Best Camping Shovels of 2021

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When heading out camping, you need to have most things if not everything planned out. And what most people seem to leave out are tools like shovels, for scooping soil or ice (depending on where and when you’re camping). The reason most people forget this item in their packing list is that the first thing that comes to mind is a big and heavy metal. That is where they are wrong. What is a camping shovel?

A camping shovel is characterized as a small and lightweight item that makes portability easy. For campsites to be more habitable, there’s not much work needed to achieve that. For this reason, a camping shovel is ideally best when small and lightweight. This article consists of 9 of the best camping shovels available for your perusal. Since there are plenty of options in the market, these camping shovel reviews will shed light on the best that suits your needs.

Table of Contents


Best Overall Camping Shovel

1. Tyger Auto Shovel TG-SV8U3217 Military

Material: Carbon steel, aluminum
Dimensions: 10’’ x 6’’ x 2’’
Weight: 3 lbs.

Tyger Auto Shovel TG-SV8U3217The style and design that the Tyger Auto shovel TG-SV8U3217 has made it a perfect fit for any outdoor camping. As the name suggests the Tyger Auto shovel is indeed a strong tool that stands the test of time as it is designed from military-grade solid carbon steel. It features an exceptional instant switch mechanism that enables you to change modes in a split second. This feature makes it a reliable tool for saving time and energy for some other things in the outdoors.

All you need while in the outdoors is a tool that provides various functions all in one. This Tyger TG-SV8U3217 is a 16-in-1 tool that is well suited for camping, off-roading, 4-wheeling, backpacking, SUVing, fishing, disaster recovery, cadets, and scouts, RV camping, and more. You can store the shovel in your car with much ease to retrieve it when in an emergency. It comes with a carry bag for easy portability.

What we like:
Unique design, Durable, Lightweight and portable, Multifunctional.
What we don't:
It is pricy.


Best Shovel with Switch Mechanism

2. Sharvol Survival Shovel Multitool with Instant Switch Mechanism

Material: High carbon stainless steel
Dimensions: 12.6’’x10.2’’x3.5’’
Weight: 5.15 lbs.

Sharvol Survival Shovel Multitool with Instant Switch MechanismIf you feel there is too much to pack with little space when heading to the great outdoors, then this shovel is all you need. The Sharvol Survival Shovel is a folding tool that performs the same or even better than the large counterparts on the market. What’s most exciting about this shovel is its versatility. It is designed with an instant switch mechanism that enables different modes. This way, you are sure not to unscrew or retighten the shovel.
The Sharvol comes with a very secure handle, the one that folds. It features an improved O-ring seal that keeps mud and water away as well as safeguarding the handle when you’re not using it. In addition to being versatile, the Sharvol is also quite durable. The head is reinforced with #8313 high-carbon stainless steel to prevent rusting.

What we like:
Durable, Versatile, Easy to use, Ergonomic handle, Highly portable
What we don't:
Some users report that it sways while in use, expensive.


Best Folding Camping Shovel

3. Coleman Folding Shovel with Pick

Material: Metal
Dimensions: 7’’x4’’x3’’
Weight: 10 grams

Coleman Folding Shovel with PickColeman Folding Shovel is an ideal tool for those looking for versatility in one item. If you want a fire hole in the outdoors or want to pick roots or even cut the smaller branches, this shovel has got you.
It is designed with a pick on the opposite side of the shovelhead to make work easier for you. The shovel looks and feels durable. This is because it is made of long-lasting steel and features a serrated edge for all your sawing activities in the woods. With a height of 7 inches, it will do your work as expected and folds into a compact item in the included carry case. Surprisingly, when unfolded, it can fold out up to 16.25 inches and it will lock up into place for safekeeping.

What we like:
Sturdy and durable, Lightweight and compact, Foldable, Versatile, Affordable.
What we don't:
Narrow head.


Best Budget Camping Shovel

4. REDCAMP Military Folding Camping Shovel

Material: Steel
Dimensions: 22.8’’x6’’x8.2’’
Weight: 2.46 lbs.

