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Up to date Feb 8, 2023 3:55 PM

Tenting shovels doubtless don’t come to thoughts when making an inventory in your backpacking or tenting journeys. Whereas it is probably not the very first thing you consider, it does occur to be ceaselessly used. Whether or not you’re winter tenting and wish a conveyable snow shovel or one thing light-weight to dig catholes, a shovel is a useful instrument. 

Understanding the supposed use of the shovel is a precedence. Then, slender down choices from variations like dimension, weight, and sturdiness. It could take just a little little bit of analysis to establish this stuff, however the course of will make sure you spend money on the very best tenting shovels in your wants. 

How We Picked The Greatest Tenting Shovels

In my expertise, the very best tenting shovel is the one that’s moveable and makes digging simpler. Now, most of my digging wants consist of easy catholes and nothing as labor-intensive as a fireplace pit, so my most well-liked shovel alternative will doubtless at all times be a light-weight trowel. Since trowels aren’t the very best for all digging endeavors, to decide on a few of our different high picks, I evaluated choices primarily based on:

  • Sustainability: There’s a cause we left plastic shovels off our listing. Plastic shovels are very inexpensive and light-weight, however they aren’t as sturdy, can’t be recycled indefinitely, and proceed to shed microplastics. Supplies used had been the first figuring out think about sustainability, however different firm practices, warranties, and sustainability claims had been additionally thought-about. 
  • Ease of Use: The supposed use of the shovel, together with how simple it’s to make use of that instrument. From portability, deal with design, and digging ergonomics, we wished to decide on shovels that made digging much less of a chore whereas tenting. 
  • Buyer Service: A further think about selecting merchandise is an organization’s dedication to buyer satisfaction. If there are a number of experiences of unhealthy customer support, defective gear, or unmanaged complaints, their merchandise won’t be included on our lists. 

Different analysis strategies included verified buyer evaluations, company-specific analysis, firsthand experiences with some merchandise, and interviewing different avid out of doors fans about their shovel preferences. 

The Greatest Tenting Shovels: Critiques & Suggestions

Greatest General: OKOOLCAMP Survival Tenting Shovel

Greatest General

Why It Made The Minimize: The OKOOLCAMP Survival Tenting Shovel is a flexible multifunctional shovel that you should utilize out and in of the sphere. 

Key Options

  • Weight: 3.19 lbs
  • Size: 28”
  • Foldable: Sure
  • Greatest Use: Basic out of doors use and tenting


  • Sturdy supplies 
  • Versatile options
  • Three 12 months guarantee 
  • Adjustable deal with size


  • Too heavy for backpacking

The OKOOLCAMP Survival Tenting Shovel is our high decide for the very best tenting shovel. Whereas it’s a bit too heavy for backpacking endeavors, it’s excellent for automotive tenting, RVing, street journeys, and as a basecamp instrument. 

The pinnacle of the shovel is bigger than most moveable shovel designs, making it versatile sufficient to dig holes and transfer snow. This shovel is far more than only a shovel, although. It has an extended listing of different options, making it a superb addition to a street security package. 

The survival shovel appears to have all of it with an adjustable deal with, fish spear, pickaxe, hoe function, nail decide, emergency glass breaker, and ice scraper. The one factor that appears to be lacking is a spot to place a fireplace starter. General, this can be a nice shovel to have round. It’s compact, simple to make use of, and multifunctional. 

Greatest Light-weight: Tentlab Deuce Backcountry Trowel

Greatest Light-weight

Tentlab Deuce Backcountry Trowel is the best lightweight camping shovel.

Why It Made The Minimize: Should you’re on the lookout for an ultralight, sturdy, and practical trowel for digging catholes on the path, the Tentlab Deuce Backcountry Trowel is likely one of the very best choices out there.

