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Backcountry Dining Made Easy with Kung Foon


The author dining with the Kung Foon in the backcountry

[Photo] Andrew Councell

I’m a wilderness camping minimalist, bringing just enough food and not bothering with extras or luxury items. I eat freeze-dried meals out of a bag, eliminating cooking, cleaning pots and other annoying dish duties. My no-cook system is not perfect, since I usually eat tasteless freeze-dried meals, and it’s difficult to reach food deep inside a bag without spilling it. Enter the Kung Foon, a brilliantly designed utensil from GSI Outdoors that eliminates spillage.

This clever cutlery combo offers three eating modes: Rosewood chopsticks for hearty meals and communal dishes; a titanium “foon” (aka spork) for soups; and a utensil with an extended handle when both are combined. This last option sold me and is the one I use the most. Most of the time I eat soupy freeze dried food from a bag. A normal spoon works fine for the first half of the meal but when you scrape the bottom of the bag, you’re sure to get dirty hands. You also risk snapping a plastic spoon, guaranteeing a mess. The extended handle keeps your hands clean in your search for every morsel of your bagged meal. The Kung Foon appeals to the clean freak in all of us.

The author showing proper Kung Foon technique.

[Photo] Andrew Councell

The foon component is a bent stem with two rectangular slots for the chopsticks, which extends the foon handle to about 11 inches. I used the Rosewood chopsticks all summer. They held up well after 6 weeks of camping, only breaking when I roughly dropped my pack. GSI also offers an option for plastic chopsticks but I found that any old pair works fine.

These fork chops are great for stirring hot dishes, and eating from narrow camp stoves like Jetboils. A single Kung Foon set also serves a couple people if your partner forgets their own eating tools. During my backcountry nights this year, several of my partners enviously eyed the Kung Foon. While a little gimmicky at first, I loved my Kung Foon and highly recommend it for all the other bag-eaters out there.

Pros: Multi-functional and lightweight (4.1oz). Great for eating from bags and narrow camp pots while keeping your hands clean. Foon works well as a fork and spoon and works with other chopsticks.

Cons: Bulky to pack as a unit. The Rosewood chopsticks are durable but start to break down with repeated use. Pricey for cutlery, but worthwhile for the dedicated bag eater.