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Sure, you can eat with your hands. But who wants to do that all the time? Whether camping, surviving, or just taking a snack break on the trail, having handy, easily-carried portable utensils can enhance your dining experience. They'll also keep your food away from your greasy, grimy booger hooks.
Issue 23 of our magazine (on sale 12/1/2017) will contain a portable utensil buyer's guide that covers sporks, cutlery sets, and other eating tools. While testing these conventional utensils, we also picked up two pairs of portable chopsticks from Spartan Blades and Fire Maple.
These portable chopsticks are the ultimate minimalist utensils, as they offer the exact same functionality as regular chopsticks. Chopsticks are simply… sticks. Thus, like a portable pool cue, these two-piece chopsticks simply thread together for use. This makes them work identically to a one-piece chopstick, but also allows them to pack down for compact storage.
So long as the portable chopstick has solid construction, all you have to do is choose one that suits your personal preference. If you like using chopsticks, you should definitely check out our reviews below, and consider a portable set for your bug-out bag or backpacking kit.
Dimensions: 9.1 / 4.7 (extended / collapsed) by 0.3 inches
Weight: 1.4 ounces
Material: Titanium, carbon fiber
Colorways: Black, Blue, Plain
These chopsticks from Spartan Blades are simply badass, from the titanium construction to the carbon-fiber tubes. The titanium is finely-machined, threading together like butter, and you can completely disassemble all the pieces for a thorough cleaning. The tips are textured for extra grip.
This design is completely round, so be sure not to let the sticks roll away. Some may dislike the feel of metal chopsticks, while others prefer them; give some a try to see if you have a preference. The set comes with a nylon case that includes a belt loop and neck lanyard.
As the most expensive product in this utensil guide, it might more likely occupy an esteemed spot in our home or kit than be stashed for an emergency. Which is just as well, because it would be a shame not to use them on a regular basis.
Dimensions: 4.4 by 0.6 inches (closed and bundled), 8.1 by 0.3 (assembled) inches
Weight: 0.3 ounces
Material: Rosewood, copper
These were the top result on Amazon for portable chopsticks; you can probably find similar (and cheaper) options at your friendly local Asian market. They aren’t nearly as awesome as the Spartan Blades chopsticks, but they’re only $11. And they work perfectly as chopsticks, catering to those who like the feel of wood over metal.
The far half of the chopsticks has a square profile, preventing them from rolling amok. It comes with a small carrying case and a carabiner. What more can we say? If you like chopsticks, these would be a great addition to your kit. If you have an Asian market nearby, check it first; you might find better deals there.