Key Options

  • Weight: 0.45 – 0.97 oz
  • Size: 6.5 – 8”
  • Foldable: No
  • Greatest Use: Backpacking


  • Light-weight
  • Accessible in three sizes
  • Sturdy supplies 
  • Compact design


  • Not very ergonomic
  • Can take some getting used to

For the packers seeking to minimize out ounces anyplace, the Tentlab Deuce Backcountry Trowel is the tenting shovel for them. It is available in three sizes with various lengths and is designed to penetrate even essentially the most compact soil, permitting for a practical cathole-specific trowel. 

Though the aluminum shovel may be very skinny, it’s sturdy sufficient to penetrate packed soil. Each side can be utilized to dig, however the way in which you dig could also be completely different than you’re used to with a conventional shovel or trowel. So, for those who spend money on one, ensure you perceive the best way to use it and browse the directions completely. 

It’s a very practical design and works effectively in most digging situations. Nevertheless, as a result of it doesn’t have a deal with like most tenting shovels, it isn’t as comfy or ergonomic to make use of. One of the best a part of this trowel is that it primarily vanishes in your pack. It isn’t clunky or heavy, and the assorted colour designs make it simple to identify amongst your different gear. 

Greatest Folding: Rhino USA Folding Shovel

Greatest Folding

Rhino USA Folding Shovel is the best folding shovel.

Why It Made The Minimize: The Rhino USA Folding Shovel is a sturdy but inexpensive tenting shovel excellent for any automotive tenting getaway. 

Key Options

  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Size: 24”
  • Foldable: Sure
  • Greatest Use: Automobile tenting


  • Reasonably priced
  • A number of type choices
  • Powder coated carbon metal building
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • Heavy for backpacking 
  • Not all directions to be used are clear

Whereas it might be too heavy for backpacking, for those who want a folding shovel that may stand the take a look at of time and trials of outside usel, the Rhino USA Folding Shovel is price a shot. Rhino has a couple of improbable shovel choices, however the compact design of their folding shovel bought us. 

The shovel has a sawtooth edge that can be utilized for easy cuts,. When the shovel head is rotated to be 90 levels, it may well lock in place to make for a hoe or a decide. The powder-coated carbon metal ensures sturdiness and long-lasting high quality.

Rhino is devoted to buyer satisfaction and producing high quality merchandise as a small father and son workforce. They provide a lifetime guarantee for his or her shovel and reply shortly to buyer inquiries. So, for those who’re on the lookout for a folding shovel to maintain in your tenting package or the automotive for emergencies, the Rhino USA Folding Shovel is a top-tier alternative.

Greatest Snow Shovel: ARVA Plume TS Shovel

Greatest Snow Shovel

ARVA Plume TS Shovel is the best snow shovel.

Why It Made The Minimize: The ARVA Plume TS Shovel is liked by many as a backcountry avalanche shovel to maneuver snow in emergencies, but additionally works effectively for winter tenting. 

Key Options

  • Weight: l.08 lbs
  • Size: 24.4 – 30”
  • Foldable: No, telescopic 
  • Greatest Use: Winter tenting, backcountry snowboarding/touring


  • Light-weight aluminum 
  • Compact blade design
  • UIAA certification in progress
  • Practical and straightforward to make use of


  • Is probably not as quick to shovel snow as bigger, heavier shovel designs

The ARVA Plume TS Shovel is the telescopic model of the ARVA Plume Shovel. These shovels are glorious snow elimination instruments, however the huge distinction is that the TS has a telescopic deal with design making it extra compact and light-weight. Though it’s telescopic, the pin locking mechanism makes it exceptionally environment friendly to place collectively and use. 

It has a really ergonomic grip, and even with a smaller blade than another snow shovels, it makes up for it in effectivity and weight. Should you plan to make use of it as an avalanche shovel, you’ll be completely satisfied to know that the UIAA certification for the usual 156 Avalanche Shovels is in progress. 

