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Nothing55
01-23-2012, 03:23 PM
I have a Glock-E-Tool, and composite small but thick garden shovel and a stainless steel pack shovel....

Each one has a good use but none of them excel at everything...

Example...

The E-Tool is great for making a fire pit or crapper hole, but sucks for a Dakota fire hole and Itís on the heaver side of gear...

garden shovel is lite and can do anything but seems like it could break anytime and for bigger jobs it takes a lot of energy..

stainless steel pack shovel... Is the smallest, doesn't weigh much and is very sturdy but again lots o energy to get the job done...

I'm curious as what every here uses and idea are most welcome....:)

Czech
01-23-2012, 03:31 PM
I do not carry any shovel, but most of my friends own CS shovel and are fully satisfied with this stuff. A time ago I used US military folding shovel but the work with it was rather hard and uncomfortable to me.

Timothy
01-23-2012, 03:38 PM
A pointy stick. If I was planning on doing much digging I'd probably bring a good shovel blade and just make a handle out of a small tree.

woodswatcher
01-23-2012, 03:41 PM
I have the little cheap coleman shovel. Its light to me and I use it for everything but digging holes lol. I have been looking at the cold steel (spetsnaz) shovel.

BackwoodsBum
01-23-2012, 03:48 PM
I'll second the pointy stick. I also use the spike side of my CS Spike Hawk when I'm carrying it.

I guess those are both more pickaxes than shovels but they work for me. I guess it comes down to how much dirt you need to excavate and how much time you have to do it.

Walkabout Guy
01-23-2012, 03:49 PM
I've used a pointy stick or a stick that I've shaped with a sort of shovel nose. That works find in a sandy loam type soil. Pine forest, etc. I've also used a little gardening trowel, but the tip broke when I was making a latrine in the Rockies. E-tool seems unnecessarily big to tote around.

I'd be interested in finding a small hand shovel that won't break in rocky soil.

NoMoreOp4
01-23-2012, 03:59 PM
I have a small Sea To Summit Hand Trowel that works well. Its lightweight and the construction is strong. Has worked in rocky conditions well too. I found one online for under $10. Other places are more expensive.
http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/60

I use to carry a folding entrenching tool... Heavy duty tool but that thing was like a cinder block. After a while I had enough and went to the trowel.

The conclusion I have come to: I spend a lot more time carrying my pack than I do digging when I'm out in the woods. I'd rather work harder for the small percentage of time that I'm digging, than the entire time I'm out in the woods carrying a bigger entrenching tool.

I've tried to apply this to my outlook with all tools in the woods.... and its lead to much lighter packs, longer and more enjoyable trips.

Hubb
01-23-2012, 03:59 PM
I use my CS kukri machete to dig with.

Dux
01-23-2012, 04:04 PM
+1 for both the pointy stick n the CS shovel.

Am thinkin I'll try a garden trowel this year. Something along the lines of the Hori. Mostly diggin roots n rocks(flint) so it looks ideal for what I need it for.

Old Philosopher
01-23-2012, 04:09 PM
I've always used a G.I. E-tool (folding shovel). I'm not familiar with any of the modern improvements, because this shovel has always done what I asked of it.

The Ratcatcher
01-23-2012, 04:24 PM
Over the years, I've used several different digging tools, including the old pattern US e-tool, the Bundeswehr wooden handle folding pick/shovel, the current NATO tri-fold e-tool and the Glock e-tool.

On the balance of digging ability, weight and packing size I've settled on the Glock as the best compromise, and the ease of cleaning definitely tipped the balance, as the Glock is the only one of all of them that can be field stripped and cleaned if the hinge gets jammed. (The saw blade is designed to be used as a lever in the notches on the hinge knob and the screwdriver tip fits the hinge screw.)

The ability to dig without extending the handle fully, and the middle blade position between spade and pick make it very useful for working in confined spaces like snow shelters.

Alan

Quill
01-23-2012, 04:50 PM
I bought this Condor http://www.amazon.com/Condor-Tool-Knife-27-Inch-Shovel/dp/B001EBZRKM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_2

It is way to heavy. You can take the stubby handle off and put a full size handle to shovel gravel. It is heavy duty but more for carrying on an atv, even then a longer handle would be better.

Friartuck
01-23-2012, 06:08 PM
I figure that since I'm not digging elaborate fighting positions I don't really need a shovel therefore I don't often carry mine. I do have an antique shovel that pivots to form a sort of pick as well. I re-handled it works fine but the type of digging I generally do can be accomplished with a stick.

Old Philosopher
01-23-2012, 06:13 PM
Actually, I only carry my folding shovel in my vehicle. With the blade at right angles, it makes it real handy to gouge out a rain run-off ditch around my campsite. My general digging tool nowadays is my machete. All-in-one hole maker and root cutter. ;)

EdD270
01-23-2012, 08:51 PM
I carry a folding e-tool in my vehicles. My pack only has a little plastic trowel for digging cat holes, and that's only if I'm going out for several days. A little overnighter I carry no digging tool.

carnivor way
01-23-2012, 10:48 PM
my bushe tool is in my bike(http://www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46814 ), my pack is a trowel , my truck has full size tools.

CarbonEvergreens
01-23-2012, 11:47 PM
I have a surplus folding trench shovel. Its OD green and folds up to about 8" by 8". Super solid.

Nothing55
01-24-2012, 12:00 AM
Thx everyone!!!

Really love this group....it a no BS, friendly family here...
:)

Capt. Jeff
01-24-2012, 12:10 AM
what kind of tasks are you guys using your shovels for?

Nako
01-24-2012, 12:13 AM
IA Woodsman posted a couple YouTube videos on the Cold Steel Shovel you might want to watch.

The Versatile Cold Steel Shovel Part 1 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq8MtSbSq8w)

The Versatile Cold Steel Shovel Part 2 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knexRajLn90&feature=related)

csogbk
01-24-2012, 12:14 AM
Cold Steel Spetznas Shovel, good digger, emergency chopper and perfect for repeling hordes of Muj (oh wait, I'm home now :o) )

Niflreika
01-24-2012, 01:43 AM
WWII-eera GI e-tool.

I'm a bear. When I s**t in the woods, it's a BIG s**t. Byt he time I dig a hole with a trowel or pointy stick, it's too late. :56:

Ahnkochee
01-24-2012, 02:34 AM
How About the Marbles Firefighter Shovel? I've seen some positive reviews on YouTube, and not a bad price at $16.99 including the sheath.
http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/products/shovel/Marble%27s%C2%AE+Firefighter+Survival+Devil%27s+Ta il+Shovel/MA5015.html
http://www.smkw.com/large/knife/MA5015.jpg
Marbles Devil's Tail Shovel vs. Cold Steel Special Forces Spetsnaz Shovel - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4UEpElTcqE)

MiddleWolf
01-24-2012, 03:28 AM
I see many suggestions from shovels to trowels. One thing that might be worth looking at is a Lesch Tool. Just go to the metal detecting sites or sales sites. It's not cheap but most of us have never been able to bend or break one. I might just employ mine in the bush when not detecting as this thread has given me the idea.

