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Five Best Camp Shovels – Great Tools for Your Camping Needs

Updated on December 9, 2010

One of the most essential tools in camping is a camping shovel or portable shovel. Camping shovels are now lighter than they were back in the day because they are made with wood or plastic handles and their metal heads are narrower and shorter. They usually come with a carry bag so you can easily slip one inside your backpack, clip one to your belt or stow one under your car seat or in the trunk.

When planning a camping trip, some people do not see the need for a shovel. That is, until they get into the woods. A shovel is very handy when setting up your tent and securing it with pegs or stakes as it can be used as a hammer. When you need to dig a rain trench or canal when hard rain pours during your trip, your portable shovel can be of great use. But the most convenient use for a shovel when camping is in digging a latrine. Remember, that there are no toilets in the woods. It's just you, your shovel and the soil (and some biodegradeable TP) so you don’t have any choice but to dig a little hole every time nature calls. 

When buying a portable shovel make sure you choose one that is sturdy, is made of solid metal, and can withstand the pounding and digging it will need to do. I carry a portable camping shovel with me when I am not camping, under the seat of my car, just for emergency purposes. A shovel is indispensible in snowy conditions when you get stuck; just shovel some dirt under your wheels to get yourself out of a slippery spot. To help you choose which among the many available shovels can best suit your needs, I've picked the 5 best shovels for you. I chose them for their solid structure and multi-functional use so you can get years of use out of them.

Coleman Folding Shovel and Pick
Coleman Folding Shovel and Pick

Coleman Folding Shovel and Pick

If you want a shovel and a pick in one tool, then this folding shovel is the right tool for you. This Coleman folding shovel has tempered forged steel components so is a durable portable shovel. Its length is almost 23 inches when fully spread and it weighs only 1.8 pounds. Its size is just small enough for your backpack as it folds up nicely in its carrying case. Some people may find it a little heavy but in return you get a sturdy and durable tool. It also has a little saw which is a great feature. The pick part is convenient when trying to loosen up hard and compacted soil so you can get the stakes in for your camping tent. It is made by Coleman so it is reliable.

Gerber 22-41578 Gorge Folding Shovel
Gerber 22-41578 Gorge Folding Shovel

Gerber 22-41578 Gorge Folding Shovel

Synonymous with quality and durability, Gerber makes this excellent folding shovel. The blade is made from carbon steel which means it's durable, it has an ergonomic glass-filled nylon rubberized handle for a more secure grip and has a push-button slide mechanism that makes it easily foldable, even for those uncoordinated campers. It is sturdy enough to be used as a hammer so it's pretty useful when pounding tent stakes. At 1.7 pounds, you can practically take it anywhere and because it's small it's no problem having it in your car trunk. A nylon drawstring bag is included when this is purchased from Amazon.

28" Camp Folding Shovel
28" Camp Folding Shovel

28" Camp Folding Shovel

Ok, maybe the color is a little off-putting, but this shovel can do what needs to be done. This folding shovel is great for digging trenches and leveling the soil in your campsite. It has a six inch wide blade and it's an incredible eight inches long when folded. The handle, which is ergonomically designed, will not give you any trouble when using the shovel because once the handle locks in place, the shovel becomes a solid and firm digging tool. It's perfect for keeping in the car just in case of emergencies. It is also perfect when shoveling snow in your back yard or clearing your trails when camping in the snow.

Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel Md: 92SF
Cold Steel Special Forces Shovel Md: 92SF

Cold Steel Special Forces ShovelMd: 92SF

As its name might imply, this shovel is very sturdy and very handy in any terrain. It is perfect for digging latrines and ditches and it has a more solid feel than most folding shovels. Some professional campers say they use this small shovel like a small hatchet because they can actually chip wood with it if they happen to forget their axe or bolo. If you are looking for a solid steel shovel that can even sink it's teeth into wood, then you'll want this reliable little tool. Ladies, almost any man would love one of these in their garage, in the car trunk or in their backpack.

U Dig It U Dig It Shovel
U Dig It U Dig It Shovel

U Dig It U Dig It Shovel

The rust-proof stainless steel blade of this handy shovel is 5 inches wide. The uniquely shaped handle is also made of stainless steel so the whole shovel is rust-proof. This Dig it Shovel looks like an enlarged garden trowel so it is very convenient to use for digging hard soils as its blade is very sharp. With little effort you can easily make holes in hard and compacted ground with it. It only weighs 6 ounces but it is very sturdy, durable and very reliable indeed. This is just an all around great product and is perfect to take with you on your camping trips, or to just use around the garden.


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  • dragonjimm profile image


    7 years ago from Alabama

    i carry a Coleman folding shovel. for its size it does what i want mainly digging cat holes and cleaning out the fire pit.


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