Camping can be a harrowing experience especially if you don’t have the right tools to make your campsite habitable. A camping shovel is quite versatile and often comes with multiple essential functions such as a hammer, saw, pickaxe, fire starter among others.
Because they can have all these functions, camping shovels save you the hassle of getting individual tools. I know how exhausting picking camping shovels from a long list can be. I was recently looking to buy a new camping shovel myself, and the huge variety made it difficult for me to decide on one. After all, I wanted to find the best camping shovel for my money.
As I compared the pros and cons of each one, I found quite a few good camping shovels that one might like to buy. So, I decided to make a list of the top 10 camping shovels to help you get one of these handy tools for yourself!
Top 12 Best Camping Shovels Available Today
Many people have different requirements for their camping shovels. Some people prioritize compactness , while others prefer a heavy-duty one. That is why I made this list with some specific characteristics in mind.
So, if you’ve been waiting to buy the best camping shovel on the market, read this guide!
Top Pick – Gerber Gear 22-41578N Gorge Folding Shovel
The Gerber Gear 22-41578N Gorge Folding Shovel is a well-rounded option for when you go camping occasionally and don’t have many specifications in mind.
It is great for use on hard ground because its pick is made of durable material that can withstand a great amount of force without breaking or bending. It also has a fiberglass-infused handle that is made ergonomically so you won’t suffer from hand or arm fatigue at any time.
It also comes with a built-in hammer that’s ideal for when you’re setting up your camp and want to hammer your tent stakes in. It’s a folding camping shovel, which means it’s small and compact. This camping shovel also comes with a nylon bag for easy storage.
- Ergonomic handle
- Fiberglass-infused handles
- Includes storage bag
- Small size
- Assembly might be tricky
Honorable Mention – 4 Patriots Ready Shovel
The 4Patriots Ready Shovel is an honorable mention in this list because of how great it is in every aspect. We all know that 4Patriots is a company that recognizes how important it is to have quality tools in survival situations.
The Ready Shovel is 12 inches long, which means it’s quite compact and won’t weigh you down too much when you’re heading to your camping site. It’s also made up of high-carbon steel that ensures you won’t break it even when you’re shoveling hard dirt, ice, or vegetation.
It also has a nail remover, a compass, and a hex wrench in it. Which allows you to pack fewer things for your trip. It also has a mini survival kit hidden in its handle. You can also strap it onto your belt and bag for easy transportation.
- High Carbon steel is incredibly durable
- Length suitable for all kinds of shoveling
- Multi-purpose: includes nail remover and compass
- Might be too small for heavy-duty work.
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Best Camping Survival Shovel – HX Outdoors Survival Shovel
While camping is often just for fun, many people want tools that they can use in actual survival situations. From car emergencies to being stuck in the snow, camping shovels can be used for a variety of things, and the HX Outdoors Survival Shovel is the best of the lot when it comes to survival situations.
The most useful thing about this camping shovel is that it is multifunctional. It can serve as a snow excavator, bottle opener, whistle, hammer, disgorger, hoe, hook, saw, and axe shovel. Can you imagine having to pack all of these things separately before every camping trip?
The shovel weighs 1.3 lb and is a breeze to carry for long distances. This product is one of the best camping shovels on the market because it truly has it all. Compactness, durability, versatility, and excellent quality are all hallmarks of the HX outdoors survival shovel.
- Useful for snowy terrain
- Will take care of all your shoveling needs
- Has many functions that a regular person won’t have any need for.
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Best Small Camping Shovel – UST U-Dig-It Light Duty Aluminum Shovel
The UST U-Dig-It Light Duty Aluminum Shovel is the best camping shovel for people who value compactness and portability above all else.
However, the manufacturers did not compromise on the quality when making a small shovel, and this shovel expertly shovels hard earth and ice without breaking.
The best part? It’s also lightweight. Made up of sturdy aluminum, this shovel makes an excellent companion for short camping and hunting trips. It’s also good for use in your garden or around the house.
- Lightweight and durable
- Sturdy aluminum build
- Suitable for garden and camping use
- Sharp edges not suitable for beginners
- Smooth finish makes the handle slippery
Best Camping Snow Shovel – LIFELINE Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel
Do you live in a state where it snows unexpectedly? I know how that feels! Luckily for you, the LIFELINE Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel is the best camping shovel for shoveling snow because of its smart design and ease of use.
The collapsible design makes it easy to use, store and carry. In addition, this folding camping shovel is lightweight but durable, making it very useful in snowstorms or when you’re stuck in a spot with lots of snow.
Not only that, but it’s also compact so doesn’t take up much space. It’s also a great idea to keep one of these in the car for when you might unexpectedly get caught in bad weather.
- Smart design easy to use
- Durable and long-lasting
- Too short for large amounts of snow.
- Tricky assembly
Best Camping Poop Shovel – GSI Outdoors Cathole Trowel
The toughest part about camping is digging catholes, disposing of human waste, and making sure you’re doing it the right way. However, whether in the Army or at a campsite, cathole trowels such as the GSI Outdoors Cathole Trowel are your best friends.