Grizzly Adams
01-25-2012, 12:27 AM
My old favorite.
http://img.tapatalk.com/42afacf9-8ebe-4797.jpg
It was my fathers when he was a boyscout. He is 71 now, so you know this shovel has dug some dirt!

I found this one recently on a trip at a mom & pop surplus store. It's small, sturdy, & was $7! I should have bought several.
http://img.tapatalk.com/42afacf9-900a-6cd0.jpg
http://img.tapatalk.com/42afacf9-90a6-f86b.jpg
http://img.tapatalk.com/42afacf9-90ba-fecd.jpg

Sent using Tapatalk by a can & string

Jbass0760
01-25-2012, 03:27 AM
I have a usgi style e tool I picked up for $10. I use it for ground clearing, trenching, and as my toilet seat. Put it at 90degrees, one cheek on the shovel, enjoy the cool breeze. Like it better than squatting against a tree.

thriller100
01-25-2012, 06:00 AM
I've always used a G.I. E-tool (folding shovel). I'm not familiar with any of the modern improvements, because this shovel has always done what I asked of it.
I also carry a G.I. E-tool that i bought at a local army surplus for $18 way back when i was 16.I have put this thing to the test many a time in the past 15 years that i have had it,and who knows who did what with it before i got it(it was clearly very used).I've never had any problems....ive been looking into the CS shovel,but havent decided yet.If im not carring my E-tool i will do minor digging with my czech machette here...
http://i725.photobucket.com/albums/ww260/drooscek/bladeforums/IMG_20120114_155613.jpg
hmmmm i should make a "better" shovel:D

woodswatcher
01-25-2012, 11:11 AM
WWII-eera GI e-tool.

I'm a bear. When I s**t in the woods, it's a BIG s**t. Byt he time I dig a hole with a trowel or pointy stick, it's too late. :56:

No time for prairie dogging or to do the penguin shuffle.

Taliesin
01-25-2012, 12:58 PM
How About the Marbles Firefighter Shovel? I've seen some positive reviews on YouTube, and not a bad price at $16.99 including the sheath.
http://www.smkw.com/webapp/eCommerce/products/shovel/Marble%27s%C2%AE+Firefighter+Survival+Devil%27s+Ta il+Shovel/MA5015.html
http://www.smkw.com/large/knife/MA5015.jpg
Marbles Devil's Tail Shovel vs. Cold Steel Special Forces Spetsnaz Shovel - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4UEpElTcqE)

I carry one of these in my car. They might be a bit heavy to carry around strapped to a pack though. I'll say this though, as an improved sharp weapon, this just might be the ticket. It's got a lot of heft to it and it won't turn in your hand when you hit something with it like the CS Spetnez shovel will. So far I haven't seen anything it won't go through quickly either. The big knock for me is the weight. Mine also has a square hole in the middle of the head. I haven't a clue what it's for though. If I were to redesign it, I would probably narrow it up an inch or two on each side. That would cut the weigh some. It's a pretty wide head.

Moe M.
01-25-2012, 01:16 PM
Small folding Stainless steel pack shovel ( trowel ) I picked up at Walmart, it may be a Coleman, I paid about $5.00 bucks for it and it's worked great for the entire last season, but I don't dig fox holes and trenches, I use it for cat holes, clearing a fire ring, and moving hot coals around the cook fire (really handy for this).
It doesn't weigh much and it packs in a small belt sheath about a little bigger than a multi-tool sheath, if you need a bigger tool you ain't doing it right.

Infidel
01-25-2012, 01:52 PM
I use mine to dig, poke the fire, move coals for cooking ,hammer,chop,fire prep for fun,to throw for fun etc.
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j324/khavemann/Bushcraft/20111229_125622.jpg

Ahnkochee
01-25-2012, 02:38 PM
Mine also has a square hole in the middle of the head. I haven't a clue what it's for though. If I were to redesign it, I would probably narrow it up an inch or two on each side. That would cut the weigh some. It's a pretty wide head.

That hole is a wrench for turning on fire hydrants, and oxygen tanks for fire fighters.

Gii shi kan dug
01-25-2012, 03:24 PM
I carry a trappers trowel in the spring to dig ramps (wild leeks) while hunting morels. Very tough and I have a long handle I put on it just for this purpose. This way it can also be used as a walking stick. One less thing to carry.

8thsinner
01-25-2012, 03:50 PM
I don't often have the need for carrying anything larger than this...
http://1.2.3.11/bmi/image.dhgate.com/upload/spider/b/841/472/b_dp3ol6472841_1.jpg

I didn't pay much for it at all, less than a bottle of coke and it's dug a car out of a ditch and made toilet time easy. It might take a moment longer than using a cold steel shovel or usgi type but it gets the job done.

Unless your regularly digging a few feet into earth I don't see the need to carry anything bigger. especially the axe edge versions, Just carry a damn axe if you want/need to.

Although in saying that, if I was going to get a larger shovel for the car or something I would opt for this one...
Chinese Military Shovel WJQ-308 (HQ + Full length) - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b60OZhrTB6o)

MtnManJoe
01-25-2012, 04:09 PM
hmm .. Am I the only one who has a "Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade"?
OK - Just got it for Christmas, and haven't used it 'in the field' .. But it looks like it will be a good woods tool.
Granted, it is a little heavier than I would have liked .. But, I will be taking it 'out there' this year, and will hopefully be pleased with it :-)
http://www.heinnie.com/uploads/images_products_large/3931.jpg

thriller100
01-25-2012, 06:11 PM
that marbles shovel has really inspired me to make something ;D looks like its time to order a sheet of steel:D

NJWHN95
01-25-2012, 11:11 PM
hmm .. Am I the only one who has a "Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade"?


I use one of those, or at least a very similar one (i'm not sure if gerber makes more than one model). It has held up well for me, but like you said it is heavy.

Taliesin
01-26-2012, 07:56 PM
That hole is a wrench for turning on fire hydrants, and oxygen tanks for fire fighters.

That makes perfect sense! Thanks for clueing me in!

bearkat
03-19-2012, 02:52 PM
I have a glock etool and I have used the saw more than I have the shovel. Great pack shovel!

sdjsdj
03-19-2012, 04:30 PM
what kind of tasks are you guys using your shovels for?

Good question. I love my e-tool for fire related tasks, but outside of that, I find "limited use" that justifies my packing it around on a weekend type of outings.

