it, simply pick up another. That said, the frustration of having one break while sitting in a cold wet tent contentedly spooning hot food in to the mouth, is not something to willingly be experienced in my mind. I want something with some heft about it that is not expected to fail. Occasionally such a spoon goes along with me if it is a group of hikers and other spoons can be shared around if a breakage occurs, or one of these is fine on a day hike for brew ups etc.

 

Sea to Summit plastic spoon

Sea to Summit Polycarbonate

Spoon 162mm 10g

This polycarbonate ‘cutlery spoon’ from Sea to Summit is near to the ultimate in pure lightweightedness (is that a word!). It has one of the largest and deepest bowls I have seen on a backpacking spoon. At 10g the weight is twice that of the plastic spoon above, obtained for free, however this is a far better proportioned spoon and is also stronger in construction. An added bonus is that it is lighter, but is also very, very cheap, compared to the metal alternatives. Cheap it may be but still costing more than a plastic give-away. It is up to you to decide if the risk of the handle breaking suddenly is something you can accept, certainly I feel the flex where the bowl joins the handle is slightly worrying, that said, it is still attached on my example…

For a day hike where a stop may be made for a brew up or water heated for a dish of spicy noodles on a dreary wet day. This is a good lightweight and efficient solution that will not cause too much in the way of hardship should it break suddenly. It squeezes out a tea bag perfectly.

Sea to Summit polycarbonate 2

 

Light My Fire plastic Spork

Plastic spork

Plastic Spork 169mm 10g

A simple, now classic design. Some rave about it, others find the fork at one end, spoon at the other, doubly annoying. I have found that as with most things, I have just got on with it, utilising whichever end is most suited to the food I am eating. Switching over mid-meal is seldom done though. If being honest, the design has never proved to be a favourite of mine. It is impossible to use the ‘knife’, actually a slightly serrated edge to one of the fork tines, on food unless you hold the object being cut with something else. You can’t sterilise it in the fire and it will happily melt on too hot a base of pan. Despite being far stronger than the cheap (free?) plastic spoon shown above, I have also had too many of these suddenly break without warning. You will note that the one in the image has also lost the tip off one of the fork tines. Which was why I doubled the weight and chose to buy one of the, more than doubled in price but more durable, titanium versions.

IMG_7374_8670_edited-1

 

Light My Fire Titanium Spork

Ti Spork

Ti Spork 171mm 20g

Despite the increase in weight, these sporks are far better than the plastic version. Strong and sturdy, a piece of kit that is not going to give up on you without warning and will happily poke a hole through whatever bag you have it stored in due to the double curve proving difficult to nest easily. The bowl is slightly deeper and wider than that on the plastic version.

IMG_7372_8668_edited-1

 

Titanium Folding Spork

Folding Titanium Spork

Ti Folding Spork 160mm open / 93mm folded 18.5g

This tiny little folding titanium Spork used to find its way into my cook kit quite a bit. It nested well in a pan when in transit, taking up little room. I did find its tendency to come undone mid-eating a tad annoying and it was useless for stirring porridge and the like. Not only would it disassemble mid-stir but the little sliding catch on the handle would gunge up nastily with food. But, despite those foibles, I could I live with it. So small was it in fact that it went walkies for years and only recently turned up again. The manufacturer of the Spork shown here is a little uncertain. I think it was Vargo but could be wrong. In truth, there is little difference between almost all of the folding titanium sporks available from a number of manufacturers.

These little pieces of cutlery have their fans, they will slip down easily into a pot beside other contents. However I really do find them just a bit too fiddly to be bothering with unless I really do require the small dimensions, and even then, I would likely use a short handled Spork or Spoon instead.

Folding Titanium Spork

 

 

Sea to Summit short handled spoon

Sea to Summit short

Short handled spoon 128mm 9g

As to other small, shortie versions, Sea to Summit seem to have the variety of spoons just about tied down, producing cutlery in a variety of materials and styles that should suit most hikers. This short spoon is one of their ‘Alphalight’ range and is constructed from ultra-light hard anodised 7075-T6 aircraft alloy, which is lighter than titanium. This isn’t as strong as titanium but the profile of the spoon means that this is extremely strong with very little flex. The spoon has a very short handle and is perfectly suited to nest inside a short, squat pan when in transit. It can also be used to eat with, effectively, if using one of these. I favour the short wide 0.9lt Evernew pan, this spoon stows nicely inside this pan. The bowl is quite wide and squarish in profile but is also quite shallow.

Advertised by Sea to Summit as weighing 7.5g, it settled on my digital scales at 9g, much less than the folding Sork shown above. The spoon comes with a 3g mini karabiner that is useful for hanging the spoon from something, what I am not sure as it is specifically designed to go inside a pot, so the karabiner can be dispensed with in my opinion.

Sea to Summit short 2

 

Vango Long Handle Spoon

Vango long spoon

Spoon 223mm 29g
Vango spoon is easily long enough to reach to the bottom of a Jetboil

Vango spoon is easily long enough to reach to the bottom of a Jetboil

Advertised by the company as being ‘ideal for Wayfayrer’ packet meals. This long spoon has a shiny, smooth finish with a very elegant slim handle, the bowl size is too small however

Made of stainless steel, the thin handle of this spoon is very strong and resists bending with only a little flex.

I used to have an Optimus long handled spoon. That spoon came with a slightly wider handle and a larger, shallow, polished bowl than the Vango offering. The handle on the Optimus was of more use than the Vango model for spreading food on flatbread and similar. But in common with the Vango spoon, it was too long to store in or with the pot, so was simply slipped into an outside pocket of the pack. Easily lost or mislaid in that position, that was what happened to mine.

