Top 7 Best Camping Shovels (2022 Guide)
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A camping shovel is one of the most handy tools you can take on your trip. It serves its purpose in a multitude of ways, from entrenching a fire pit to clearing out snow to doubling as a durable camping knife or wood-chopping axe.
In this review, you’ll find options for both small, standard camping shovels and heavier, multi-purpose shovels that come in various price ranges. Read about the best camping shovels to compare specs, advantages, disadvantages, and our overall opinion before choosing which one is right for you.
Compare Top Camping Shovel Options
There are many shovels on the market to choose from that may serve your specific needs. To help you find the best camping shovel to take on your adventure, we spent hours researching hundreds of options, scoring them on comparison metrics, and narrowing down to seven top picks based on their functionality, durability, positive reviews from real customers, brand reputation, and overall quality.
|Camping Shovel||Length||Our Score||Summary|
Best Premium Option
Best for Emergency Situations
Best Rubberized Grip
Best Camping Trowel
Top 7 Camping Shovels
#1. FiveJoy C1 Military Folding Shovel
This camping shovel is an all-in-one package for your camping tool needs. In addition to the foldable shovel spade with a sharp and serrated saw edge, it comes with a knife, bottle opener, ferro rod, and emergency whistle that all screw into the handle.
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Full Length: 18.5 inches
- Material: High Carbon Steel
✔ Can fold into different angles for shoveling, scraping, and grappling with easy functionality
✔ Includes a survival rope attached to the end of the handle as a lanyard for easy carry
✔ Comes with a cover for the spade and a carrying case that can attach to your belt or hiking pack
✘ Not as sturdy as some larger, competing camping shovels when using as an axe
✘ Foam grip can wear down after heavy use
Takeaway: We like the FiveJoy C1 Military Folding Shovel for it’s all-inclusive design, added features, and generally affordable price compared with other options in its class, making it our best overall choice for campers and hikers. However, it may not be the ideal camping shovel for those who want a heavier-duty shovel or for campers who just need a simple shovel for basic digging and entrenching.
#2. SOG Entrenching Tool
As a perfect small and compact fit into any hiking pack or bug-out bag, this shovel is ideal for those looking to bring an inexpensive folding entrenching tool on their trip. It’s ideal for cutting through roots and digging out dirt, whether it’s for a fire pit or a hole for a backcountry bathroom.
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Full length: 18.25 inches
- Material: High Carbon Steel
✔ Fits into a ballistic nylon pouch with a velcro closure and belt loop
✔ Comes at a much cheaper price than other multi-purpose camping shovels
✔ Has a powder coated finish to protect from corrosion and wear on the steel
✘ Its small size can make it harder to use for an extensive amount of time
✘ Doesn’t cut through wood with its saw as well as some competitors
Takeaway: The SOG Entrenching Tool is a unique camping shovel with a triangular handle for a solid grip while digging in all types of terrains. It’s our pick for value shoppers, since its prices typically fall between $20 and $30, but it offers the same utility of many other pricier options. Although, it’s not the best option for those who want more tools and purposes compacted into their camping shovel.
#3. Zune Lotoo Survival Shovel
This camping shovel combines an attractive, sleek design with a heavy-duty shovel and handle material. Its spade utilizes a durable stainless steel to hold sharp edges for cutting and sawing. Its handle extends up to 29.7 inches and features a ferro rod, bottle opener, and emergency whistle.
- Weight: 3.97 pounds
- Full length: 29.7 inches
- Material: German Martensitic Stainless Steel
✔ Comes heavier and longer than other smaller camping shovels, making it a good option for those who want a standard size
✔ Has comfortable grips on the handle for multiple uses
✔ Splits wood pretty well with its axe edge
✘ Priced considerably higher than competitors
✘ Edges typically require sharpening upon receiving the shovel
Takeaway: During our research, we found the Zune Lotoo Survival Shovel to be a top camping shovel for premium shoppers that aren’t on a budget and are looking for a heavy-duty option. It has a high-quality German martensitic stainless steel and can bear 1,600 pounds, according to the company. However, if you’re looking for a less expensive shovel with a similar level of functionality, you might look at the other options in this review.
#4. Yeacool Camping Shovel
As one of the most multi-functional camping shovels on the market, this is an ideal option for campers and hikers looking to get the most use out of their shovel while on a trip. In addition to it’s compass, ice pick, and wire saw, it even features a screwdriver with six bit options.
- Weight: 4.79 pounds
- Full length: 38 inches
- Material: High Carbon Steel
✔ Includes a wire saw, which isn’t featured in most competitor shovels
✔ Comes with a fish scaler and knife with a sharp edge
✔ Considerably longer than competing shovels
✘ Flashlight doesn’t fully turn off without removing the batteries
✘ Weighs more than other shovels, so may not be best for quick, lighter hikes
Takeaway: If you’re considering a long hiking or camping trip in a cold, remote area, the Yeacool Camping Shovel may be your best bet. Its unique ice pick, compass, wire saw, and safety hammer functions are tough to beat when you want peace of mind in a pinch. On the other hand, with so many tools compacted into the handle, it can be complicated to take apart and put together.
