A camping shovel is essential whether you want to make a fire pit, clear snow from a campsite, or dig a kitty hole to answer nature’s call. With so many great shovels to select from, it can be difficult to choose just one for your camping vacation.

Fortunately, we understand how difficult it is to select the correct shovel, and we’re here to assist. Three features create a great camping shovel, and they are as follows:

  • An aggressive blade. A sharp blade makes it easier to clean away solid, rocky dirt quickly.
  • Comfortable handle. Ergonomic handles are vital for digging comfort.
  • Portability. The best camping shovels weigh less than 3lbs (1.4kg), making them easy to pack.

Top pick camping shovels

We looked at top shovels with different functionality and design components and chose our best. Read through our list to have a decent sense of what to look for in an Amazon shovel so you can get your hands muddy!

Rhino USA Folding shovel

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Rhino USA Folding Shovel is a multipurpose labor tool. Its great length of 23.8” allows for a more pleasant and efficient shoveling experience.

However, it folds down to a compact 9″ size within its small carry case for easier transportation to and from campsites.

Because of its flexible shaft design and serrated edges, the Rhino USA Folding Shovel may also be used as a digging tool, pickaxe, hoe, or saw. It also has a wide grip handle that is meant to fit gloves for digging in the cold.


  • Long length
  • Handy
  • Versatile
  • Glove-compatible.
  • Under-the-budget survival shovel
  • Compact & Portable
  • Sturdy & Durable
  • Good to dig cathole in soft dirt


  • For the size, it feels heavy
  • Made in China, not the USA
  • Heavy for a shovel this size

Gerber gorge folding shovel

This is budget-friendly backcountry camping gear. It has a small folding form, an extensible handle, and a carry case shovel’s shaft easier to travel between campsites.

The beefy forged steel head of this shovel has a sharp tip designed to penetrate rough dirt. It’s also robust enough to be used as a hammer for striking stakes into the ground.

The Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel also has a glass-filled nylon handle to save weight. This handle provides a firm grip for quick digging in hard situations while not adding weight to your pack.


  • Collapsible
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Hammer mode
  • Carrying case included
  • Tough blade
  • Can be sharpened
  • Inexpensive
  • Push-button slide mechanism


  • Non-adjustable

Fivejoy military folding shovel

The FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel is a multipurpose survival equipment. It includes a strong shovel, a magnesium fire starter, a knife, a paracord, a saw bottle opener, and a whistle.

Conversely, the shovel blade is made of high carbon steel to help it keep its edge, while the shaft and knife are made of lightweight aerospace-grade aluminum. The shovel’s shaft can be changed to various angles for usage as a hoe, hook, or shovel.

The FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel is a one-of-a-kind design with a hollow shaft that doubles as a storage compartment for all of the device’s various tools. The system then detaches and fits into two attached storage pouches for transport.


  • Multi-tool
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Sharpened saw edge
  • Has quick-dry handles
  • It can be used as a weapon
  • It has a rust-proof blade


  • Spade is too small
  • Bulky
  • Unfitted rubberized grip
  • No extension parts

Antarctica folding shovel 

The Antarctica Folding Shovel is a sturdy shovel made of aerospace-grade aluminum and high carbon steel designed for backcountry use.

In addition to shoveling capabilities, this model includes a bottle opener, compass, screwdriver, and saw. This shovel’s blade may also be modified to 40º, 90º, or 180º for digging, sawing, hammering, or any other task around camp.

For transporting, the Antarctica Folding Shovel can be collapsed into a small carrying pouch. It can also be paired with available extension kits to expand the shovel’s shaft for more digging convenience.


  • Adjustable
  • Multi-purpose
  • Lightweight
  • Handle length can be altered as needed
  • Carbon steel structure provides strength and durability
  • It comes with a fire starter and an emergency whistle
  • Small and lightweight design


  • The knife handle is made of plastic
  • There is no handle. Reduced grip owing to lack of handle

Lunio folding shovel

This multipurpose shovel is easy to use because it is a well-built and adaptable model with improved features. Steel and aluminum alloy construction can withstand the toughest outdoor terrains and shafts that need to be leveled for setting up camp. It functions as a screwdriver, firestarter, and hammer, meeting most of your hiking needs.