This poop shovel is made with serrated edges so it’s easier to dig through vegetation and plant roots to dig a cathole for yourself. It’s also lightweight and allows you to get the job done as easily as possible. It also has the usage guidelines embossed on the back in case you’re a first-time camper and are not sure of the proper protocol.
- Serrated edges suitable for vegetation
- Easy to use with guidelines
- Perfect for use on soft ground
- Ineffective against big rocks
- Might break if used against very solid ground
Best Folding Shovel For Camping – Coleman Folding Shovel and Pick
Coleman has long since been synonymous with quality survival gear for a very long time. For the folks who insist on getting a folding camping shovel for camping or survival situations, there’s no option better than the Coleman Folding Shovel and Pick.
It’s easily foldable and locks in place so you don’t have to shovel unsteadily. Its serrated edges ensure that you cut through tough vegetation and hard dirt easily. Its stainless steel material ensures that it won’t rust with time or when you try to shovel snow with it.
- Locks to allow smooth operation
- Stainless steel keeps it rust-free
- Cuts through hard ground
- Not useful for heavy-duty activities
- Not the standard size tool the military uses
Best Budget Camping Shovel – Wakeman Folding Multitool Shovel
The Wakeman Folding Multitool Shovel is a great option for people who want an economical camping shovel.
This affordable camping shovel comes with a free pocket knife and can be used for many purposes such as cutting, sawing and digging. In addition, it’s also quite lightweight and compact which means carrying it for long distances won’t be much of a problem.
It’s also quite durable and comes with a storage bag as well. It is easily the best camping shovel for people who don’t want to compromise on their budget.
- Storage bag included
- Lightweight and compact
- May not be as durable as the other options
- Small size not for use on rugged terrain
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Best Lightweight Camping Shovel – FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel
If you pack light while camping, the FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel might be an ideal pick for you.
This folding camping shovel can act as a huge number of things such as a saw, knife, fire starter, whistle, and bottle opener. It only weighs 2 lb. Talk about lightness! It’s also quite durable and is widely used among military personnel for its wide range of applications.
It has an ergonomic design that ensures that your hands don’t feel tired even after back-breaking work with this shovel.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Multi-purpose design perfect for campers
- Ergonomic handle
- Military-grade usage
- Should not be used for heavy-duty activities such as sawing trees.
- Should not be used against very hard ground or it will bend.
Best Multifunctional Camping Shovel – Stealth Tact Shovel
Most people cannot bother with choosing and shopping for several different things and want something that can serve several different functions. The Stealth Tact Shovel is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an all-rounder. This shovel acts as multiple things and reduces the hassle of packing before a camping trip. This shovel is multifunctional. It can act as a hoe, shovel, knife, bottle opener, fish scaler, Phillips head screwdriver and a hex wrench. This versatile usage means you get your money’s worth within one tool that is lightweight. It is quite compact and can be stored easily. You can also transport it from one place to another easily.
- All-rounder shovel with a wide range of applications
- Economical and budget-friendly
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Good for fishing trips
- Operation might be tricky
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Best Tactical Shovel for Camping: Cold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical Camp Shovel
If the previous shovels sound a tad complicated, then the Cold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical Camp Shovel is perfect for you. It looks like a regular shovel except for the three-point edges that make for a sharper tool. The company has adapted the shovel’s design from the “Spetsnaz”, a military entrenching tool.
The shovel head is about 2mm thick and flat. Its made using medium carbon steel for durability. The carbon steel that makes this shovel is heat-treated for maximum strength. Cold Steel’s shovel comes with a hardwood, replaceable handle that’s short and sturdy so that you can have a nice grip as you work. The shovel’s ergonomic design is also excellent for people who practice throwing as a sport.
This traditionally-designed shovel weighs about 1.6lbs, and measures about 20″ long, which may be a bit difficult to carry around when hiking, but it’ll still fit in the trunk.
Cold Steel is sure of the quality of this shovel which is why the company offers a 5-year limited warranty.
- Heat-treated for durability
- Replaceable hardwood handle
- The three-point blade is easy to sharpen
- Hardwood handle for comfort
- 5-year limited warranty
- Doesn’t come with a pouch or bag to store
Best Military Camping Shovel: REDCAMP Military Folding Camping Shovel
The REDCAMP Military Folding Camping Shovel is inspired by those used by infantry soldiers during world war 2. The company specializes in professional, high-quality outdoor equipment and this shovel is an exhibit of its prowess.
The military shovel’s total length is 22.8″ but it has an aluminum locking mechanism that folds it to about
8.2″. You will get a carrying pouch to store the shovel, and this allows you to store it in your backpack, car, and toolbox.
REDCAMP’s camping shovel is made of high carbon steel, durable material that ensures that you’ll use it for a long time. It weighs 2.5lbs which makes it even more suitable for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and gardening.
At 1.5mm thick, the foldable shovel is sharp enough to clear trees, and dig through the deepest soil. You can clear snow, sand, and even mud when you’re stuck. Maneuver the shovel’s blade at a 90-degree angle and you get a pickaxe and a hoe.