#5. Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel
This smaller, lightweight camping shovel comes with a large rubberized handle, a collapsible spade, and a nylon draw-string pouch. It has a pick for breaking up hard ground and a hammer function for hammering tent stakes, making it a perfect choice for your backcountry trip.
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
- Full length: 16.25 inches
- Material: Fiberglass
✔ Has a push-button slide mechanism for easily expanding and collapsing
✔ Has a lightweight, fiberglass handle
✔ Comes with a limited lifetime warranty (visit Gerber Gear’s website for terms and conditions)
✘ Much smaller than other shovels, so not a good choice for anyone looking for a more standard size
✘ Doesn’t provide details about the spade’s material
Takeaway: For an inexpensive, handy camping shovel that’s perfect for stowing in your car and having ready for emergencies—whether it’s digging out snow around your tent or shoveling sand to make a fire pit—we recommend the Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel. Although, it’s not the best pick for those who want more utility out of their camping shovel aside from its primary function.
#6. EST Gear Survival Shovel
As another great premium-quality multitool camping shovel, this one fills the everyday needs of a camper on a long trip in the wilderness. From compass to ferro rod fire starter, this shovel comes with 18 different tools in one. It also comes in a compact, foldable size for easy carrying.
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Full length: 36 inches
- Material: Carbon Steel
✔ Includes a carry case with a handle strap for shoulder carrying
✔ Made with heat-treated, high-quality steel and aerospace grade aluminum
✔ Comes with a lifetime replacement warranty for a replacement at no extra cost to you
✘ Some reviews say it’s hard to disassemble after heavy use
✘ Weighs a bit more than some other shovels in its class
Takeaway: If you’re looking for a premium-made shovel that serves multiple functions, including chopping wood, starting fires, guiding your journey with a compass, and more, we recommend the EST Gear Survival Shovel. However, some customers complain that it’s hard to assemble and disassemble after enduring heavy use, so it may not be best for anyone planning to use it regularly.
#7. iunio Hiking Trowel
Trowels are a type of camping shovel that are particularly useful for disposing of your waste, digging around your fire pit, and more. This trowel is considerably smaller than the other shovels in this review, and can easily slide into the side pocket of your hiking pack or attach to your belt.
- Weight: 6.8 ounces
- Full length: 10.43 inches
- Material: Stainless Steel
✔ Includes 9.5 feet of paracord for emergencies on your hiking or camping trip
✔ Comes in silver or black options, depending on your preference
✔ Functions as a saw, ruler, nail extractor, and hex wrench
✘ Not for campers looking for a traditional shovel
✘ Has a small shovel blade compared to many competing camping shovels
Takeaway: Although not the best option for those who want a multitool camping shovel with a longer handle for larger digging projects, the iunio Hiking Trowel can be a great if you just need a small tool for digging or gardening around your campsite. Plus, it’s the lightest option in this review and can fit anywhere, including your pocket, daypack, bug-out bag, belt, and more.
Common Uses for Your Camping Shovel
Perhaps the biggest appeal of a camping shovel is the multiple functions it can serve while on your solo backpacking trip, camping trip with the family, or any adventure out in the wilderness. In addition to its primary function of digging, it can typically perform other duties, from opening bottles to cutting and sawing firewood.
Consider the following uses and how important they are to you and your specific needs to help determine which camping shovel is best for you.
Most camping shovels double as e-tools for entrenching, and their blades have capabilities to fold into different angles for ease of use. This makes them an ideal tool for survival situations, often used by military members in the field.
Another common trait of the best camping shovels on the market is a function for pickaxing. This can be useful for breaking up hard ground before performing your digging job, chipping away at ice to clear a path or open up an ice-fishing hole on your arctic journey, or breaking glass or other surfaces during an emergency situation.
Starting a Fire
Starting a fire is an integral part of spending a night outside, whether it’s a campfire to share with your family or a survival fire providing warmth in a harsh, cold environment. Many camping shovels come with ferro rods in the handle that can be used for starting a fire. They can also come with sharp shovel blades or knives that can help shave kindling for your fire.
Related: How To Keep a Tent Warm
Many manufacturers design their camping shovels with added multitool functions for campers, hikers, and survivalists to utilize on their adventures. They can be particularly attractive to the shopper who wants the peace of mind that they’ll have the tool they need in unexpected situations. These shovels can have built-in wrenches, hammers, compasses, and even flashlights.
Before You Leave: Summary
There’s a lot to determine while shopping for the best camping shovel to fill your needs. Our top recommendation is to lean into your personal preferences to help determine a shovel to buy. For instance, if you’re looking for a lightweight tool just for small digging, you might choose the SOG Entrenching Tool or the iunio HIking Trowel, but if you’re looking for a more well-rounded camping shovel with multiple functions and capabilities, we suggest the FiveJoy C1 Military Shovel or the Zune Lotoo Survival Shovel.
Additional note: Camping shovels, including the axes and knives that come with them, can be dangerous if not handled properly. Always use them with safety and care to avoid harming yourself or others.