  • Lightweight, compact, and foldable shovel
  • Portable carry pouch
  • Extension bars on the handle for increased convenience
  • Includes a bottle opener and a pickaxe 


  • The locking mechanism may be flimsy

Texsport heavy-duty survival shovel

The Texsport Heavy Duty Survival Shovel is built of thick steel with a black powder finish for long-term use in severe backcountry environments.

This shovel’s handle can be extended to a length of 24″. It can also be unscrewed and removed to reveal a 5.5” blade saw for modest cutting projects when a hand saw is not available.

Furthermore, using the company’s innovative snap-lock system, the Texsport Heavy Duty Survival Shovel may be changed to be used as a hoe or a pick.


  • Versatile
  • Heavy duty
  • Adjustable


  • It doesn’t include a carry case

Sog folding shovel

The SOG Folding Shovel is a full-steel digging implement designed for use in tough terrain. SOG designed this shovel with a tempered steel blade and powerful serrated teeth to dig through the hard ground or saw away small tree roots.

This shovel also includes a broad triangular handle and a wide grip for extra comfort while digging.

Furthermore, the SOG Folding Shovel comes with a slim nylon travel case that can be carried in your pack or fastened to your belt for easy transport.


  • Features serrated edges for cutting off branches.
  • It can be used as both a shovel and a hoe.
  • The large handle provides comfort when digging
  • Very portable hiking shovel, ideal for hikers
  • Carrying case included
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable e-tool for shoveling


  • Twist-lock mechanism
  • The smaller blade is inefficient
  • The handle is not adjustable
  • Few extra features

The Tent Lab the deuce trowel

TheTentLab’s The Deuce Trowel is an excellent choice for lightweight trekkers. This lightweight camping shovel is built of aerospace-grade aluminum and is thin enough to weigh only 0.6oz while still powerful enough to chop through small roots.

It features four teeth to cut through debris, but they’re small enough that they won’t interfere with your digging skills. In addition, for increased comfort, the trowel incorporates a contoured molded grip at the head of the shaft.


  • Lightweight
  • The contoured grip promotes comfort when digging
  • Compact


  • Too small for certain digging jobs

Why do I need a camping shovel?

When the correct tool is available, many camping tasks can be transformed. It is considerably easier to relight a campfire if you use a shovel to uniformly distribute the charcoal all over the fire site.

A shovel is also excellent for stoking and extinguishing flames. If you cook over a fire, a shovel will come in handy to adjust the logs without moving your cooking setup.

Dig a fire trench to prevent the accidental spread of a fire, and always make sure to bury the remains of the fire when you leave. Camping near a water source is even more fun if you know how to construct a small drainage trench with a shovel, and you can also ensure that rainwater flows away from your tents. You’ll be surprised at how much a simple shovel can affect the way you camp!

Check out a few of the models below that offer tool attachments for the more experienced campers. There’s no need to bring along a bunch of different tools anymore! Some of these versions include extra axes or fire-starting tools that will make your camping activities easier without depriving you of the satisfaction of manual effort.

Most current models have ergonomically constructed handles that help to avoid discomfort and tiredness while you’re working.

True adventurers who camp year-round, especially those camping alone, should consider an all-weather shovel as a fundamental and necessary part of their tool kit. Sand, snow, and dirt are all different, and your shovel should be able to handle them all. Some shovels are designed to be linked to a long pole to make a homemade fishing spear or fire poker.

Types of shovels

Portable shovels come in a variety of designs and sizes. They are, however, classified into two groups based on their added accessories and characteristics.

  1. Simple shovel: These models are useful for clearing the ground or erecting a tent. They are more compact and serve a single purpose. They come in both folding and stretchable varieties.
  2. Multipurpose shovel: These versions are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks. They can be used as fire starters, screwdrivers, pickaxes, emergency whistles, saws, and other things. A multipurpose shovel is an all-in-one tool that can fulfill most outdoor needs, making it ideal for first-time campers.