Two Bears
03-19-2012, 05:15 PM
I don't usually carry a shovel in my pack but I do have for a lot years now a CS shovel and bought a small Gerber Gorge shovel. It is a good pack shovel if I ever need one, both are in my truck.

RDog
03-19-2012, 07:10 PM
Outside of the military I really have not used many e-tools that often. But, I for years kicked myself for not having one with my pack, and instead used an old sheffield machete to dig fire pits and use for fire wood...it did the job.

Finaly I picked up a glock e-tool and the cold steel shovel, but have not put either one to heavy use. The compactness of the glock (or GI style) has an edge over the CS model as well as the positionable head. But the CS design is certainly tougher, less to fail with it.

However both weigh more than a small hand trowel, which is all I mostly need.

Like anything its mission oriented, and personal preference...if its a short walk to where I plan on digging its the Glock. if I plan on digging and chopping its the cold steel. If I don't plan on digging but have a pack theres a trowel in there just in case.

Now just this spring someone turned me on to Predator tools, they have some pretty cool digging tools, not cheap, but if I wanted a bad @ss trowel (or shovel) I would look there.

Other things like the ZenBori soil knife come to mind as well if the real cheap plastic trowls don't cut it for you.

cjb029
03-19-2012, 07:40 PM
im not a huge fan of e-tools. I have 2 that i have gotten as gifts, both great quality. However they are so heavy and the only things they are good at digging you could accomplish almost just as well with a stick and your hands

Trekon86
03-19-2012, 07:49 PM
I have one of the Ginzo e tools that Growlingbear sent me (thanks, bro!) and I really like it. I put an edge on it, pointed it a bit, and made a scabbard for it. I take it on stick and tree-harvesting trips:)

PMZ

b yond
03-19-2012, 11:26 PM
depending upon what I'm doing and how much weight I'm willing to transport, I either use a coleman folding shovel or the pointy side of a SOG tomahawk.

I have yet to need to dig a very big hole in the woods. I haven't had to hide any corpses and I don't poop in abnormally large volumes.

TaigaTreader
03-19-2012, 11:58 PM
I have the Cold Steel SF shovel. The ergos are a little wonky but I'm learning it. It's one of those tools you can beat mercilessly without reserve. It's great for clearing scratch, processing wood up to an inch and a half thick, it's great for digging and hacking down spider webs, playing with the fire... It rarely comes on my trips but it's a capable multi-purpose tool. I think the steel type and heat treat are right where they need to be for that kind of tool.

the_finn
03-20-2012, 02:05 AM
+1 for both the pointy stick n the CS shovel.

Am thinkin I'll try a garden trowel this year. Something along the lines of the Hori. Mostly diggin roots n rocks(flint) so it looks ideal for what I need it for.

Would like to hear how that hori works out for you. Soil where I live is pretty packed and rocky in a lot of places, can make even digging a cat hole difficult. I'm carrying a plastic trowel now (was a buck and weighs nothing), but those hori's look pretty rugged for their size. Might be worth the weight.

WoodsJack
03-20-2012, 03:12 AM
hmm .. Am I the only one who has a "Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade"?

I've got one, too, which I prefer to my heavier, clunkier GI E-Tool which lives in the RV. But, more often, I'm carrying just a pack trowel, if anything special more devoted to digging.

I'm thinking about some version of those flat ended "machetes".

vahtryn
03-20-2012, 05:15 AM
I figured I'd test out the chinese shovel this weekend since I won one on ebay for 20 bucks shipped. Only took a month and half to get it since it came from china.

Plans are to dig a fire pit in the yard and chop down some saplings if they're needed for any other project over the weekend. I'll get some pictures and post a review.

the "axe" part of it came dull as hell, but nothing a file and a diamond sharpener couldn't fix up pretty fast. Does feel good in the hands because of the weight. Still have to figure out how I want to strap it to my bag and see if it will become something I always carry with me. That's it so far for the initial observations.

Canadian Woodsman
03-20-2012, 10:55 AM
Something I've been interested in but never tried is the Hori Hori knife from Lee Valley Tools. It's about 12" overall, dished blade, serrated on one side and sharpened on the other. Available in carbon steel or stainless for around $30. Does anyone have any experience with these?

http://www.leevalley.com/en/images/item/gardening/bl105s1.jpg

http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=10504&cat=2,51810&ap=1

Mattnu
03-20-2012, 11:07 AM
Something I've been interested in but never tried is the Hori Hori knife from Lee Valley Tools. It's about 12" overall, dished blade, serrated on one side and sharpened on the other. Available in carbon steel or stainless for around $30. Does anyone have any experience with these?

http://www.leevalley.com/en/images/item/gardening/bl105s1.jpg

http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=10504&cat=2,51810&ap=1

Had one I bought in Japan many, many years ago. I used it almost exclusively digging bermuda grass and their root systems from flower beds around my first house. Soil was generally rocky and packed. It worked very well in general, the serrations wore smooth in about two weeks though. The grip design is comfortable and the half round shape makes it pretty stiff for prying. To me it is only good for garden work since it is not much of a multi-tasker.

KajunKat
03-20-2012, 11:28 AM
found this site surfing around, primarily for treasure finding types but some good looking tools.
http://www.kellycodetectors.com/accessories/trowels.htm

Backcountry Patriot
05-26-2012, 03:13 AM
I never carry a shovel with me. I'm thinking about getting a Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel after I saw IAwoodsmans video though on it. It looks very versatile and it is inexpensive so it would be great to do mods on to suit your needs and interests. I can't remember the last time I needed to dig something though that I actually needed a shovel for though.

Redbusa06
05-26-2012, 03:53 AM
I just keep a good solid garden shovel in my pack for "deuce duty" lol.

rdec
05-26-2012, 04:39 AM
I carry a Glock E-tool in the truck. I made a MOLLE compatible carrier for it but have never actually carried it. The Glock has all the functionality of the GI E-tool but is lighter, has a more dished blade and includes a fairly decent saw.

Another shovel I carry in the truck is a French army alpine snow shovel with a detachable straight wood handle. These showed up on the surplus market a few years ago in the $10-15 range and is a fine snow shovel with enough beef to chop at packed snow/ice. If you are in snow country and can find one I recommend it.

A very light, easily packed snow shovel is the Snow Claw. I like this for clearing snow off the truck since the plastic edge won't scratch the paint but it also works well clearing campsites. You have to use this kneeling, however.

I've had a U-Dig-It trowel for years. It is part of a kit a made using the Sea to Summit Outhouse bag that holds a standard roll of paper, some book matches (I burn the paper), moist towelettes and a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

The ultralight version of the outhouse kit is in a tough plastic bag, with a roll of backpack paper, matches, towelettes and sanitizer with a Montbell trowel. This is a one piece stainless steel trowel that is simple, tough and not much heavier than a plastic one.

ineffableone
05-26-2012, 05:55 AM
I have tried folding shovels and honestly think they all suck. The act of making them fold just creates issues. Extra weight, potential for failure, etc...