Even for those who merely need an environment friendly, sturdy, and light-weight snow shovel for winter tenting or car journey, this is a superb alternative. It’s way more sturdy than plastic snow shovels, and the load makes it simpler to make use of, irrespective of the load of the snow. 

In case you are traversing the backcountry within the winter months, you should definitely observe the American Avalanche Affiliation pointers to remain secure. You may also learn our winter tenting and chilly climate tenting and mountaineering ideas. Take a look at our information on the best way to decide the right campsite and the highest winter tenting tents.

Greatest Price range: UST U-Dig-It Folding Shovel

Greatest Price range

UST U-Dig-It Folding Shovel is the best budget shovel.

Why It Made The Minimize: The UST U-Dig-It Folding Shovel is an inexpensive, practical, and sturdy trowel design excellent for newbie to skilled backpackers alike. 

Key Options

  • Weight: 5.2 oz
  • Size: 9”
  • Foldable: Sure
  • Greatest Use: Backpacking, tenting


  • Sturdy stainless-steel supplies 
  • Simply moveable 
  • Comparatively ergonomic design
  • Very inexpensive 


  • Some confusion whether it is nonetheless made within the USA
  • Not all orders got here with carrying pouch

Typically the straightforward merchandise are those that match our wants the very best. The UST U-Dig-It Folding Shovel will not be solely our high funds decide, however it is usually an easy trowel design. It is a superb purchase for any backpacker or camper that desires to have a shovel as a backup or in the event that they solely have to dig catholes. 

The stainless-steel building makes it a sturdy product and works effectively even in compact soil. The deal with is comfy to carry, and the deal with design helps minimize down some weight. 

It’s a small shovel supposed to dig small holes. It wouldn’t be an excellent funding for those who want a heavy-duty shovel for digging fireplace pits or trenches, but it surely is a superb purchase for youthful campers, newbie campers, or minimalist hikers. Relating to the general worth, this one is tough to beat. 

Issues to Take into account Earlier than Shopping for The Greatest Tenting Shovels

One of the best tenting shovels are those which might be simple so that you can use and matches the state of affairs. Many survival shovels will probably be extra advanced than is important for a lot of campers, whereas a budget plastic trowels break simply and are troublesome to make use of. Earlier than leaping proper over to our high picks for tenting shovels, learn via our purchasing concerns beneath. 

Meant Use

One of the necessary questions we will ask ourselves when shopping for any tenting gear is: 

What am I going to make use of this for?

If you’re shopping for a tenting shovel, you’re prone to reply with: digging. Whereas that is true (and a bit snarky), it helps to slender it down a bit extra. 

For example, are you overland tenting? Automobile tenting? Backpacking? 

What’s the soil and terrain like the place you’ll be digging? Is it for snow or particularly for digging small catholes? 

These questions will provide help to establish what is going to work greatest for you, after which you’ll be able to transfer on to different specs just like the supplies, dimension, weight, and sturdiness. 


To seek out the very best tenting shovel, have a look at the supplies. Many low-cost and light-weight shovels are constructed from plastic supplies, however they gained’t be essentially the most sturdy or practical. These can work for those who solely use them a few occasions a 12 months and strictly for issues like catholes. 

A lot of the tenting shovels on our listing will probably be manufactured from steel or plastic. The sorts of steel generally used to make tenting shovels embrace: 

  • Metal: Together with stainless-steel, carbon metal, and manganese metal, it is likely one of the most sturdy supplies out there for tenting shovels. Stainless-steel is rust and scratch-resistant. Carbon metal has glorious tensile energy. Manganese metal is sturdy, proof against impression, and normal put on and tear. 
  • Aluminum: A far lighter materials than metal, aluminum is rust-resistant. Aluminum is usually used for backpacking shovels due to its gentle weight. They’re supposed for easy digging duties, making these shovels much less sturdy than some tactical shovel choices. 
  • Titanium: An costly and sturdy shovel materials, titanium can work effectively for those who’re keen to pay for it. The one main draw back to titanium is that it may be very costly. 