Buying guide for camping shovels

It can be difficult to know where to begin when there are so many great camping shovels to choose from. In this part, we’ll go over some important factors to consider when picking different kinds of shovels for your adventures.

Here are the most important things to remember while shopping.


More than 70% of the quality of a shovel is determined by the material used in its construction. The ability of manufacturers and designers to use materials sensibly accounts for the remaining 30%.

The majority of shovels on the market today are made of stainless steel, carbon steel, and manganese steel. What is the difference between all of these steels?

  • Manganese steel: Manganese steel contains around 13% manganese. What role does manganese play in shovels? When iron ore is turned into iron, manganese eliminates sulfur and oxygen, making the steel highly resistant to wear and high-impact shock.
  • Stainless steel: This steel is extremely resistant to rust and scratches. Stainless steels are steels that include at least 10.5 percent chromium, less than 1.2 percent carbon, and other alloying metals such as manganese to provide rust resistance as well as strong impact and wear resistance. It is long-lasting and useful for a wide range of applications, including building and camping. It can last a long time without breaking or needing to be replaced.
  • Carbon steel: The most common material used in shovels, punches, blades, high-strength wire, springs, dies, and cutting tools. Carbon steel has an extremely high tensile strength. Is carbon steel identical to stainless steel:? They are made up of the same basic elements, iron, these handle-less shafts On. In that case, Suppose carbon. The only difference between them is the amount of alloy in each. Stainless steel must have at least 10.5 percent chromium content, whereas carbon steel must have less than 10.5 percent alloy content.

Portability and overall size 

When camping, you’ll need a shovel that’s small enough to fit in your pack. Lightweight shovels such as The Deuce Trowel, TheTentLab, and the FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel for extended backpacking trips are excellent choices.

In general, any shovel weighing less than 1.5lbs (0.7kg) is considered lightweight, whereas anything weighing more than 3lbs (1.4kg) is considered too heavy for camping.

On the other hand, smaller shovels can be more difficult to dig with since they lack long shafts for leverage, such as the Smittybilt Tri-Fold Shovel.

As a result, mobility with a camp shovel is always a trade-off between digging convenience and compactness for transport.

When it comes to portability, another factor to consider is the shovel’s folding system. While some models have tri-fold designs, such as the Texsport Heavy Duty Survival Shovel, others, such as the Schrade Telescoping Shovel, have longer shafts that can telescopically close for storage.

Blade design

Modern camping shovel blades are made primarily of three materials:

  • Stainless steel: Because stainless steel compounds are both robust and inexpensive, they are a popular choice for camping shovels. While they do not retain an edge and high carbon steel counterparts, stainless blades are commonly found in low-cost models.
  • High carbon steel: is preferred among tactical gear manufacturers because it retains its sharpness for an extended period. This edge retention is essential for shovels because it helps you quickly cut through tree roots and other debris while digging.
  • Aluminum: is less typically used as a shovel blade material since it bends easily. However, because it is lightweight and inexpensive, it is sometimes used for smaller camping trowels.

Furthermore, most shovels have a similarly constructed blade, while some camping-specific models, such as the SOG Folding Shovel and the Rhino USA Folding Shovel, will include a serrated blade.

Serrated blades can be used as an emergency saw or to quickly cut through roots in the earth when digging.

Handle design

While the shovel’s blade provides the digging area, the handle allows you to gain leverage and move soil and rocks more efficiently. Many tri-folding shovels include steel handles that allow you to put lots of weight on the shovel in rough conditions.

These tri-folding shovels often have a triangle handle that is wide and pleasant to use with or without gloves.

They could also feature a T-shaped handle that provides a good gripping area for digging.

However, one disadvantage of some shovels, such as the Antarctica Military Folding Shovel, is that they lack a designated handle and can be difficult to grip, especially in wet weather.

On the other hand, these handle-less shafts are easier and lighter to carry to and from camp in your backpack.


The materials used in the manufacture of the shovel will determine its durability. Carbon steel, in short, is much stronger and more durable than stainless steel. However, stainless steel resists rust and is as strong as carbon steel.