The CS special forces or the Marbles Devil's tail shovel both have the right idea, no moving parts. Just keep it simple, and don't try to make one tool into 15 tools. Do you really need a bottle opener on your shovel?

The Crovel guy went through huge effort to make a beefier locking mechanism for the folding section of his crowbar/shovel/survival knife hybrid, yet I have already heard reviews where this system still loosens when in use like other folding shovels. Not to mention the Crovel is wicked expensive and heavy. Though is US made at least.

For me I have been debating getting the CS special forces shovel or the Marbles devil tail for awhile and so far have been the only camp shovels I would consider. So far a digging stick has done pretty well for me though. If I need more of a scoop, a chunk of bark scoops out the loose soil from using the digging stick. So I haven't gone for buying a shovel to camp with.

Pointer
05-26-2012, 10:01 AM
hmm .. Am I the only one who has a "Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade"?
OK - Just got it for Christmas, and haven't used it 'in the field' .. But it looks like it will be a good woods tool.
Granted, it is a little heavier than I would have liked .. But, I will be taking it 'out there' this year, and will hopefully be pleased with it :-)
http://www.heinnie.com/uploads/images_products_large/3931.jpg

No, I also carry one.

Thaddius Bickerton
05-26-2012, 12:03 PM
After breaking two of those little bitty one that fold up in the handle and such I went back to my old GI one with teh folding head.

Now I'm really wanting the east german one with a fixed wooden handle or the CS one.

I also have this small trowel that is supposed to have a hatchet on one side and a axe head on other and be a hammer and has a hollow handle with a compass. Real yuppy stuff that was gifted to me by a well meaning but essentially clueless sister.

It will dig a cat hole and I have decided to sharpen it up and try to break it so I can justify throwing it out and getting the CS one to replace it. It is a lot heavier than a basic towel and digs roots and such a dab better. But not the shovel i want.

I think the CS or such sharpened right would be good to use for a ton of stuff besides cat holes. (I saw the videos and it is pretty amazing.)

Thad.

wizard
05-26-2012, 12:58 PM
I keep a GI E-tool in the vehicle but when walking, backpacking, no shovel. I dig holes, if needed with a sturdy stick, Never had a problem burying the small pile.

I figure you can only carry so much "survival" stuff in the pack. The pack should not be so heavy you can't really carry it very far. I do carry a small snow shovel in winter, it is a necessity. I figure it like taking what I really need and not what if scenarios. If I could carry everything I wanted, I would go the Winnabego route.

mdauben
05-26-2012, 01:42 PM
That hole is a wrench for turning on fire hydrants, and oxygen tanks for fire fighters.

Modern fire hydrants have five sided valve heads. A square tool would not work with them. This is so people can't turn on fire hydrants with regular wrenches. Not sure what it could be used for on the SCBA tanks fire fighters use, either.

Of course, I'm not really sure what else it could be for.

ROCK6
05-27-2012, 12:32 AM
With the little down time Iíve had over here, Iíve been thinking about this. I do like packing a small trowel and for backpacking the simple Fiskars trowel is light and effective. However a metal trowel does help when working around fires such as moving coals for cooking, etc. Iíve been packing a long-handled titanium trowel and it works for the majority of tasks; the only downside is the soft metal of titanium. When digging around for worms and grubs to use as bait, any rocky or hard soil is too much for the titanium to handle and it will bends some. What I do like is the longer handle, very similar to the trapperís trowels.

Once I get home, my plan is to make a trowel head out of an older Cold Steel shovel I have. As much as I love the CS shovel (and I have a few), they are just too heavy for backpacking. Iím planning to cut a narrower ďtrowelĒ shaped blade. The beauty of this tool is that itís a one-piece, rolled handle. You can pack it without a handle and make one in camp; add a wood screw and itíll be more than secure. Using as a hand trowel is fine for digging cat holes, but having a two-foot extension really helps when working with coals around a campfire while cooking. I also figure you could add it to the top of your hiking stick (with a little modification) and itíll give you much longer reach and even serve as a pseudo spear head.

Just some thoughts and plans once I redeployÖ

ROCK6

rolandsilvajr
10-29-2012, 06:37 AM
Looking for a lightweight e-tool or shovel system for bushcraft/hunting/camping any help appreciated thanks

Sweeneyguy
10-29-2012, 06:43 AM
The cold steel shovel is pretty light and heavy duty. Better than the folding e-tool. You can save weight by taking the handle off and making your own in the woods.

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Steel-Special-Forces-Hardwood/dp/B00169V99K

GrandLarsony
10-29-2012, 07:06 AM
53515

I picked up one of these on the cheap for less than $15 - it's not lightweight, but it does it's job(s) well. Really good as a traditional shovel, prefect for fire \ cat holes \ site clearing \ trail maintenance. I don't carry my hatchet or axe very often, but I carry a take-down 22" buck saw to process most of my wood which I find to be way easier than chopping trees in half. The saw & shovel seem to be a better mix of tools for me.

It's large enough to use a two-handed-full-axe-swing, chopping down 4-5" trees if necessary. Slides down through a back pocket on a Medium Alice pack. Takes a pretty fine edge but the soft-ish steel dulls & rolls easily, which is my only complaint, although field sharpening is a breeze. It's 2.5 lbs and I think 24" long. The sheath on mine was stiff at first but after a cleaning & good soaking in leather conditioner it's really nice.

http://shop.vtarmynavy.com/czech-straight-shovel-wcover-p12648.aspx?utm_medium=cse&utm_source=googlebase&gclid=COKer_GVprMCFYKK4AodL0UAAg

My other (ultralight) shovel is the typical orange plastic trowel. It's great if that's all you need, totally minimal.

Sgt. Mac
10-29-2012, 07:14 AM
For a small shovel /trowel I carry a stainless steel U Dig it shovel

http://www.amazon.com/UST-U-Dig-It-Stainless-Folding-Shovel/dp/B000FXY86Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351512831&sr=8-1&keywords=u+dig+it+shovel

For larger tasks I'll use a Swiss Military Shovel or USGI E-Tool

rolandsilvajr
10-29-2012, 07:35 AM
anyone had any experience with the gerber folding spade http://www.gerbergear.com/Outdoor/Gear/Folding-Spade_30-000075 trying to keep weight down but still maintain usability

rolandsilvajr
10-29-2012, 07:40 AM
just found the gerber e-tool for $ 5.25 new here on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/150863202817?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

rolandsilvajr
10-29-2012, 07:42 AM
will check out the glocks look nice thx

IA Woodsman
10-29-2012, 08:30 AM
I use the Cold Steel shovel quite often.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq8MtSbSq8w



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knexRajLn90

brutane
10-29-2012, 08:32 AM
I'll throw in another vote for the Cold Steel shovel. If you want to make it lighter you can also take the handle off and fashion one from a branch once you set up camp.

ppine
10-29-2012, 10:37 AM
For backpacking I use the heel of a boot or a digging stick. For boat and truck trips a military shovel.

robsdak
10-29-2012, 09:28 PM
i would look around and find an older military fold up. the newer ones just aren't made like they used to be. i have broken two Gerbers and the Cold Steel just seems akward to use. i just got one from Bushwacker on a trade. it works great here in Florida.