Readcamp military folding camping shovelIf you are looking to have an enjoyable time in the outdoors, then the REDCAMP Military Folding Camping Shovel is the ideal equipment to have. This tool features a sharpened edge and a serrated saw edge. The former is for digging and the latter for cutting through roots, mud, compost, and snow. You will be surprised at how much this shovel can do. Like when you are stuck in the snow, this shovel will dig the tires out to continue with your trip. The shovel folds twice into a compact package that makes portability easy. You can easily carry it around in your toolbox, camping backpack, or leave it in the car for emergencies. It is a multifunctional tool that does more than digging and sawing.

What we like:
Durable, Multifunctional, Foldable, Compact and portable.
What we don't:
It can be difficult to open it up when sand sticks in the joints.


Other Best Options

5. Iunio Hiking Trowel, Camping

Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 10.43’’x 2.87’’
Weight: 6.8 oz.

BOYISEN OKOOLCAMP Folding Shovel Tri-foldIf you are looking for the perfect gift to give to your friends, then the Iunio Hiking trowel is ideal. It is a sturdy and durable tool that features a stainless steel material with high strength. What’s more, it is water-resistant to be used in different seasons. It provides different functions such as digging, pulling nails, spearing, sawing, and more. For this reason, you can use it for different occasions besides camping and hiking. A 9-feet paracord wraps around the handle of this trowel and comes with a plastic handle end cap. These features make it comfortable to hold and it will fit well in the palm when digging. It comes with a carry pouch that has a loop to hang on the belt.

What we like:
Multifunctional, Efficient, Affordable
What we don't:
Some users fear that it may not hold up for long given the plastic handle.



Other Best Options


Material: Alloy
Dimensions: 6.88’’ x 4.93’’
Weight: 1.36 lbs.

BOYISEN OKOOLCAMP Folding Shovel Tri-foldEverybody appreciates a handy tool when outdoors. The BOYISEN OKOOLCAMP Folding Shovel is just the right tool to take with you on your camping spree. It is designed from heavy-duty alloy steel that is known for greater ductility, resilience, and wear-resistant. The shovel has undergone a faux cold and hot process to test the heat-resistance and ensure the blade maintains its sharpness. You can rely on this shovel in times of emergencies.
BOYISEN OKOOLCAMP features a bottle opener, spade and saw edge, nail extractor, and pickax. It also comes with SPCC handle with an anti-slide grip. You can use it for sawing, hoeing, shoveling, and digging. It ensures safety as it won’t come loose while in use.

What we like:
Lightweight, Comfortable to use, Multifunctional.
What we don't:
Some users complain about the miniature size.


7. Cold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical Camp Shovel

Material: Medium Carbon steel, wood
Dimensions: 30’’ x 10.4’’ x 1.6’’
Weight: 36.3 ounces

Cold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical Camp ShovelCold Steel Spetsnaz Tactical shovel portrays the perfect picture of how a shovel should be. It features a firm hardwood handle and a wide horizontal steel blade with three sharpened edges. With this shovel, you can do much more than just dig out the mud in the outdoors. It is designed to dig up ditches, chop off branches, construct shelters, and is also used in place of a paddle. You can also use it to defend yourself when your weapons aren’t in sight.

The Cold Steel Spetsnaz has an improved size (lengthwise and height wise) from the previous model. Even the shovelhead is a bit large. The head of this shovel is made of medium carbon steel and the handle from strong hickory wood.

What we like:
Light, Sharp, Sturdy.
What we don't:
Some users complain about the handle coming off.


8. Coleman Rugged Folding Camp Shovel

Material: N/A
Dimensions: 6.5’’ x 2.75’’ x 12.75’’
Weight: 2.3 lbs.

