Do you need utensils in your survival kit?

The short answer is no.  As far as I know, nobody in a survival situation who has died or been severely injured, would have been better off by having a fork or spoon.  Or chopsticks.

What are ‘utensils’?  Basically, tools that you eat or prepare food with.  Generally from the set of ‘dinner knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, spatula’.  None of these are a ‘necessity’ of life, but they can improve your life.  If you have a frying pan or grill, it is wise to have a spatula to increase the safety and effectiveness of the pan usage.  In a kit that big, you might as well have other utensils to ease the eating of what you prepare.  In a small kit, there are more important items to include, so don’t waste the space or weight.  Medium sized kits are where the decision is more difficult.  Again, never include a utensil if it will take space, weight or funds from something more important.

If including utensils is your decision, you could just raid your kitchen drawer.  This is not optimal, as generally ‘normal’ utensils do not pay attention to their size or weight in relation to their utility.  Because these items occupy such a low position in importance, you want the smallest, lightest options practical.  Besides, purloining normal utensils may cause the person ‘in charge’ of the kitchen to raise a fuss.

As to the knife, you have a good knife as one of the first things included in your kit, right?  Including a dinner knife, which is relatively useless for anything other than ‘cutting’ cooked food, is often a poor decision.  A fork and a spoon have much more specialized utility.  One way to maximize your utility and minimize the bulk is by using a ‘spork’.  This is a combination of spoon and fork in one.piece, either one on each end of the handle, or a ‘combination’ utensil.

sporks2

sporks1

The other option is ‘small’ utensils.  Possibly child sized utensils would be adequate, but my favorite is this set, from China (available through eBay).  I carry it everyday, primarily to have chopsticks at Chinese restaurants, but have used the fork for ‘regular’ food on occasion where I had none or only plastic was available.  They also have a set with the knife which is no bigger but is probably a bit heavier.

noknife

chopsticks2

chopsticks1

As to size, it appears to be the same as reading glasses in a similar (possibly even the same) container.

One other ‘utensil’ to consider is a ‘Firefork’.  This is a simple device which uses spring tension to attach to the end of stick, and holds a relatively solid object (such as a piece of meat) over the fire to cook.  The red part is a cover to keep the tines together and prevent them from puncturing anything when not in use.

firefork

(all photos are stock)

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2 Comments

Filed under Emergency preparedness

2 responses to “Do you need utensils in your survival kit?

  1. Utensils?
    A simple camp KFS set and a pair of chop sticks.
    And I’m less of a messy eater with the chop sticks.

  2. I forgot about those camp kits; they are certainly an option. I don’t like the ‘pocket knife’ ones though, since you can’t use both the knife and fork at the same time, a common need.

    KFS (Knife, Fork, Spoon) and chop sticks covers all the eating tools. If space/weight is a concern, the knife can be left out if you have a good ‘real’ knife which can be used to cut your food. Chop sticks only if you can reliably use them. Dropping food on the ground (or just not getting it in your mouth) in a survival situation would seem to be more of a problem than embarrassment at a restaurant.

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