Long John Tinfoil
10-29-2012, 09:39 PM
I have one of these from Lee Valley. http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=69668&cat=2,64944&ap=1 Works great when I have to move snow or dirt to get the pick-up free. I take a lightweight trowel when I'm in the bush. I've never had a need to use anything more unless I was doing trail maintenance.

LJT

EdD270
10-30-2012, 07:35 PM
Most of the time I use a plastic trowel I got from REI for about $4. Works fine and very light weight.
I do keep an old folding GI shovel, actually German mil. surp., in the truck.

tackshooter
10-31-2012, 08:40 AM
I have one of those cheap folding shovels that can be set to two different positions, It goes with me every time I go into the woods. One side has a saw edge, the other is sharpened so that I can use it to split wood and kindling easily. It seems to me to be a very valuable tool to have in the bush.

Prof
10-31-2012, 08:49 AM
I had a tri-fold shovel that was strapped on my ATV and it went to the woods on every trip for a year or two. The one time I used it, it bent and failed. I want to get one of the little Cold Steel shovels to replace it. They remind me of the shovels that WW I soldiers carried on their M 1910 haversacks for trenching.

TimBootz
10-31-2012, 08:50 AM
Yes! I think the shovel is "the unspoken off" bush tool. I carry a tri-fold GI shovel when 'camping'. I also have sharpened one side of the shovel blade so it can preform light chopping as well. I think it is just a good plan when having a fire. Use to be back in the day you were required to carry a shovel, axe and bucket when having a fire. I have a USMC molle shovel case that packs it real well. When not in the bush it lives in my truck year round.

In the winter time I carry a Volle snow shovel, but here in the mountains of the PNW it is pretty standard avalance kit. Plus it is need for digging out a tent platforms or snow cave for winter camping. We get alot of snow here, god olde Cascade Concrete. I have even used my snow shovel for breaking trail. It too lives in my truck from November to May.

Now when I go primative I carry a hickory digging stick that I have carved and fire hardened.

Bones01
10-31-2012, 08:55 AM
Except as a kid when I tried to carry everything I owned, I have not found any real need for a shovel. I did carry one in S.E. Asia long ago and filled about a gazillion sandbags and dug lots of holes.
I guess you need to ask yourself "What would I use it for?"

"Be Cheerful in All Endeavors"

Machine27
10-31-2012, 08:56 AM
I carry one of those folding trowels when metal detecting, but that's about it. I don't ever really need a shovel so I can't justify the weight.

45jack
10-31-2012, 09:28 AM
I don't carry one in the bush, but I do carry one in the truck...

FortyTwoBlades
10-31-2012, 09:34 AM
I carry a Zenbori Soil Knife. It's sort of a modernized rendition of a Japanese "hori hori." Stainless blade and injection molded orange handle. Great li'l digging tool for "just in case" digging and it's pretty light for what it is. For more serious digging around the homestead I have a Predator Tools "Big Red" diamond point shovel with serrations on one edge. It's all steel construction makes it bombproof. I've used it to uproot saplings and it slices through the side roots, hacks through the taproot, and levers the whole thing out of the ground. Didn't even need a digging bar. :D I also frequently use a Bully Tools rice shovel for non-extractive digging. Lots of lift to the blade, and the docked nose of the blade allows it to still chop roots if need be without sacrificing the load capacity of a traditional round point blade. Because the soil around the homestead is heavy clay I often have to dig in soppy muddy soil due to the poor drainage and the triad of holes in the blade prevent the mud creating a vacuum so it releases easily.

I've got a couple of portable backpacking designs I'd like to have Predator make me at some point, but George (the owner) has been too busy fulfilling NATO contracts to take on that sort of work right now.

I'm almost as big of a shovel nerd as I am a machete nerd. :D

Iz
10-31-2012, 09:56 AM
I carry a wwll entrenching tool.

Gii shi kan dug
10-31-2012, 10:08 AM
During Ramp season I will bring a trappers trowel attached to a 4 ft. handle to dig ramps with and it doubles as a walking stick.

NoMoreOp4
10-31-2012, 10:13 AM
When I was first getting started with camping and buscraft I used to carry an old off brand (I think gander mountain) folding shovel that was similar to the one you described. It was rediculously heavy for the random digging requirement I would need. Its no wonder that one day I woke up and realized my pack had pounds of extraneous crap in it. That was kind of my "Ah-Hah" lightbulb moment in regard to minimizing weight. I now carry a small Sea to Summit Pocket Trowel. I'd rather carry this 3 oz trowel and dig a few extra minutes than carry a few extra pounds the whole time on a trip for the 2 minutes I have to dig something. Unless you're digging fox holes for the apocalypse I think you'll be fine with a small trowel. My .02

anubis1335
10-31-2012, 10:16 AM
Had a usgi tri fold that i LOVED. It stayed in CO is what ive been told. After IA's vid on the CS special forces shovel ive really been wanting a replacement for the tri fold

WindWalker
10-31-2012, 10:21 AM
We always carry a short shovel strapped to the Mule, whenever we leave the homestead.
A digging stick leaves a lot to be desired when one high-centers.
Best Wishes

PineMartyn
10-31-2012, 10:49 AM
The only shovel I ever carry in the bush is a small snow shovel that breaks down into parts for portability. Naturally, it's what I use on winter camping trips, especially for igloo or quinzhee-building. I've never had any reason or need for any sort of shovel in the other 3 seasons - at least none that could justify the considerable weight of one of those shovels.

-Martin

Double Ott
10-31-2012, 10:59 AM
I carry a GI 3 position shovel in my vehicles and a Russian Mil surplus 3 position shovel on my 4 wheeler.

I picked up one of the ones offered by Sportsman G, it's OK but is NOT GI mil spec by any means. I keep it on my tractor.

Double Ott

Two Bears
10-31-2012, 11:12 AM
I don't carry a shovel backpacking but I have a Gerber Gorge in my truck and my wife's truck. There good tools, small & light enough to carry in a pack I just never find a use for a shovel in my pack.