Some shovels might mix these kinds of steel with some artificial elements like a deal with or grip. Often, if the shovel scoop is a steel materials, it will likely be extra sturdy, however corporations might attempt to minimize weight by swapping out different components for plastics. Though this does minimize weight, they usually don’t final as lengthy. 


Tenting shovels must be moveable, however that may imply various things to completely different folks. The portability of your shovel will probably be tied on to the supposed use. So, in case you are on the lookout for a shovel match for bushcraft, it is going to differ from an ultralight backpacking shovel or a foldable shovel for automotive tenting. 

The general shovel design and supplies used additionally impression the portability, dimension, and weight. Many backpacking shovels are lower than one ounce in weight, whereas extra tactical or normal use shovels weigh extra, and a few of them gained’t essentially be supposed to be carried lengthy distances. 


What options would you like in a tenting shovel? Are you in want of a instrument to strictly dig catholes? Or do you want a snow shovel that’s light-weight sufficient to hold? 

The flexibility of the shovel is as soon as once more tied to the supposed use. Should you’re uncertain how you intend to make use of the shovel since you’re simply beginning out of doors recreation actions, getting a extra versatile shovel will be helpful. That means, you’ll be able to adapt and alter the exercise with out investing in a number of shovel designs. 

Should you’re nonetheless uncertain which shovel design is best for you, you may also take into account beginning with what you will have. A easy camp trowel can do quite a bit, and these usually aren’t foldable and can solely perform effectively for digging small holes. These look quite a bit like a backyard trowel, and for those who’re beginning, you’ll be able to simply pack your backyard trowel to see the way it goes. 

Multi-functional shovels usually fold and produce other options permitting them for use for issues past digging like hammering or sawing. Nevertheless, for those who don’t want these options, preserve issues easy. A normal foldable trowel does the trick for fundamental tenting endeavors, however as talked about, figuring out your wants and the best shovel design will develop into simpler to select. 


Q: Is a shovel helpful for tenting?

Sure, a shovel is helpful for tenting. You should utilize shovels to dig catholes, sumps, take away ash or coals, dig trenches, and do different camp chores that require digging. Shovels may turn out to be useful when driving to distant places.

Q: Do I want a shovel when backpacking?

When you don’t want a shovel for backpacking, it is going to make sure duties simpler. One of the best backpacking shovels will probably be sturdy, compact, and light-weight. They will even provide help to dig with ease, even in exhausting to dig places. Shovels are primarily used within the backcountry to dig catholes however may also be used for different functions. Should you don’t have a shovel, you may also dig utilizing sticks and rocks. 

Q: Do I want a shovel for winter tenting?

Having a snow shovel for winter tenting will be particularly useful to determine a tenting space, present insulation round your tent, and even for security functions. Snow shovels will differ from digging shovels and are usually bigger. There are nonetheless some nice choices for backcountry snow shovels, normally designed for avalanches, that can be utilized for winter tenting. 

Q: Why are there holes in avalanche shovels?

Not all avalanche shovels can have holes in them, but when they do, that is primarily to make them extra light-weight. Some avalanche shovels with holes may also be used to construct snow anchors.

Q: How huge is a tactical shovel?

Tactical shovels or survival shovels vary in dimension and weight, however all must be compact and moveable. Most tactical shovels will probably be anyplace from 1.5-4 lbs with the power to pack down or fold.

Remaining Ideas on the Greatest Tenting Shovels

Discovering the very best tenting shovel begins with figuring out the supposed use. A small, light-weight shovel just like the Tentlab Deuce Backcountry Trowel isn’t going to work completely for everybody or their digging wants, however it’s nonetheless a superb backcountry instrument. We hope you discovered a couple of useful shovel choices on our listing, and even for those who didn’t discover the right match in your subsequent journey, use our purchasing concerns that will help you make the appropriate shovel funding.  

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