Reports and Reviews

MNKF: TOPS F.O.R.K. IT

Sometimes you just gotta say “F.O.R.K. it…” Mad Duo

Monday Night Knife Fights: TOPS F.O.R.K. IT
Craig Metzger

You know what real survival is? Dealing with toddlers on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and family but some days I feel like I’m in a survival course that involves a high level psyop experiment. Tonight, we’re going to look at the TOPS Knives F.O.R.K. IT, which might help someone survive a high level psyop. Our T&E lab will be my house and two wild kids.

The F.O.R.K. IT was designed by Leo Espinoza. The premise is simple: it’s something for the backpacker (or anyone looking for a multi-function tool) that can address simple tasks and not take much room. The F.O.R.K. IT covers small tasks one would encounter while camping. It can prepare tinder or pop a bottle, perform small cutting tasks, and serve as a spork for eating like a civilized person. I should’ve headed to the mountains to try out all the features, but I thought my kids would be better at evaluating such a robust tool.

Scenario 1 – Ramen / Cup-Of-Noodles

On camping trips with the family, my kids love Cup-Of-Noodles for lunch. I figure it’s good they have a positive memory with this “food group” because they’ll live on it in college. I handed my oldest the F.O.R.K. IT with her ramen and she looked at me like I was punishing her. I told her she’d be eating the next few meals with this tool pretended it was a game and made up a story that involved an empowering heroine facing impossible odds, and claimed the world was depending on her. After she ate her lunch of plastic noodles I asked what she thought of the spork. She liked how deep the spoon part was, and that the teeth on the spork was good for grabbing noddles. She then commented on the whistle, which is attached to the sheath via a chain. I told her not to blow on it in the house, and she ran from the table blowing the whistle at full blast. Did I mention how powerful the whistle is yet?

Scenario 2 –  Cereal

My youngest wanted cereal one morning, so I thought it’d be a good chance to see how the F.O.R.K. IT worked with the toddler. When I handed her the bowl she asked if this was the whistle her sister was using while running from me yesterday. I told her not to blow the whistle or “the man” will come. Not sure who “the man” is, but it worked. I watched her eating the cereal from a distance, and she used the tool like any other spoon. But every two to four bites she’d stop and look at the kydex sheath that serves as a handle and protects your hand from the knife blade. She’d look at the sheath, then at me, at the sheath and then once again at me. I knew she was planning something but wasn’t sure what. Then, like a samurai from an Akira Kurosawa film, she unsheathed the blade. I casually walked over and said, “We don’t eat cereal with this part of the spoon.”

She looked at me holding the knife and said, “This is cool”. After disarming the toddler, I decided that 10am is actually beer o’clock in some part of the world. Cheers!

Scenario 3 – Don’t cut yourself

I used the knife portion of the F.O.R.K. IT for small cutting duties, and found it really comfortable to use. The ridged back and contours provide great grip. I even used it to spread Nutella on a rice cake for the wildlings of the house.

In all seriousness, the F.O.R.K. IT is a great tool and will travel with me on some future bike-packing trips. It’s small, light and has the quality you’ve come to expect from TOPS. For more info, click here on the F.O.R.K. IT.

-Craig



Breach-Bang CLEAR!

This Post is part of our Trails Found Series. What is Trails Found? Members of BreachBangClear and some other badass media outlets assembled together this last September to train with one of the last of what has been called the “old Border Breed”, in the desert of Arizona. That man they were training with was no other than the legendary Jim Grasky. In 1965 Jim Grasky was a young Special Forces soldier in the early 60s. He helped chase down Che Guevara and recce some of the more remote areas of Central and South America. By 1970 he was a the squadleader for a team of smoke-jumpers parachuting in to fight remote wildfires, and somewhere during that timeframe may or may not have spent a lot of time with Air America over SE Asia. For about a quarter century after that he was a Border Patrolman, and literally named BORTAC. Though Grasky is a man of many talents, one of his specialties is man tracking–which is why he developed programs specifically for USSOCOM and has taught the world over. Through your various social media outlets you can track other articles and photos related to Trails Found by searching for #TrailsFound16 and #GoodGearMatters. The TF16 event was sponsored by Grey Ghost Precision and the “Grey Ghost Mafia“. 


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About the Author: Craig Metzger is some sort of evil creative genius who enjoys everything from Billabong to Zev Tech. He’s one of those dudes who mountain bikes, hikes and snowboards with the same enthusiasm he has for spending time on the range, offroading in Moab and attending Renaissance Fairs. He’s definitely our first minion so far to have a subscription to Thrasher magazine. Kyle Lamb (the Viking Tactics Kyle Lamb) really does call him the Tactical Hippie, that’s a true story. Although we cannot confirm rumors that he played the role of Everett in Delta Farce, we can advise you to check out his work on his website or on his blog.
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1 Comment

  1. A nice design, but $100 for this camping tool? Come on TOPS, we know better than to waste a C note on something we can get in thinner, lighter metal for much less…and just as useful and durable, at our local camping store less than $15 at the most, normally less than $5.00.