So, in general, a stainless steel shovel will be more sturdy as you camp in changing environments, allowing stainless steel or rust-resistant steel shovel to last longer.


Before purchasing any shovel, consider how many things you can do with it. Don’t get too many if you don’t need them, and don’t get too few if they can at least do basic tasks like shoveling, excavating, and sawing. Suppose you buy a little more costly shovel.

In that case, you may discover that it can be used as a fire starter, ice breaker, compass, emergency whistle, shoveling, emergency hammer, ax, sawing, chopping, lifting a car out of the mud, and so on.


Is your shovel effective, or does it require a long time to assemble or disassemble before you can use it? If you notice that your shovel takes longer than 5 minutes to dig, it is not worth the money.

No matter how cheap or costly the shovel is, it should not take more than 5 minutes to extract it from the bag and set up all the extensions.


After learning about all of the qualities of the shovel, you should ask yourself a question or read some reviews to determine whether the product’s quality is worth the money. If the answer is no, then go back and look for another shovel.

I am confident that you will be able to obtain a comparable shovel at a reasonable price. High-quality shovels are usually more expensive than less impactful and durable shovels.


This tool will most likely be used outside most of the time. Always choose fiberglass materials to survive extreme weather conditions. It is virtually weather-proof and does not rust. Still a bit pricey, but well worth it.


The various camping shovels have a wide range of feature sets. Some are simple military-style shovels, while others are multi-tools.

While most camping shoves are multipurpose, others fit the criterion for multi-tools. They can be used as blades, axes, or knives, and their popularity stems from the variety of ways they can be used.

How should I care for my shovel?

Here is a list of things you should do following each of the timelines listed below:

After each use:

  • Clean your shovel of any dirt or soil, then scrub any difficult areas with a wire brush.
  • Use a yard hose to rinse your shovel.
  • Wipe off the handle with a clean cloth and allow it to dry completely to avoid rusting.
  • Keep your shovel in a dry and secure location. You may store your shovel and other camping gear on a rack for safety and convenience.
  • Apply an anti-corrosion treatment to your shovel regularly, regardless of how you store it.

Once every six months:

  • Examine the shovel’s handle grip and shaft.
  • If it’s a wood shovel, it shouldn’t have any nicks. If not, your shovel will not survive long.
  • If the shaft is fractured or loose, it must be replaced.
  • Tighten all loose connections and replace any rusted rivets.


What is the difference between an e-tool and a military shovel?

Technically, there is no difference. The E-tool, sometimes known as an entrenching tool, is a military shovel that is small, foldable, and durable enough to withstand repeated usage in harsh conditions.

How much weight can a camping shovel typically support?

When manufactured entirely of tough materials, such as steel, a camping shovel can withstand up to 75lbs of force while digging.

Should I buy a serrated-edged camping shovel?

Shovels with serrated edges can be used as emergency saws in survival scenarios. Buying a shovel with serrated edges is also beneficial because it effectively cuts tree roots while digging.

What are the advantages of an adjustable handle?

The primary advantage of an adjustable handle is comfort. You’ll get extensions with folding shovels. You can use these to adjust the height of the shovel for a certain purpose.

You also don’t need to bring a large shovel. If you know you’re going trekking or camping in a place where you won’t need a big shovel, you can leave all the extensions at home and bring other items instead, such as a tiny first aid kit, etc.

Should I buy extra tools?

It all depends on how you intend to use it. But, as an advisor, I recommend that you get a shovel that can do these things – shoveling, sawing, and having an ax – and, if possible, a shovel that can also be used to raise your car’s tires out of the muck.

Because we don’t know what camping will offer us, we need to be prepared ahead of time.

How to not struggle with unfolding and folding a shovel?

Your investigation will show that this problem could be caused by one of two things: a design fault or corrosion.

What can I do now? Putting some oil in the shovel’s joints, moving parts, and screws are the easiest way to get it to fold and unfold smoothly again. To avoid this problem in the future, lubricate your shovel once or twice a month.