 

IMG_7381_8677_edited-1

 

Adventure Food extra long measuring spoon

Adventure food

Spoon 220mm 30g

Adventure Food measureThis is far better option than the Vango long handled spoon. This spoon has a more typically ‘desert spoon’ shaped and sized bowl. The polished finish is smooth and comfortable. Available from Adventure Food, it is specifically made to eat from their Adventure food meal pouches, though is obviously not limited to just those. The cut outs in the handle also mean that it is pretty nifty at stirring custard and the like. Another handy little feature that may be of use to some is the addition of a measuring scale on the back of the handle; simply stand it upright, bowl down, in the base of a deep pan and read off the quantity of water. This saves on second guessing but for those with Evernew pans (such as the one I use) or similar, which come marked with a scale, this feature may be of limited use.

Being well sized to fish food out of the bottom of most deeper pans and having lost my Optimus spoon, this is now my ‘weapon of choice’ for use with a Jetboil. Made of stainless steel, these spoons are a fair bit cheaper than titanium offerings, another bonus is that when I purchased mine, it came as a double pack for some reason, so I already have a spare should my first one go the same way as my Optimus spoon did, result.

 

Adventure Food 2

 

Alpkit Lhfoon

Alpkit

lhfoon 219mm 23g

Alpkit have been making good quality outdoors kit, at a decent price, for long enough to know exactly what their customers want. Their equipment is well thought out and this titanium spoon is no exception, I can also (almost) forgive them the daft name for the long handled fork spoon.

The company made some slight alterations to this spoon in January 2015, only slight, but they improved it immensely. The tines are now more rounded rather than square ended, the bowl is deeper and larger and the angle of the head pretty much ideal. I still feel the tines are a little short, compare these with the Snow Peak offering and you will see what I mean, but most will be more than content with it.

It is a strong spoon, perhaps not as rigid as some others shown here but I can’t see damage occurring to this spoon unless severely mistreated. The rounded handle, ideal for spreading peanut butter or similar, is not the most comfortable in the hand but, come on, we can get carried away with niggling expressions of discontent. For the price, this is a damn fine piece of kit.

Alpkit long 2

 

Lifeventure Spoon

Lifeventure spoon

Spoon 163mm 16g

When my daughter used to go camping with me, she preferred a full set of cutlery, until I weaned her off with a bright pink Spork. The titanium set by Lifeventure were one of the lightest available that were ‘proper’ utensils. Their small size means that they are ideal for the smaller hands of children. The fork weighs 12g, the knife weighs 17g. I have been happy to take just the 16g spoon, it is a perfectly adequate, if slightly small utensil for my larger hands. It would be perfect for anyone with small hands.

 

Lifeventure Titanium Forkspoon

Lifeventure spork

ForkSpoon 168mm 16g

This titanium spoon comes with fork tines combined with the bowl and a spring clip in the handle. It has very short tines and the smooth polished bowl feels good in the mouth, it is rather shallow though. As with the full set of cutlery above, some cut outs in the handle may shave off a meagre amount of weight. To my mind the short tines reduce its effectiveness when used as a fork to stab food. I also find the clip on the handle a tad uncomfortable in the palm.

IMG_7384_8680_edited-1

 

MSR Titan tool Spoon

MSR

Titan tool Spoon 175mm 19g

This titanium spoon has a slightly larger bowl than the Lifeventure spoon, and like that offering, does not have a polished finish so, again, a slight ‘off’ feeling in the mouth. The handle end of the spoon is supplied with the necessary jet and cable tools for maintaining any MSR liquid fuel stove, incredibly useful and weight saving if you are carrying one of those stoves, somewhat superfluous if not. In fact, the open spanner end can be uncomfortable in the palm. Not a favourite of mine by any means as a result, not least because the small holes in the handle gunge up with food easily.

IMG_7373_8669_edited-1

 

Snow Peak Spoon

Snow Peak spoon

Spoon 165mm 19g
Snow peak spoon. Like many other spoons, the handle is too short to reach to the bottonm of a Jetboil with ease

Snow peak spoon. Like many other spoons, the handle is too short to reach to the bottom of a Jetboil with any ease

This is a pretty good spoon. It has one of the widest bowls available, which is pretty deep too. Sadly, in common with so many others, the bowl is not polished. The handle is quite slim and has a small hole at the end for attaching to a karabiner or length of cordage.

This piece of cutlery works well as a spoon, in fact I reckon it is just about perfect- simple, functional, lightweight and strong. It is only my preference for an effective spork rather than just spoon on longer multi day treks that has me looking at a better alternative.

 

 

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Snow Peak Spork

Snow Peak

Spork 162mm 15g

What we have here is the spork version of the spoon shown above. However the long fork tines on this offering are proper useful additions. They can actually be used to spear food while the deep wide bowl will also hold a fair amount of food. Advertised as being made from hard anodised ultra-lightweight, premium grade titanium, I have no idea if this is different to ‘normal’ titanium.

Range of colours

Range of colours

As well as the plain titanium version, these sporks also come in a small range of colours: blue, purple and  green. As you can see, I favoured the green. The colour is produced via a non paint/ink electric ionization process which creates a safe and pretty durable finish. I believe the finish is actually a little smoother in the mouth than the unpolished titanium spoon, but not quite as good as the stainless steel spoons above. But… it’ll do. Very nicely thank you

Interesting to note that Snow Peak also manufacture a lightweight spatula from which the handle can be removed and fitted to this Spork to make a long handled utensil. They also make a short-handled version.

Snow Peak 2

In conclusion

So, where does that leave us? Amongst those offerings above is a solution for just about anyone. By far though, the favourite for Three Points of the Compass is the final one shown. The Snow Peak Spork.