A good camping shovel should only cost you $10-$50. And depending on your preference, it can be easily strapped to your backpack, clipped to your belt, or stowed under a car seat.
The need for a shovel may not be immediately apparent…until you get into the woods. A shovel comes in handy for tent placement – whether you need to dig a small rain trench around your tent or dig up some rocks in your tent’s footprint. But the most common shovel use is when nature calls and you’re miles and miles from civilization!
Most shovels used for camping and scouting fold and can clip to your belt or pack. I own a military style shovel and have used it for camping, beach sand construction, and even emergency snow use. On military exercises, I’ve dug holes with it, cut timbers with it, and even diverted camp run-off. It’s as sturdy as can be…but…I made the mistake of taking this shovel on a 30-mile hike a few years ago and didn’t use it once! For the next long hike, I think I’ll opt for the 4 oz shovel instead of the 4 pound one! Bigger (& heavier) isn’t always better. Choose wisely for your needs.
Here are a few considerations before you buy a camping shovel:
- Will you be carrying it for many miles?
Yes – Look for a light shovel with carrying case!
- Will you need to dig large holes and trenches?
Yes – Try a sturdy military-style shovel
- Will it mainly be used for sanitation / camping / scouting?
Yes – Pick a lightweight trowel
The shovels below are some of the more popular camping choices. They all fold and are easy to transport. There’s no right shovel. Choose the right one for you!
Heavy Duty Shovels:
Medium Weight Shovels: