Best Backpacking Shovel

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Finding the Best Backpacking Shovel of 2020

Whether you’re going backpacking, searching for ginseng, or training for the military, you’ll need to equip yourself with a good shovel. You’ll find that the best backpacking shovel can provide you with immense benefits and serve many purposes. It can help extinguish a fire, bury waste, start a fire, create a trench around your tent, and so much more. Just remember that not all tactical shovels are equal. Therefore, you’ll want to choose the best one for your individualistic needs and preferences. Within this guide, you’re going to discover tips and reviews so you can choose the right tactical shovel for your unique needs.

Looking for a lightweight backpack? Check out our in-depth guide on the best minimalist backpacks of 2020.

An Informative Buying Guide for Finding the Best Backpacking Shovel

When attempting to find the best backpacking shovel, you’ll need to consider a handful of factors. For instance, you have to think about the shovel’s size, longevity, and portability. Below, you’ll find more information about each of these factors.

What This Shovel Can Be Used For?

It is vital to understand that some shovels are better for certain activities than others. Before making your decision, you’ll want to find out what your primary activities are. Will you shoveling dirt, snow, rocks, or other materials? Then, you’ll want to find the shovel that works best in that situation. A survival shovel is a good option since it is versatile and capable of satisfying in many scenarios. Either way, you’ll want to choose the best backpacking  shovel that meets your needs.

Portability

Remember that you’re going to be walking deep into the woods to reach your campsite. This means you’ll have to haul your items with you. It is best to minimize and keep everything small. Make sure that you choose a good tactical shovel that can be transported easily. If the shovel folds, that will make a world of difference too. If the shovel is too big and heavy, it’ll prove to be cumbersome and you’ll likely leave it at home more often than not.

Size

When seeking out the best backpacking shovel, you’ll want to consider its size. If you’re going to be buying a full-size shovel, you’ll likely have trouble transporting it from one location to another. It might give you extra leverage but it is not suitable for camping. Again, choosing a shovel that can be folded will prove to be very advantageous. Find a shovel that offers sufficient leverage without being too heavy or bulky.

Durability

At the end of the day, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve spent your money wisely. Whether you’re buying a military shovel or a camping shovel, you’ll want to choose one that is going to last a lifetime. Can you imagine being stuck out in the woods without a shovel? That is a scary situation and you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. Choose a shovel that can withstand all abuse and you’ll have made the right decision.

Purpose

Again, it is important to understand that some shovels are designed with specific purposes in mind. You’ll want to know what the purpose is before making your decision. If the shovel is best for laying concrete, it won’t do any good out there in the woods. You need a shovel that can solve your problems out there. If you need to dig a hole, you’ll want a shovel that has a sharp end so it can penetrate the ground without any issues. Think about the situations you’re going to face.

Then, you’ll be able to find a shovel that suits your needs.

Additional Uses

Finally, you should think about the shovel’s versatility. Most shovels are good for digging but some go beyond this limitation. For instance, some are equipped with an extra sharp tip allowing them to be used for cutting. Can the shovel be used for gardening or building a sandcastle with your kids? You’re not going to be spending the rest of life in the woods. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that the shovel is suitable for real-world applications too.

Our Expert Reccomendations for the Best Backpacking Shovel of 2020

Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel w/Pick - Heavy Duty Carbon Steel Military Style Entrenching Tool for Off Road, Camping, Gardening, Beach, Digging Dirt, Sand, Mud & Snow - Guaranteed for Life!
  • SUPPORT A SMALL FAMILY CO. - Buy From a Father/Son Business in California & Receive a Lifetime Warranty!
  • MILITARY STYLE E-TOOL - 2lbs of Powder Coated Carbon Steel, Tough Pickax & Sharp Rugged Saw Teeth
  • COMPACT & PORTABLE - Full 23" Long Extended but only 9" x 6" when Folded into FREE Carry Case

The Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel is an expensive shovel to the problems you’re going to be facing. Since it folds, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll have no trouble hauling the shovel from one location to the next. The shovel comes with a carry bag making transportation easier than ever before. It’ll also be safer since you won’t have to worry about the sharp edge making contact with skin. Ultimately, this shovel can be used for many purposes and you’ll receive a pickaxe making this one of the best investments for campers.

Key Feature #1: Versatility

The best thing about this package is the versatility. The shovel features a rugged saw tooth side ensuring it’ll work exceptionally well for wood cutting. You’ll also receive a durable pickaxe so nothing is going to stand in your way. Ultimately, the combination can be used for almost anything including camping, off-road adventures, gardening, digging dirt, and so much more.

Key Feature #2: Manufacturer Guarantee

Above all else, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected to the fullest. Thankfully, this shovel is covered by a money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you need to contact the company. Regardless of the reason, you can rest assured knowing the company will refund your money.

Pros of the Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

Inexpensive solution
Can be used for multiple purposes including digging dirt, off-road adventures, or gardening
Comes with a pickaxe too
Folds for easy storage

Cons of the Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

The shovel is made in China and uses poor material
Long term durability is questionable

Overall Assessment of the Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

Despite this shovel being made in China, it is still one of the best backpacking shovels on the market. It works exceptionally well for the intended purpose and you can use it anywhere you go. Its affordable price making it one of the best investments you could make.
Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel

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IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel

iunio Folding Shovel 17 inch Length Portable with Pickax Carrying Bag Multitool Spade for Camping Entrenching Car Emergency (Compact)
  • Portable Folding Shovel (17 inch Length) - It is designed and produced according to self-driving experiences of many experienced outdoor sports lovers and any kind of outdoor enthusiasts: Off-roading, 4-Wheeling, SUVing, Backpacking, Expeditionists, Tent Camping, Pop-up Camping, RV Camping, Cadets, Hikers, Hunters, Fisherman, Gardeners, Gold Digger, Motorcyclists. This folding shovel is assembled practicability, functionality and security in it.
  • Versatile - Features a regular shovel doesn't even have, all in this convenient folding shovel: Shovel Board, Saw, Bottle Opener, Nail Extractor, Hoe, Emergency Whistle, Compass.
  • Multifunctional - Ideal for camping, hiking, backpacking, self-defense, backpacking, fishing, hunting, gardening outdoor activities. Also great for anyone to use, gardeners, survivalists, hunters, hikers, campers. This Folding Shovel is also an ideal entrenchment tool for Field Survivalists, Disaster Recovery Staff, Truck driver.

If you’re looking for an affordable solution to your problems, you should look no further than the IUNIO Military Shovel and Pickax. This combination will prove to be very helpful out there in the woods, on the beach, or in the snow. Simultaneously, you’ll be thrilled to know that you’ll be able to customize the length of the shovel. Whether you’re looking for something long or short, this shovel has you covered. And, you won’t have to spend much to find it.

Key Feature #1: Varying Lengths

Depending on your activity, you may need a shorter shovel. In other situations, a longer one may serve you better. The good news is that IUNIO provides plenty of options. You can choose from various sizes ranging from 17 inches to 35 inches. With that being said, you’ll want to consider buying several shovels in different sizes.

Key Feature #2: Shovel Versatility

Ultimately, the shovel may be the most versatile shovel on the planet. It can be used for an abundance of purposes and that puts it heads and shoulders above the competition. It features a saw on the side. Simultaneously, it can be used as a bottle opener, hoe, emergency whistle, compass, and nail extractor. If you find yourself in a risky situation, there is a good chance you’ll find yourself using this shovel. It offers innumerable uses making it one of the most versatile shovels out there.

Pros of the IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel

Even cheaper than the competition
Can be used to extract nails, call for help, and open bottles
Available in numerous sizes
Very durable so it’ll last a lifetime

Cons of the IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel

Twisting can lead to unscrewing

Overall Assessment of the IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel

The IUNIO Military Shovel is solid, durable, and durable. It could be the best backpacking shovel out there. Make sure you choose a size that serves you best.
IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel

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SOG Folding Shovel

Sale
SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel - Entrenching Tool 18.25 Inch Foldable Shovel Camping Shovel w/ Wood Saw Edge and Tactical Shovel Carry Case (F08-N)
  • BARELY BIGGER THAN YOUR HAND: That's the size of the Entrenching Tool when folded; this camp shovel, snow shovel, sand shovel or gardening shovel works as a small shovel for big jobs
  • 18.25 INCH FULL LENGTH, 24.5 OUNCES: Foldable military shovel and hunting shovel w/ a wood saw edge and a rotating spade shovel blade to use as a pick or hoe; versatile E tool w/ strong shovel handle
  • 3-WAY FOLDING DESIGN: Hand shovel collapses into a portable outdoor shovel, emergency shovel and hiking shovel; a compact E tool for your camping gear that's not as bulky as other shovels for digging

The SOG Folding Shovel will prove to be a good investment for many. While it is designed to be an entrenching tool, it can be used for many other purposes. You’ll likely find yourself reaching for this shovel frequently. And, you should know that it is going to work exceptionally well in various terrains. It will work great for snow, sand, dirt, and even gravel. It is the only tool you’ll receive but it may be the only one you’ll ever need.

Key Feature #1: Folding Design

You’ll want to make sure that you can easily transport your shovel into the woods. With the SOG Shovel, you’ll be able to do that. This one features a 3-way folding design. You can make it very compact before sticking it in the carry bag. You can also configure the shovel and use it in various ways. For instance, you can attach the handle to the scoop and use the shovel like a knife. The possibilities are endless.

Key Feature #2: Long-Lasting

You’re also going to appreciate the shovel’s durability. The handle is constructed of carbon steel so you won’t have to worry about it breaking. The head is made of tempered steel so you know it is very durable. This combination ensures that your shovel is going to last a lifetime. Even if you’re rough on your tools, there is a good chance that this shovel will remain operational after many, many years.

Pros of the SOG Folding Shovel

Designed in the United States
One of the most compact shovels on the market
Can be used in many situations
Very durable

Cons of the SOG Folding Shovel

Might be a bit small in some situations

Overall Assessment

The SOG Shovel is great for many applications. Since it is incredibly cheap, it will prove to be a good option for many consumers.
SOG Folding Shovel

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IUNIO Military Folding Shovel

iunio Folding Shovel 31 inch Length Portable with Pickax Carrying Bag Multitool Spade for Camping Entrenching Car Emergency (Standard Black)
  • Portable Folding Shovel (31 inch Length) - It is designed and produced according to self-driving experiences of many experienced outdoor sports lovers and any kind of outdoor enthusiasts: Off-roading, 4-Wheeling, SUVing, Backpacking, Expeditionists, Tent Camping, Pop-up Camping, RV Camping, Cadets, Scouts, Hikers, Hunters, Fisherman, Gardeners, Gold Digger, Motorcyclists. This folding shovel is assembled practicability, functionality and security in it.
  • Extension Bars - Features a regular shovel doesn't even have, all in this convenient folding shovel: Shovel Board, Saw, Bottle Opener, Nail Extractor, Hoe, Fish Scaler Tool, Emergency Whistle, Fire Bar, Hammer. Extension Bar included: Except being an ordinary folding shovel, you can extend this shovel to a comfortable size for standing up digging. You can choose the length of shovel by adding less or more extensions according to your height.
  • Multifunctional - Ideal for camping, hiking, snow, self-defense, backpacking, fishing, hunting, gardening outdoor activities. Also great for anyone to use, gardeners, survivalists, hunters, hikers, campers. This Folding Shovel is also an ideal entrenchment tool for Field Survivalists, Disaster Recovery Staff, Truck driver.

There is nothing more terrifying than being in the woods without the proper survival gear. One particular piece of equipment that comes to mind is a tactical shovel. A single tactical shovel with the necessities will help you survive in the wilderness for weeks. Plus, it will not weigh you down during your travels. The IUNIO Military Shovel is all you need to build fires, chop wood, filet fish, bust up rocks, and call for help. All of the necessities combined into a single tactical shove. What else could you possibly ask for?

Key Feature #1: Full Control And Handling

When you are digging trenches and sawing wood for fires, there will be little time to keep your hands dry. To ensure full control and handling when performing the much-needed outdoor survival tasks, the IUNIO Shovel is designed with a rubberized handle. The handle prevents slippage and provides an enormous grip even when your hands are soiled and damp with sweat.

Key Feature #2: Foldable Design

No hiker could travel through the woods safely with a traditional long-handle shovel even if it is a tool of survival. To keep your journeys smooth and safe, the IUNIO designed its tactical shovel to fold into a compact size. When the shovel is folded down, it will fit perfectly into your backpack. When fully assembled, it will allow you to perform all of the necessary tasks comfortably and safely.

Pros of the IUNIO Military Folding Shovel

Foldable, compact design
Includes a saw, storage sack, pickaxe, shovel, bottle opener, fish knife, and an emergency whistle
Suitable for hammering, digging, building fires, filleting fish, and popping open bottles

Cons of the IUNIO Military Folding Shovel

Storage case is too small

Overall Assessment of the IUNIO Military Folding Shovel

Ultimately, the IUNIO Military Folding Shovel will make a great investment for many. It is great for various applications and will prove to serve you well for many years to come.
UNIO Military Folding Shovel

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Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel

Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel Multitool - Lightweight and Compact Folding Tool for EDC in Vehicle or Emergency - Essential for Camper, Survivalist, Prepper, Hiker, RV Owner, Backpacker and Offroader
  • ALL-IN-ONE SURVIVAL TOOL SET: This shovel functions as a saw, trenching tool, trowel, screwdriver & more. Features built-in compass, flint fire starter, wrench, rescue whistle & other survival functions.
  • Versatility: The Mega comes with unique instant switch feature, just pull the ring to switch modes instantly so you will be prepared for any situation!
  • 🎒ULTRALIGHT, EASY TO PACK: Measures 97cm (38.189 inches) long from tip to handle when fully assembled. Adjustable shovel head is 15cm (5.9 inches) wide - perfect size for a tactical survival tool.

In need of a high-quality tactical shovel? If so, look no further than the Sharvol brand. The company features one of the best and most beneficial tactical shovels on the market. It comes with everything you need to start surviving in the wilderness right out of the box. The features of the Sharvol Camping Shovel are listed below.

Key Feature #1: Rescue Whistle

Who can say they own a tactical shovel with a rescue whistle. You will be able to if only you invest in the Sharvol brand. The shovel features a high-quality, rescue whistle. And, don’t worry because it doesn’t involve extra baggage. The whistle is embedded into the shovel to ensure you are not burdened down with extra gear and have a way of letting your travel partners know you are in trouble. It also has a compass to help keep you on the straight and narrow during your cross country journeys.

Key Feature #2: Easy Assembly

Hikers and hunters have little time to deal with gear assembly. Well, do not fear because Sharvol has you covered. With only a short assembly process, you will be ready to utilize the tactical shovel within minutes. Once you become familiar with the process, you will be able to complete it in seconds.

Pros of the Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel

Includes a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
Embedded with a compass, whistle, screwdriver, saw, ruler, ax, flint, and slider
Easy to assemble

Cons of the Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel

Flint fire starter needs improvement

Overall Assessment of the Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel

The Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel is an excellent investment but it might not be suitable for everyone. If you’re going to buy this shovel, you’ll want to buy a separate fire starter. Otherwise, this is an excellent option for the best backpacking shovel.
Sharvol Tactical Camping Shovel

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FAQ When Searching for the Best Backpacking Shovel

Why Do you Need a Shovel when Backpacking?

One of the multi-tooled shovels on this list is a must have accessory for a backpacking trip. When you’re out in the elements you are going to need to get a lot of useage out of a small amount of tools. A backpacking shovel can be used to dig a trench around your tent, help you start a fire, clear tree branches, and perform a various amount of small tasks for you. The best backpacking shovel will be there for your camping, hiking, hunting, and back country expeditions.

Why is a Survival Shovel Important?

When you’re backpacking it all comes down to getting a lot out of a litte. A portable survival shovel is small and can do everything from digging holes, to nail extraction and everything in between. We suggest that people should look at one of our recommendations for the best backpacking shovel as they would all fit in well with a backpacker. I’ve said it over the years that when I am going for a few day hiking + camping trip I love having any of these choices for the best backpacking shovel with me.

Our Final Verdict on the Best Backpacking Shovel

A tactical shovel will come in handy when you are hiking, camping, RVing and hunting. With that said, to benefit from such an instrument, it needs to be embedded with the necessities, including a saw, trowel, compass, fire starter flint, and screwdriver. The more features the tactical shovel has, the handier it will be for you and your team. A compact and lightweight design would also be beneficial because it would help keep your travel gear light. With a tactical shovel on hand, you will be able to create a makeshift camp just about anywhere within minutes. The best backpacking shovel should be worth it’s weight in gold, not a heavy burden.

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