Sporks have become a staple camping item. You could even say that amongst campers, there are two types of people in this world: those who hate sporks, and those who love them. This item is an outdoor industry main stay, because today the spork’s main purpose is to save ounces on gear, eliminating the need for a spoon, a fork, and a knife in your pack. But, unless you’re setting out to hike the PCT, your uses for the spork are probably few and far between. For all other and more frequent purposes, we’ve found a better solution: GoBites camping utensils from humangear. But before we get to the latest and greatest, let’s dive deeper into the quirky origin story of the spork.
The history of the spork is sordid, full of multiple patents and a handful of creative visionaries who believed two is better than one. In many cases, their sentiment rings true. Two cups of coffee are better than one. Of course two nights at the campground are 100% better than one, (especially if it’s at one of the top campgrounds in the country.)
Why Eat With Two Hands When You Can Eat With One?
Samuel W. Francis was a renaissance man with many visions. In fact, at the time of his death, he had succeeded as a doctor, bird-watcher, novelist, society man, and philanthropist. Unfortunately, his other inventions didn’t take off as well as the spork. One of his other inventions was the “Literary Piano,” a device that arranged typewriter hammers in a circle by using the ivory keys of a piano. Another was a walking cane with a secret compartment to hold your bus pass.
Without a doubt, his most notable invention became what we now know as the spork. His early design included the tines reaching beyond the bowl of the spoon, with a knife-like addition to the side.
Why? Before the invention of dishwashers, using one utensil in place of three cut down on dishes, I suppose. Through various iterations, it even became somewhat of a luxury eating device– with features like an ice cream spork with longer tines, and one that could substitute for formidable salad servers.
Is the Spork All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
I may receive hate mail for saying this, but ultimately, no, the spork is not all it’s cracked up to be. Unless you’re weighing every item in your pack with a scale, the spork doesn’t make sense for an everyday camper. Maybe if you’re eating food from a pouch, where a spoon is ideal until the remainder of your meal, when a fork becomes necessary to reach the creases of the package. Otherwise, treat yourself to two, heck, even three utensils. Less frustration awaits those who opt for a spoon in one hand, and a fork in the other.
The one concession for the necessity of a spork remains in an ultralight backpackers toolkit. In order to fully enjoy your upgraded backpacking food, consider the spork. Otherwise, let us introduce you to the new and improved GoBites.
Step Aside, Mr. Spork, There’s a New Kid in Town
That’s right. The days of too short tines, and shallow spoon bowls are over. The creative geniuses over at humangear have found three dependable solutions to retire your spork with. Here they are:
If you’re still attached to having one utensil instead of two, consider the Uno. Made from BPA-free, PC-free, and phthalate-free materials, this sturdy improvement to the spork is virtually unbreakable with a lifetime warranty (like all humangear products). The Uno has a spoon on one end, and a fork on the other, which means no sacrifice for either utensil and you still only have to carry one.
For a compact version that includes both utensils, check out the Duo. You can attach the spoon and fork to each other, or use them independently. If you’re eating something in a deep pouch, the duo is perfect. Attach the two ends together for a longer reach.
The ultimate in camp utensils, is now the Trio. It comes in its own carrying case and includes a spoon, fork, knife, toothpick, and can opener. What I love about this product is how easily it transfers from camp life to home life, and even to work life. It’s perfect to keep in a purse or backpack to replace plastics for take out, or thrown in the camp bin for your next meal around the campfire.
Don’t limit yourself to the spork. Your options are expanded.
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