Last Update: 17.Nov.2020
Lightweight and tough
The handle is strong and folds down nicely as well.
Many positions for work
When sand or salt gets in, it does not fold well.
No case for shovel
Use as a pick, shovel, or saw
Positive locking collar
Included carry pouch
Not overly durable
The handle doesn't alway stay securely open when in use
Trims small roots well
Digs down and carves unusually well because of its thinness
Not suitable for hard soil
Carbon steel blade
Lightweight and strong blade
Push-button mechanism locks the blade in place
The lock is not quite strong
Heavy-duty material for durability
A little too short for heavy snowing
Camping/backpacking shovels are general-purpose tools that can be used for a variety of tasks. Some of these include:
While you may be more concerned with the shape and style of the shovel, material choice is a major defining factor. Good material choice will not only make your shovel durable but also lightweight.
Carbon steel is a common material. Though expensive, it is quite versatile and stands the test of time. However, it’s heavy and weighs you down when backpacking with it. Aluminum is another material, mostly used in towels. The best part about aluminum trowels is, they’re not prone to rust, or to corrosion in general. So they make great outdoor adventure companions.
Avoid plastic shovels and even trowels at all costs. They are cheap, breakable, and take on softer digging tasks only.
Next, consider the size of the shovel. Most foldable shovels will fold down to just 5 to 9 inches. When extended, however, they can be as long as 31 inches with a telescopic handle.
Trowels are smaller in size, at hardly 6 to 7 inches long. But they have narrower blades. Most shovels have a standard blade width, so you can’t do much about that.
You want your shovel to be portable to make backpacking easier to deal with. Look for a shovel that folds down to just 7 or 9 inches or even shorter. These will save you tons of space in your back. Many come with loops to attach to carabineers on your backpack.
If you feel the standard camping shovel is too bulky for you, try a trowel. While they’re just as long as folded shovels, their blade is narrower.
But size isn’t the only factor that affects portability. Weight also comes into play. Trowels can weigh as low as just 0.6 ounces or slightly more. Shovels on the other hand will weigh as much as 20 to 30 ounces. This also depends on what they’re made from. Carbon-steel may feel heavier than aluminum.
You want a shovel that is versatile and can execute a number of tasks. Most shovel blades can be used for a lot of purposes, such as general-purpose digging and cutting. However, some have a serrated edge for cutting straight through roots and soft branches. You’ll need a proper saw or knife if you want to go through tougher branches.
Many camping shovels come with modules, such as a pickaxe module. These will increase the versatility of the product at the cost of weight and bulkiness. If you’re using the shovel as an avalanche safety tool, you can buy entire toolkits dedicated to this.
Most camping shovels aren’t as transparent as to what type of protection they have. We’re assuming many have a simple waterproof coating. We can also assume many are UV-safe and can be used in extreme outdoor weather conditions.
Be careful though, as steel and steel-based products won’t fare well against rain and water. Steel is highly susceptible to rusting when used outdoors for prolonged periods of time. In this case, aluminum or nylon are good choices.
Finally, consider how strong the material is. And this not only extends to the blade of the shovel but also to the handle.
Carbon steel, while heavier, is the more durable product when compared with aluminum. Keep in mind, the lighter the product is, the weaker it will be. Steel-based materials are quite prone to corrosion, even if they’ve been waterproofed.
As for the handle, nylon or aluminum are good choices.
Whether it’s digging up a latrine, cutting up roots, or setting up a camp; your trusty camping shovel will always stay by your side.
Out of all the shovels we reviewed, TheTentLab Trowel was the best of them all. This is mainly because of its versatility and lightweight. It is just a trowel but can perform a lot of what many shovels fail to do.
All in all, saving up for a camping shovel will prove to be helpful in the long run. So buy your shovel today and get started on your outdoor adventures!
In the Toptravelpoint Blog you will always find useful and up-to-date information about hiking and camping. & Bryce
Our experts will always help make your life easier.
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