When it comes to outdoor utensils there are a multitude of items that we typically carry. Some of those are for creating fire, others are for setting up our tent. When dinner time rolls around the most critical are the utensils we use to create and consume our meals on the trail. For many of us that may mean a titanium mug and the good old useful spork. But why use just a spork why not carry a fork and a spoon. Individually they offer the greatest usability of their individual traits. But what if they could offer more when they were combined. It seems that was the idea that inspired the team at Merkwares to create the new Emberlit Sprongs. This fork and spoon combination when linked together create a set of tongs that can be exceptionally useful for turning, flipping or just simply grabbing food items during the preparation and cooking process. These made-in-the-usa lightweight nylon quality tools are definitely a must for your backpack.
–Quality and construction–
The Emberlit Sprongs are made from high temperature resistant nylon and according to the maker, good to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This nylon is press fitted in a custom-made mold to form the combination spoon fork and tongs that they are. Coming in two colors currently, one being a burnt brick orange the other a dark black, both colors are enjoyable. The fit and finish on these Sprongs are excellent, and very uniform. The eating surface of the spoon and fork are both very smooth while the overall handle area is lightly texture to allow for better grip. The pivot button and locking hook that allowed them to be joined are very well fitted. This tight joint allows this set of eating tools to be joined together while in your pack, and reversed to recreate the set of tongs that is they’re exceptionally unique feature. The raised pivot button has a through hole molded in that easily allows you to add a small piece of paracord to act as a permanently attached lanyard. As an added bonus the locking hook easily acts as a small bail hook to lift the lid off your titanium mug with ease. Though robust the set clocks in at only 0.7 ounces in weight. Being so light they could easily be added to any pack, either replacing your spork or simply adding to your already available eating tools.
–Usefulness and durability–
As we’ve used a fork and spoon many times we decided to get right to the novelty of the tong feature of the Emberlit Sprongs. To test this feature we proceeded to fire up the old titanium Emberlit Fireant, starting a fire with our Idaho Survival FireStick ferrocerium and cook a little breakfast. With a skillet firmly on top, we dropped a fresh piece of bacon into the mix to get things started. Cooking on a skillet over a fire can be a tricky affair. If one doesn’t pay attention things tend to stick. With our Emberlit Sprongs grabbing ahold of an individual piece of bacon and flipping it around was an easy affair. The pinch and grip that these tongs offer is bit more useful than a spatula, or trying to flip something over with a spork. Also with the given length of the Sprongs we could easily keep our hands away from the heat of the Fireant stove while still cooking our candy of meats.
With our bacon treat thoroughly cooked we proceeded to cracking open a single egg. Waiting a small while to get this ovum firmed up the Sprongs again proved their worth making short work of making our sunny side up more over easy. A hearty meal was ready, but we needed some go juice.
Separated the Sprongs work just as well as their individual components would be expected too. The extra long length of the spoon made reaching all the way to the bottom of our MSI Outdoors French Press an easy affair, and got our daily coffee fix underway. While the dark nectar brewed, the individual fork shoveled eggs and bacon into our hungry face. This is when we found our only complaint. The tines on the fork, when using to cut or wedge apart our over hard egg where a little bit too springy making the procedure a bit more difficult than expected. Such a performance is pretty standard for plastic forks, and one of the reasons we’ve loved our LightMyFire titanium spork so much.
Being able to have multi-use items in one’s camping kit is a serious bonus and the Emberlit Sprongs delivers this usefulness hands down. In all honesty I would have never thought that I needed tongs in my backpack, but now that I have them I am quite please with the added functionality. This one seemingly small feature is a great force multiplier making your normal eating tools that much more useful. According to the team at Merkwares a titanium version of the Sprongs will soon be in the works, and we look forward to those wholeheartedly.