Coleman rugged folding camp shovelHaving the perfect tool for all your camping sprees is ideal at all times since you are in the outdoors. The Coleman Rugged folding camp shovel is that tool. With it, you can make a fire pit, cut and chop small branches for the fire. This ensures you are well equipped for the outdoors. What’s more, this is quite a handy tool. It features a serrated edge that does all the sawing required and also has a notch for extracting nails and tent stakes. You open it up to use and by twisting the collar, you lock it to enhance safety. The handle provides a comfort-grip that ensures a great grasp of the shovel while in use. Once you are done using the shovel, simply fold it into a compact package, thanks to its tri-fold mechanism.

What we like:
Multifunctional, Well-built, Compact, Sharpened edge.
What we don't:
The carry bag is not reliable in the outdoors.


9. BANORES Camping Shovel Axe

Material: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 10.35’’ x 8.66’’ x 3.22’’
Weight: 5.73’’ lbs.

BANORES Camping Shovel AxeA classy tool makes the work easy and doable. That is the BANORES camping shovel ax for you. It is a compact tool that has almost everything to get you started in the outdoors. The shovel features a thickened head made of 3CR13 stainless steel meaning it’s strong and corrosion-resistant. With a sharp, double serrated edge, the tool is perfect for sawing. You can fold it at 90 degrees and it digs as well as make small trenches. You can hack into both hard and softwood, hammer, use the survival whistle, and break windows, ice, and or small rock in times of emergencies.

The shovel has essential features like a fire starter, bottle opener, fish spear, and compass to help navigate through the woods.

What we like:
Cutting-edge design, High-quality, Multifunctional.
What we don't:
Some key features like the compass may not function correctly.


Camping Shovel Buying Advice


  1. Portability

    When heading to the outdoors, whether camping or hiking, packing is among the first and major things you do. This is where it gets a little bit tricky because you don’t know what to carry and what to leave out. But since you don’t want to leave out some of the most important camping gear with you, then you have to think about how portable it is. A small yet lightweight shovel is most ideal in this situation, especially when you are backpacking. It will fit well in your backpack and will not weigh you down while you walk. Also, the more compact and lightweight your gear is, the easier it is for you to carry.

    For those who use cars to get to the camping area, then the weight is not an issue. However, the shovel should make space for other items in the trunk. That’s where size comes in. The smaller the shovel is, the better. Manufacturers of camping tools have enhanced their technology by making foldable or removable items. Some shovels fold into smaller sizes and others disassemble into individual pieces to make it easy while packing. Since you don’t frequently use shovels at the camping site, then a foldable one is most ideal.

    For you to make a better decision, you should look at both matters that affect portability; weight and size. You can opt for the lightest shovel on the market and on reaching your destination, it doesn’t perform as intended. That is why you should consider going for a not-too-heavy or too light shovel, to be on the safe side. The same applies to the size. Don’t get a miniature shovel that will not function well and also not a big one that will interfere with your packing and carrying.

  2. Additional Features

    Most campers enjoy a tool that can perform more than one task. That is why a shovel that has multiple functions is an ideal choice. Not only will it save you space, but also provide instant help in times of emergencies in the outdoors. A shovel is known to dig and scoop out soil, sand, ice, or snow in the outdoors. What’s even better is one that can dig, scoop, cut small branches, saw, hack, extract nails, and do more than just shovel. The multifunction aids in reducing the number of items you bring to perform those duties.

    Since you are in the outdoors, a shovel offering other tools comes in handy. Normally, these tools are integrated into the handles. This sounds like a good deal. However, not all the tools that come with a shovel are relevant to everyone. For instance, some people don’t like a bottle opener on a shovel so they might not even use it. That said, you should look for a shovel that offers tools that are relevant to your needs in the outdoors. Also, it won’t be such a bad idea to have backup tools when the ones you have are misplaced or not working. Therefore, a shovel with more than one tool is most ideal.

  3. Durability

    For a shovel to last long especially when using it in the outdoors, it has to be well-made. This comes down to the material the shovel is made of. Therefore, it is imperative to know the material of the shovel and make the right purchasing decision. Camping shovels that feature stainless steel, aluminum, or carbon steel material are the best on the market right now. This is because they are extremely durable especially in the harsh outdoors. Using a shovel made from one of the above materials guarantees maximum durability.

