Survival-Pax Blog: Everyday Carry Utensils?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Everyday Carry Utensils?

The idea of everyday carry (EDC) is to be prepared for things that you may come across during the day. Carrying a folding knife for the time that you may need to cut open a box, a flashlight for when you drop something under your dark desk and need to find it, a cell phone to call a friend, a wallet to carry your cash, and even a handgun in case your life is threatened. However, there is one thing that is often overlooked and is still something that everybody does every day: we eat.

What tools do you carry with you to help you eat?

Many of you travel to work and bring lunches along with you. Normally, a standard metal fork, spoon and knife would work quite well. However, if you are looking to really limit the amount of utensils that you carry, desire something really small and light, or just want a cool new gadget to make eating your meals a bit more fun, then this post is for you. The information found here would also be useful to backpackers and campers, people who don't have the luxury of taking every possible tool with them, and need to save space/weight.

CRKT and Light My Fire

Two companies that are popular for things other than utensils are Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) and Light My Fire. However, in recent years, these two companies have ventured into the portable utensil market with great success. Let's look at some of the tools that they designed to help you eat on the go.

CRKT Eat'N Tool & Eat'N Tool XL

The CRKT Eat'N Tool comes in a wide variety of colors.
As the name implies the Eat'N Tool by CRKT is a tool designed for eating. The original Eat'N Tool has been very successful. I have personally carried one for over a year and have used it on several occasions. It performs many more functions that just an eating utensil. I like to think of it as a multi-tool. However, as with all multi-tools, it is a compromise.

The form factor of the Eat'N Tool is very small, only 4" long and 1.3 oz weight. It is fairly flat too, considering that it is a spoon/fork combination utensil. As part of its multi-tool functionality, it also has a bottle opener, two flat-bladed screwdrivers and three sized hex nut slots (10 mm, 8 mm, 6 mm).  I should also mention that it is made out of stainless steel, which makes it very durable.

Like I said, it is a compromise, since it has to be functional and portable. In a pinch, it will work well, but the spoon may be a bit shallower and the fork not as pointy as you are used to. However, for it's size, it really is a great tool.

The CRKT Eat'N Tool XL gives you a larger,
more functional utensil.
Going along with the Eat'N Tool, CRKT recently came out with a larger version, the Eat'N Tool XL. The Eat'N Tool XL gives you a more usable, albeit larger, handled utensil, with even more functionality. With the increased size, you get a deeper spoon with a more functional fork. You also get a can opener and 4 sized hex nut slots (1/2 in, 7/16 in, 3/8 in, 5/16 in, 1/4 in). Weighing a bit more (2.8 oz) and being a bit longer (6.1"), the added functionality of the Eat'N Tool XL may be a better choice if you can spare the extra size/weight.

Light My Fire Spork

The Spork by Light My Fire is a lightweight and functional
multi-purpose utensil.
Light My Fire, a company known for its ferro rods, tinder materials and other tools having to do with fire, has also ventured into the world of utensils and outdoor food supplies. One of their most popular items is a spin on the Spork, something that we all remember using during grammar school lunches.

What Light My Fire does differently with their Spork is actually quite innovative. On one side of the Spork, you have a functional spoon. The spoon works very well and is similar in dimensions to a normal spoon that you would use at home. On the other side of the utensil, there is a very functional fork with one of the prongs having small serrations on it, to be used as a knife. While I can't really comment on the usefulness of the knife, the idea of having a multi-function utensil that doesn't have a spoon with little fork prongs sticking out of it is very appealing.

The Spork by Light My Fire also comes in a Titanium version.

With the design of the Spork, there really are no drawbacks to having a spoon and a fork in one utensil, since they are both on opposite ends and don't interfere with each other. The Tritan polymer that Light My Fire uses to make their Sporks is also very durable and lightweight; the Spork weighs in at only 0.4 oz and is 6.6 in long.

To those who look down on a plastic utensil as not being durable enough, Light My Fire also makes a Titanium Spork for a reasonable price. The Spork Titanium is the same size, but weighs in at 0.68 oz, which is a bit heavier than the original polymer version.

Light My Fire also makes a SporkCase to carry your Spork in.
But how do you carry your Spork? Light My Fire has also answered that question with the SporkCase. Conveniently enough, the SporkCase comes with a polymer Spork, but will also fit the Spork Titanium.

These are just a few of the portable utensils on the market. They are all a compromise in one way or another, but they allow you to have some basic eating tools with you wherever you go.

What are your experiences with these utensils, if you have any? Have you found any other useful tools on the market that may work better? Chime in below in the comments section.

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

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