TimBootz
10-31-2012, 11:12 AM
Except as a kid when I tried to carry everything I owned, I have not found any real need for a shovel. I did carry one in S.E. Asia long ago and filled about a gazillion sandbags and dug lots of holes.
I guess you need to ask yourself "What would I use it for?"

"Be Cheerful in All Endeavors"

Bones01 certainly brings up a good point. When I go backpacking I keep my kit light. However when I goout to 'play' (i.e. Bushcraft) in the woods and establish a camp I find a shovel useful for everything from digging a latreen and fire pit to digging up clay for primative pottery. Would I consider it for day trips or overnights no. Unless of course it is winter time which I carry a shovel all the time. In winter I am not carring an E-tool but a colapasable metal bladed shovel. I pay for the extra weight of the blade to get multi-function out of it. I use it as stove stand while I am melting snow for water.

Then again here in the PNW we tend to carry ice axes in the winter too....

vladimir
10-31-2012, 11:19 AM
I take a tri-fold for car and canoe camping and an ancient Boy Scout pack shovel when backpacking because it's lighter. Both are used for fire duty. When ultralight backpacking with a stove I carry a plastic cathole trowel. Snow shovel rides in the Jeep during winter.

Tanner68
10-31-2012, 11:28 AM
For car camping and offroading, I always carry a shovel or two. For backpacking or hiking, never. I can always improvise a digging stick for the rare occasion while backpacking.

And for the OP, what are you doing that makes it worthwhile to carry a shovel all the time?

Ned
10-31-2012, 11:44 AM
Shovels are too big and heavy for me. But I do carry a folding stainless steel trowel all the time (none of that plastic junk). I use it for pooping all the time. Sometimes I may use a big stick for digging as well, which is not something I need to pack in.

barnes3126
10-31-2012, 11:51 AM
I had the Army WWII entrenching tool, but like most guys with younger brothers, it came up missing. Almost bought another one but they seem a little too large. The Gerber is ok but not exactly what I was looking for. This one came from Academy and was less than $10.00. I took the pick part off and put lock tight on the two part handle. It is a good size for a cat hole, fire pit or grubbing a few roots from the sleeping area. I use it in the hoe configuration. http://i1060.photobucket.com/albums/t444/barnes3126/2012-10-31_11-35-38_329_zpsa13df712.jpg

Sargent
10-31-2012, 11:58 AM
I've carried several types of shovels over the years.

Here in So-Cal it is highly recommended that you have one in fire season.

I've been using a Glock shovel for a long time and the Coldsteel shovel is normally in the car.

Mainly, folks around here don't maintain the fire pits in designated spots. I have to clean the pit every time I roll into camp.

gobblegobble
10-31-2012, 12:01 PM
I took a folding metal shovel on my first backpacking trip (about a week in the South/North Carolina mountains); NEVER AGAIN! Way too heavy for backpacking, and a $1 gardening trowel will allow you to dig the necessary holes when nature calls. But, that's just backpacking; I suppose if you were going to hike in, set up camp, and stay for a while, it might be a useful tool to have. But my shovel now lives in the vehicle emergency kit.....

MtnManJoe
10-31-2012, 12:09 PM
I have a Gerber NATO tri-folding shovel, that my wife paid almost $50 for as a Christmas present for me ..

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT9rRxKy69kKI_l8dzn0wE81HAtd2nhh s6HgTl53ZPCp77yOdUb

It is an awesome Tool .. But, It is relatively Heavy, and for no more often than it is used, I find it hard to justify carrying it in The Bush.

What I Do Carry, tho, is a small "plastic?" garden spade, that I paid 50 cents for at a yard sale - similar to this:

http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/013828/013828710112lg.jpg

It weighs next to nothing, and is definitely a step up from a digging stick .. heh!
I actually use it quite often.

"If" I were going to be doing a lot of digging, I would definitely carry the Gerber .. But for typical outings, the small spade works just fine.

tackshooter
10-31-2012, 12:17 PM
Thats Very similar to mine barnes3126! except my saw teeth are way more aggressive and it has a hickory handle.

steve_t
10-31-2012, 12:55 PM
Yes, sometimes carry, but mainly in winter for snow shelters - saves time :-)

Pablo
10-31-2012, 01:06 PM
Only in the winter. I can't justify the weight for summer camping (very few things I'd use it for other than cleaning up firepits). In snowy regions though, a good aluminum backpacking shovel is essential for shelterbuilding.

rdec
10-31-2012, 01:13 PM
I have a Glock spade and a French alpine snow shovel in the truck. The snow shovel is used frequently during the winter.

In the pack is a Snow Claw in the winter. A Montbell trowel serves for catholes and such. I have the larger U-Dig-It trowel in the BOB.

riverjoe
10-31-2012, 02:40 PM
Always carry a modern type GI entrenching tool . Much of my activity centers around gathering wild edibles and roots are difficult enough with a shovel .
In the winter I believe it is a necessity because the most effective shelter is one that you dig into a bank .

ineffableone
10-31-2012, 03:17 PM
I personally dislike the folding shovels, they are way heavier than they need to be, and tend to have issues with not functioning all that well due to the folding section lock loosening often. It seems to be a fatal flaw in all the folding shovel designs. Either the lock works well but is insanely heavy, the lock is a bit lighter but doesn't work well, or it is heavy and still doesn't work. Plus I dislike the tendency for makers to put a bunch of useless "functions" on a shovel. Most of the saws on shovels suck and aren't worth it to even try to use. Some makers put stupid stuff like bottle openers on their shovels, really you need to open you bottle with a shovel? They multi tool shovels tend to be a lot of hype with little practical use. It is much better to have a shovel that is made with the idea of being a shovel not a bunch of things.

I usually leave my folding shovel (given to me as a present from a friend) behind and just take a small garden trowel with me into the woods.

I eventually want to pick up one of the Cold Steel shovels, or the Marbles Devil's tail Shovel. My not being able to decide which one I want is half the reason I haven't gotten one yet. Both of these have the right idea in they made them with no moving parts, and didn't try to pack a ton of extras into it. They are primarily shovels, with a sharp edge, that can be used axe like if needed but also is just good for a shovel to cut through roots when digging. These shovels are primarily shovels, shortened down to be light and compact but you keep the basic functions the shovel is intended for without a bunch of extra crap.

The other half of why I haven't gotten a camp shovel, more often than not if I need to do serious digging I just use a digging stick. It is actually pretty amazing how effective a stick can be for digging a hole when you need it. Add in a trowel, or hunk of bark to scoop out the loosened earth and you can do quite a bit with out the extra weight, money, and trouble of carrying a shovel.