You can easily dig, cut, hammer and shovel through anything with this device with the help of the shovel’s serrated edge. Its triangular handle makes for a comfortable grip.
This shovel comes with a one-year warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Sharp-edged multi-functional tool
- Lightweight and portable
- One-year warranty
- 100% Money-back guarantee
- The interlocking feature can get jammed up when exposed to sand
- The package may come with no instructions
Camping Shovel Buyer’s Guide — What To Look For When Buying A Camping Shovel
There are several things you need to consider when buying a camping shovel. From blade to weight to size, there are several things you need to factor in before buying a camping shovel that will be a faithful companion to you on your camping trips. After all, you want to get the best camping shovel for your various outdoor adventures.
It can sometimes be hard to decide exactly what specifications to look out for when shopping for survival tools. Luckily, I’ve done all the work for you! This list is what you need to look for to get the best camping shovel for your needs.
Camping is hard work. You need to walk long distances, sometimes on an inclined path, while carrying heavy loads. Most people walk to their campsite during the day which means the sun is also bearing down on them, making it even harder to walk while carrying a heavy backpack.
So, one needs to ensure that the camping shovel they pick is a lightweight one. However, if you’re looking for a multifunctional tool such as those used in the military, you can pick a heavier one. The plus side is that you don’t need to pack much else when you pack one of those!
Dimensions and sizes are also important to look out for when buying a camping shovel. The best camping shovels are foldable or collapsible and don’t take up too much space in your backpack. Some have rings that allow you to attach them to your backpack while others have their own nylon bags for storage.
Either way, make sure your camping shovel isn’t too big or clunky. Otherwise, it will be very hard for you to fit it in your backpack and carry it around on your camping trip.
Do you want your camping shovel to do more than one job? You might be looking for a multifunctional tool. However, there’s a good chance you won’t use many of the tools in a multifunctional camping shovel.
Before buying a shovel, make sure to research it carefully so you know you’re only getting the features you want and not things you won’t ever need.
For example, if you’re looking for a folding camping shovel, make sure that this is the specification you focus on.
Shoveling is pretty hard work and can give you very sore hands if you’re at it for a while. Getting muscle aches or blisters can put a damper on your camping trip. So, it’s best to invest in a camping shovel that has an ergonomic handle. This feature will ensure that your hands won’t hurt no matter how much digging you put in.
You need to really ask yourself. What are you looking for in a camping shovel? Manufacturers are making camping shovels from many different materials and they all serve different purposes.
Durability, weight, stainlessness, and toughness are some of the characteristics that depend on a camping shovel’s material.
Make sure that you review the materials that the camping shovel is made from to determine if it suits your particular needs.
A camping shovel has to be sharp and durable. The design starts with the material used to make it. Some metals tend to rust, and if you’re looking for a one-time purchase then pick stainless steel, alloy steel, or high carbon steel blade. Some of these blades come with both serrated and smooth edges for different purposes.
The last factor to consider but definitely not the least, is safety. Camping shovels come with sharp blades that need to be secured somewhere in a bag. Go for shovels where the manufacturer provides some sort of covering for the blades.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good camping shovel?
Generally, a good camping shovel is one that is lightweight, foldable and is durable enough to shovel through hard ground, ice and vegetation. However, different people have different requirements that they need their shovels to fulfill.
Do you need a shovel for camping?
Yes, you do need a shovel for camping. There are several things you may need one for such as building a fire pit, digging a cathole, pulling up vegetation, setting up your tent and shoveling snow in case of a snowstorm.
Do I need a shovel when backpacking?
Yes, you may need one. Since a camping shovel is a survival tool, you should take it on all outdoorsy activities because you never know when you might need it. Again, you might need it for building a fire pit, cat hole or shoveling snow.
What is a folding shovel used for?
A folding camping shovel does the same job as a regular shovel. However, it is more compact because it can be folded down to a small size. You can tuck it into your backpack or hang it on your bag. Foldable shovels are portable and easy to store.
What shovel does the military use?
E-tools or entrenching tools are generally the shovels the military uses. They are used for a variety of purposes and are quite heavy and durable.
How can you maintain a folding shovel?
Some folding shovels use nuts to enable their folding mechanisms, and sometimes these nuts may lock and cause the folding mechanism to stop. Before this happens, always remember to clean your shovel after every use, dry it and lubricate it to avoid rust from forming. Rust is one of the most common culprits for the lock and moisture on metal is the most common way to encourage rust formation.
What is the difference between an e-tool and a military shovel?
Both mean the same thing, these shovels are popular for their folding mechanisms and compact nature. Outdoor enthusiasts use these shovels during various outdoor activities such as camping and gardening.
So, there you have it, a complete list of the best camping shovels for your outdoor adventures. There are many features to look out for when purchasing these tools, especially if you’re planning to use your shovel for a long time. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, then you want to pick out the most efficient survival tools for your trip, look for the best design features, and ensure that the shovel’s price is also affordable.