Being able to self-cater on a trip gives you the chance to save some money while also having the opportunity to see what the supermarkets in each location have to offer. Of course, the utensils you carry will influence what you eat and what you are able to prepare on the road.

I’m a huge proponent of always having the ability to self-cater wherever you are going on a trip, and over the years have found a variety of different means of achieving this goal.

Camping: chopsticks

While there are many different brands of camping chopsticks on the market, if you are going camping and happen to have a sharp knife – which you will, because you are going camping – the best ones to bring are… none. Just grab two twigs of similar size and whittle yourself a pair at your camping destination.

Bonus: you can burn them in the campfire or leave them to decompose when done.

What about soups such as the ever-present Ramen? Just sip from your bowl. Everything else can be handled by chopsticks. Or by putting your bowl to your mouth and using chopsticks to push your peas or other push-able foods into your mouth. Mmmm.

Disposable chopsticks

Travelling: disposable chopsticks

When I first started traveling, I would go to my local Asian supermarket and pick up a package of cheap disposable chopsticks (waribashi). My thinking was that they were lightweight, I wasn’t dependent on finding somewhere to wash them, I could easily compost or burn both the chopsticks and the wrappers, and that they could be used to eat everything I could possibly want to eat (see camping chopsticks, above).

In fact, I find chopsticks to be the ultimate travel eating utensil. But as it so happened, on that trip that I took, I ended up eating a lot of finger food (read: sandwiches) and so had no real need for those chopsticks. They are still sitting in my travel storage-ottoman waiting for a vacation when I will take them to foreign locales.

Traveling: SnacPac

Then, as so often happens, I got distracted by a new, shiny toy. This toy being a Snac Pac

, which promised to, in its slim packaging, hold a fork, knife, and spoon… all separate. Oh, AND a salt/pepper shaker.

I was enthralled. Especially since the knife and fork were real metal. Real. Metal. Knife. Of course the spoon was this absolutely tiny implement that couldn’t be used for anything, at all. Nor did I ever use the salt and pepper shakers. And the bonus of the knife being real metal also meant that airport security in the USA would not allow it onto a plane. Which led to …

Traveling: the Spork

I picked up a Light My Fire Spork (which I call a SporForKnif-ee). It was one of those impulse buys as it was offered for $1 at the register of one of my favorite camping stores. It hasn’t proved to be more or less useful during travel than any other utensil (other than that it has a full sized spoon), but where it really shines is at work. I now always have the correct utensil for whatever I am eating, and it cleans up like a breeze. It stores well in my eating utensil desk drawer, along with my Orikaso bowl.

Bambu spork
Bambu spork

Traveling: the mini-spork

I wanted something smaller than the Light my Fire SporForKnif-ee for when I travel, so I was fortunate to find these Bambu Spork

at a local kitchen goods store for $0.50 each (on clearance).

They do take a bit of getting used to to learn how to use (but with a SporForKnif-ee as an intermediate step, it wasn’t as horrible) however it is really nice having such a small, useful utensil. I take these with me wherever I go on travels. Unless of course, I take chopsticks.

Traveling: chopsticks and utensils

My Cutlery Eco Friendly Portable Utensil Set
My Cutlery Eco Friendly Portable Utensil Set
After using the Bambu spork for a while, I asked myself why I wasn’t sticking with my old reliable: chopsticks. As a result, I went back to chopsticks, but not just any chopsticks… chopsticks that offered some options. These

They are not only collapsible chopsticks, but you can screw on a fork or full-sized spoon head to them so as to eat your morning breakfast or – well, I’m not really sure what you’d use the fork for – with ease. And they come in more colors than the blue, but as I like blue I decided to feature that color. And the best part: they cost about as much as a pair of collapsible travel chopsticks do.

The future: Flipsticks

In the future, I hope to get the opportunity to test out these Flipsticks

so as to determine if they have a place in my travel utensil kit. The size of them makes them perfect for combining with my bento boxes that do not have built-in utensil holders.

This post was first published on Jen’s blog.

Your thoughts on "Eating utensils: self-catering equipment on the road"

  • Some great options! Thanks Jennifer!

    on October 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm Reply
  • Hehe! Who'd of thought that many of these cooking/camping instruments would be so god damn cute! Forget about their practicalities, every home should have a mini spork.

    on October 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm Reply
    • It's the cork-esque cover that got me!

      on October 20, 2011 at 2:06 pm Reply
  • Holy cow. I never knew these existed! This can be put to good use when my GF & I campervan it through NZ! =)

    on October 21, 2011 at 2:54 am Reply
  • I agree - the mini-spork looks awesome!

    on October 21, 2011 at 6:27 am Reply
    • spork out....grab and go...and post

      on October 31, 2011 at 1:12 am Reply

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