Ryan Jordan

When Good Design Doesn’t Get Fouled Up

Case in point: camping flatware.

I mean, seriously, how many different ways can you really make a fork? or spoon? or even a spork?

Nobody really thinks out of the box in this space. “We cut holes in the handles!” they say with pride, presumably to reduce the weight.

Do titanium backpacking utensils really need to be ultra-durable so you can pass them down to your grandchildren? When we designed our titanium mini-spork, we just took really thin walled titanium and bent it into a channelized cross section for strength. It’s not rocket science. Sure, we put a hole in the handle,  but that’s for the geeks out there (here?) that want to hang it around their neck with a tenth-gram piece of Spectra cord.

Then, with our long handled titanium spoon, the design philosophy was far less complicated. Make the handle long so it fits into the bottom of the big sized Blizzard cup. Lo and behold, it’s useful for eating out of freeze dried meal bags, too. Sometimes, design needs to incorporate a little off-trail lifestyle. Now, if we can only figure out a way to bring the Blizzards to the backcountry, we’re golden.

Real design incorporates aesthetic beauty, uncompromising function, and for us ultralighters, maximum utility in minimum weight.

Enter stage left: the Light My Fire Spork. Spoon, fork, knife: 0.35 ounces. Why can’t American outdoor industry designers do this?

A: Marketing departments.