Walk into any backpacking store and you find an array of eating utensils. Sporks, spoons, forks, aluminum, titanium, plastic; you name it the outdoor industry has made it. Occasionally we get a breath of fresh air and a unique product rolls out. A few years back I was searching for a better backpacking utensil, when I came across the Kung Foon from GSI. A normal length spork with an integrated pair of chopsticks to extend the length. Genius. I bought it immediately. After years of field testing (because thats how we do it at Ultrazona) the verdict is in.
Initial Thoughts- The GSI Kung Foon......wait a minute and just dwell on that ingenious name. Kudos GSI. Kudos. Anyway the spork/chopsticks combo comes into styles; titanium and stainless steel. The titanium version weighs in at 4.1 oz and the steel version comes in at 4.7 oz. The price difference between the two is minimal, a couple of dollars. The Kung Foon is your typical spork with a slightly wavy style. The wave at the tail is designed for the two wooden chopsticks to slide into and extend the length. The spork is 6.5" long or 12.25" long with the chopsticks installed. The length allows you to reach the deepest depths of your Mountain House meal bag. The Kung Foon comes packaged in a fancy tin case (that has since disappeared from my procession). The chop sticks are a finished wood with GSI engraving.
Use- The GSI Kung Foon was bought for one reason, novelty. There just isn't anything like it on the trail, in fact I have never seen one outside the one I own. It is not the lightest spork on the market. At 4 oz you could have multiple titanium cooking utensils and still save weight. But the Kung Foon isn't just about the weight. The length with the chopsticks is longer then any spork I could find on the market. The reusable freeze dried bags I use are tall and skinny so they make it difficult to reach the bottom. Even long handled sporks have trouble reaching. The GSI Kung Foon has no issues and keeps my hands farther away from the mess. One thing that has bothered me though, is trying to find a way to pack it. Because of the length it doesn't fit in a cook pot. Also the chop sticks pose their own issue by wanting to puncture any ultralight bag I store them in. Ripstop, seems to work the best, but the last thing I want is to have is an isolated bag just for my spork. Over multiple years of use the spork and chop sticks have shown no sings of wear. None. Zero. Because the spork is made of thick material it is nearly impossible to bend.
Final Thoughts- The GSI Kung Foon is a unique solution to backcountry eating. The styling and design, combine to create a talking point around the dinner circle. The length of the spork is ideal for deep dehydrated food bags and the durability means you will never break it. If you are a gram counter, then look elsewhere. There are plenty of ultralight options available. But if you are someone who doesn't mind sacrificing a little weight for style then the Kung Foon is the best option. To check out the Kung Foon or other GSI products, visit their website.
*This product was purchased for testing.