That said I will likely get one of the two mentioned shovels eventually. Though if it will end up being carried out into the woods with me, or if I will opt for keeping it in my vehicle and just use a digging stick is another story.

There is a good article on shovels at survival gear guide (http://www.survival-gear-guide.com/camping-shovels.html) well worth checking out.

Seeker
10-31-2012, 03:51 PM
Folding GI e-tool, only when canoe camping with no portages, or car camping.

k_howes
10-31-2012, 04:30 PM
I always have my E-tool attached to my ALICE pack. I agree with some that it can be a little heavy but itís a tradeoff for the reliability of the GI shovels.

I heard some say they seem a little flimsy but I never had any problem digging 2 or 3 man fighting holes with it when I was in the Marines. Itís served me well.

Ranger
10-31-2012, 05:27 PM
I often have a small folding trowel in my pack, but I carry a GI folding shovel in my truck.

DeseretPatriot
10-31-2012, 05:31 PM
I take one with me car camping just because it makes campfire cooking so much easier, what with moving coals and retrieving food in the coal and such. never though about taking one backpacking though.

camacho73
10-31-2012, 07:33 PM
I carry a Gerber tri-fold shovel (Military Style) with me on trips that are more then a day long. If you are looking to shed some weight then a Pocket Trowel would work just fine if you are only going to use it to dig cat holes. There are many things that you can do with the shovel besides just digging holes. If you decided to go with the tri-fold shovel then you should do some modes to it to make it veritile like sharpeing on of the edges and so on..

I believe that I saw that Terry has a video on some modes on a cold steel shovel. Good Stuff. I am going to be doing some of that to the one that I have soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq8MtSbSq8w&list=UUnHwxnLdWlkpvCrfwGoPZ9Q&index=26&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knexRajLn90&feature=relmfu

WoodsJack
10-31-2012, 08:07 PM
Rarely. Has to be a special purpose, like clamming or if I have a certain structure/fire pit in mind. I also have one o' those little folding hand trowels, too, mostly for chasing bait worms.

Most everything else can be done fine with diggin' sticks.

chaindrivecharlie
10-31-2012, 08:08 PM
Small plastic garden trowl here too, foilding shovel in vehicle.

waxerone
10-31-2012, 08:09 PM
i carry a woodsman friend...it is short and stout, acts a an axe, a macheti, a saw, shovel, and cuts through the entire carcuss of a hanging visual of dinner to be....fits in or outside the pack...hangs off your belt....and has many other uses....a very smart tool that takes the place of many!

Prairiewolf
10-31-2012, 08:11 PM
I have a few tri-fold shovels - a GI (heavy!) one and a cheapo copy of the GI, and a modern Gerber tri-fold. As others have said, these suckers are heavy and I really don't take them out much. I have a Cold Steel shovel that hangs in my garage as a lawn & garden tool. It gets used a LOT with yardwork. One of the best tools that CS has ever come up with IMO. But if I know that serious digging may be necessary, I'll be packing my 1943 GI e-tool. It is the greatest design ever for making holes in the ground in my book. As a camp tool, my shovels probably get the most use for campfire matters (ground prep, moving coals around, putting fire out). As a canoe/kayak paddler, I have also found the plastic trowels handy for shoreside sanitation needs.

rdec
10-31-2012, 08:14 PM
One thing about sharp shovels:

A good shovel is essentially a scoop, a scoop is dished. Dished blades when used for chopping are prone to glancing blows and glancing blows are prone to hit shins and ankles. This is particularly true if you are tired. A shovel with a flat blade is better as an improvised chopper but not so good as a shovel.

I bevel edge my shovels, but only to the point where they are easier to dig with. The Glock spade I carry in the truck is an excellent shovel because of its deeply dished design and its beveled edges. I still carry a scar in my ankle from a misplaced axe - trust me, it was most inconvenient.

If I want to chop I use either a large knife or an axe. If you must use a shovel as a chopper be very careful especially if you are tired.

FortyTwoBlades
10-31-2012, 08:14 PM
Here are a couple of pics (not mine) of the Zenbori Soil Knife I like to carry. They're super affordable, too!

http://www.dknugget.com/img-zobor-knife2.jpghttp://cdn.greenhousecatalog.com/images/popup/zenbori-knife-500.jpg

ineffableone
10-31-2012, 08:35 PM
Here are a couple of pics (not mine) of the Zenbori Soil Knife I like to carry. They're super affordable, too!

http://www.dknugget.com/img-zobor-knife2.jpghttp://cdn.greenhousecatalog.com/images/popup/zenbori-knife-500.jpg

I love those, I used to use one almost every day when landscaping in AZ. Amazingly handy tools. I have considered getting one for camping use, just haven't done it yet.

FortyTwoBlades
10-31-2012, 08:56 PM
Knocks the stuffing out of both the plastic and folding steel trowels if you ask me. You can move a surprising amount of soil with those li'l suckers!

BradGad
11-01-2012, 09:17 AM
My dad has a terrific little shovel, about an 4" x 6" blade, 6" hickory handle. When we've gone out together, it ends up being one of the most useful piece of gear in the camp. I keep thinking I want to get a shovel, but every time I see one that I might get, I think no, it's not quite as good as the one dad has... I want one like that.

It's the very *best* tool for working with a cooking fire over a protracted period.

Sidewinder8010
11-01-2012, 10:10 AM
In the past I carried a German Military folding shovel with the nice wood handle. It was great, but rattled a lot and was kind of bulky. It now sits in my car ready to dig out if needs be. I now have a Gerber E-Tool strapped to the side of my backpack in the grey plastic/rubber case that you can buy with it. I really like it. It is smaller, quieter and more of a "shovel" because of the scoop. They weigh about the same.

Folding shovels are great, when you need them. You can build pits, latrines, dig out fire holes; the list is endless. It is much faster than a digging stick. You never know when you will need it. Plus Gerber has an excellent warranty process. Fast and total replacement. I did a full review of Folding shovels in the wilderness on my blog if you are interested. I don't feel like reposting the whole thing. It is on my profile page.

Code Red
11-01-2012, 10:45 AM
I keep a GI folding shovel in the Jeep. I usually take it, but if I am trying to cover ground, then I use a folding steel trowel.

There are definitely 2 grades of quality on the tri-fold designs. The GI ones are heavy, but take an amazing amount of abuse. Most of the real digging is done with it folded in the "hoe" configuration. The imitation ones break instantly in this configuration, but don't weigh any less.

I purchased a cold steel one, but haven't used it. I haven't weighed them, but it just doesn't seem that much lighter than the GI one. And it doesn't fold up or reconfigure as a hoe, chair, potholder, or frying pan. I loved IA's video on it, but once I got it in my hand, the slight weight savings didn't inspire me to change from what I am used to.

I find I use it regularly. I could definitely get by without it, but its convenieant and reassuring to have it. After spending some quality time in the USMC living in holes, I am comfortable that I can make a substantial shelter with nothing but that tool. fire pits, sleeping platforms, trenches, swales, etc ... Dirt is a great raw material.

They are heavy, but (blasphemy alert!) so are axes (which don't fold), and on the occaisions that I have had both, I used the e-tool every time and rarely used the axe.

gunner65
11-01-2012, 10:53 AM
A good steel shovel with a good patina makes a nice improvised frying pan. Just don't cook on a paint coated shovel.

Dragon63005
11-01-2012, 10:54 AM
I carry one, especially during deer season to cover up the previous nights' food when I need to get rid of it. Helps keep the smell down. You asked....

Ned
11-01-2012, 11:17 AM
Here are a couple of pics (not mine) of the Zenbori Soil Knife I like to carry. They're super affordable, too!

http://www.dknugget.com/img-zobor-knife2.jpghttp://cdn.greenhousecatalog.com/images/popup/zenbori-knife-500.jpg

I wonder how such a tool would compare in digging to the U-Dig-It, which is a tool I use and love...
http://www.rei.com/media/nn/ac12a71d-4485-40e3-a1a7-728d97f92230.jpg
(Picture off REI, not mine)

Without a doubt the steel build is a necessity for getting through hard dirt. I've tried those plastic camping and garden trowels and found them to be utterly useless. Some people in some climates might be able to use them, but they're not for somebody who travels through a lot of climates. The U-Dig-It has been my cathole digger for decades, and can dig a little poop hole just about anywhere. There are times though when I wish I had something a little sharper for really tough ground. I wonder if the sharp edge of a "soil knife" or the dished scoop of a metal trowel would be more advantageous?

AnthonySmithXR
11-01-2012, 11:49 AM
I usually carry A usgi etool because its an ax, a seat, a toilet, a hoe . . . oh and a shovel. Not bad for 3lbs IMO.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

FortyTwoBlades
11-01-2012, 12:36 PM
I wonder how such a tool would compare in digging to the U-Dig-It, which is a tool I use and love...

Without a doubt the steel build is a necessity for getting through hard dirt. I've tried those plastic camping and garden trowels and found them to be utterly useless. Some people in some climates might be able to use them, but they're not for somebody who travels through a lot of climates. The U-Dig-It has been my cathole digger for decades, and can dig a little poop hole just about anywhere. There are times though when I wish I had something a little sharper for really tough ground. I wonder if the sharp edge of a "soil knife" or the dished scoop of a metal trowel would be more advantageous?

I like the Zenbori a lot more than the U-Dig-It, personally. The completely rigid design means you can really lever on it to bust out soil and the "sharp" edge (shovel sharp--not knife sharp since that dulls down almost instantly) allows you to "saw" a big circle to start the hole and then lever large chunks out. It may have a smaller blade but how aggressive you're able to be with a fixed design makes a big difference. Another tool to consider that's a bit more expensive but USA-made and rock solid are the Predator Tools "Model 85 Digging Tool" and the "Raptor."

http://predatortools.com/images/shovels/lrg/85E.jpg

http://predatortools.com/images/shovels/lrg/31C.jpg

Not inexpensive, but amongst the best money can buy.

Ned
11-01-2012, 12:50 PM
Thanks 42! That's kinda what I figured... I can totally relate to the need for aggressive leverage, and that was the one place I found still lacking in my U-Dig-It... although in comparison to other compact trowels I found that was the place it held an advantage (compared to say the cheap plastic garden/camping trowels). I like the look of the Zenbori as well as the Predator Raptor... I'll have to look them up. Hanging around here with you guys shows me that I don't shop around enough, lol.

gobblegobble
11-01-2012, 01:04 PM
I do carry a folding stainless steel trowel all the time (none of that plastic junk). I use it for pooping all the time.

Awesome...

FortyTwoBlades
11-01-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks 42! That's kinda what I figured... I can totally relate to the need for aggressive leverage, and that was the one place I found still lacking in my U-Dig-It... although in comparison to other compact trowels I found that was the place it held an advantage (compared to say the cheap plastic garden/camping trowels). I like the look of the Zenbori as well as the Predator Raptor... I'll have to look them up. Hanging around here with you guys shows me that I don't shop around enough, lol.

Yeah plastic is garbage for a digging tool. Let the ounce shavers have it. The Zenbori doesn't weigh a whole lot and it works magnitudes better. And predator kicks butt. I love their stuff, even if it costs ya'.

borego
11-01-2012, 01:41 PM
Dig dig

FortyTwoBlades
11-01-2012, 01:45 PM
Dig dig

Dig dug. :D

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/95/Dig_Dug_Flyer.png

GoodOlBoy
11-01-2012, 01:53 PM
Depends on the camp I am making. If it is a longer term camp (week+) then yes I tend to carry a M1943 entrenching tool.

GoodOlBoy

Sgt. Mac
11-01-2012, 06:20 PM
Merged

clc79092
11-01-2012, 08:21 PM
I have a WW1 Swiss shovel that does not fold that is lighter than my WW2 Gi E tool. I have use the Swiss one for light chopping also. If the weight is the major concern I take the Swiss non folding (similar to the Cold Steel shovel) but I prefer the folding head of the USGI E tool. I also have a folding german one with pick and shovel head but even though the locking mechanism is cool I find the handle to be a few inches too short and the weight to be more the USGI. Just not worth carrying.

akabu
11-01-2012, 10:27 PM
A Digging Shovel has to have Sharp Edge not razor sharp but a Root cutting tool that is Why the Plastic tools fail and I have one from REI for years and it has been just set up for shore fishing in sand and I take my Winter WWII E-tool for the heavy work in the car and My CS is a ride along 24/7 year along.
For my Pack is a small U-Dig not a China Copy, Stout and compact and I sharpen the edges.
If you can hit the Garden shops at HD Lowes or others a Garden Trowel Works Great and Strong but not as Compact [the Narrower Longer Blade digs Deeper.]

FortyTwoBlades
11-02-2012, 06:08 AM
A Digging Shovel has to have Sharp Edge not razor sharp but a Root cutting tool that is Why the Plastic tools fail and I have one from REI for years and it has been just set up for shore fishing in sand and I take my Winter WWII E-tool for the heavy work in the car and My CS is a ride along 24/7 year along.
For my Pack is a small U-Dig not a China Copy, Stout and compact and I sharpen the edges.
If you can hit the Garden shops at HD Lowes or others a Garden Trowel Works Great and Strong but not as Compact [the Narrower Longer Blade digs Deeper.]

Not just that, but plastic flexes, which results in energy loss. But yes--the apex of the edge on a shovel should be 1mm or less depending on soil type.