    Another thing that you should consider is the durability of a shovel is the purpose it is intended. If you are going to be using the shovel for digging, hacking, uprooting, and so forth, then go for the best material. This will ensure you have one with the strength that matches your needs in the outdoors.

    Stainless steel material is tough, water-resistant, and rust-resistant. This might seem like the best option there is but it has its downside, especially for backpackers. It is heavy. Aluminum, on the other hand, is light and is not as robust as stainless steel. High carbon steel, however, falls in between the two. It is neither too heavy nor too light, making it the ideal choice for a camping shovel. Plastic shovels can break at any time hence they are not a guarantee for durability. You can save yourself a lot of money when you go for the best material.

  4. Size

    Aside from portability, size also matters in how you are going to use the shovel for. A small shovel is ideal for making small fire pits and cut small branches for the fire. However, if you intend on making ditches and furrows in the outdoors, then a small shovel won’t suffice. It is going to be a tedious and time-consuming activity when using a small tool to make a much bigger hole. Therefore, before buying a camping shovel, you should consider the purpose you intend to do with it. With that said, you should strike a balance between the purpose intended and portability.

  5. Build and Function

    Packing your camping gear is the most important part of the journey. Therefore, you should ensure the tools you bring along aren’t too bulky for the trip. There are some things you should consider for this to be successful. A short handle on a shovel is ideal for backpacking as well as small tasks in the outdoors. However, a longer handle makes it effortless when using.

    The size of the blade also matters in task completion. Therefore, the bigger the blade, the faster it would be to complete the task. This is, of course, when you are going to do a lot of digging in the outdoors. A smaller blade will do the task, but slower. If you want to save on quality time, then it is up to you to make the perfect choice for the blade size.

    Some shovels come with different types of blade edges; sharp and serrated blades. Serrated blades are good for sawing and cutting through grasses and roots. The shape of the blade also determines the task the shovel will be good for. A narrow-shaped blade is ideal for digging holes and pitching tents. The wide counterpart is good for flattening the earth, digging fire pits, and more. If you are going to be digging deeper holes on the hardened earth, then a pointed blade is your go-to.

    use a camping shove

    Easy to use shovels are what most people who are camping prefer. Most shovels are designed with folding handles. This means that you just need to flip the handle to start using the shovel. However, most foldable shovels have short handles. Fortunately, there are those with screws on the handle for holding it together. This ensures you get a pretty long handle that makes it easy to work with. Nevertheless, you are supposed to screw the parts together and there is a chance you can lose some of the screws. You just have to be extra careful when handling the task.

  6. Cost

    As with most items you purchase for the outdoors, you should consider the price of each. This all comes down to your budget. If you have a limited budget, then look for something with basic functionality. However, you will have to dig deeper into your pocket to get a shovel with plenty of features and one that offers versatility. You should also know that some shovels might be cheap but come with plenty of added tools that are useful for your trip. And some of the cheaper ones might break on the first use throwing your money down the drain. Just make the right long-lasting decision.

  7. Why You Need?

    When you think of camping, a shovel is the last item you think of packing. However, a shovel is as important in the outdoors like any other gear. It is a tool that when forgotten, you can get stuck in the outdoors without doing some of the activities that require a shovel. You can use a camping shovel for the following activities and you will be glad you brought it to the campsite.

    camping fire with shovel (1)

    • Digging Fire Pit

      Camping sounds best when you light a fire when the sun goes down. Not only will the fire keep you warm, but also provide light alongside the moon and stars. However, it is important to make a hole to contain the fire. For this reason, you need a shovel to make the pit. A small shovel will perform this task with much ease.

    • Cutting Small Branches

      After making that fire pit, you are required to have wood to make the fire. Since you are outside surrounded by trees, you will need something to cut small branches to make pieces of wood for your fire. This requires you to have a shovel that will cut and hack the branches.

    • Making Toilets

      It is not guaranteed that you will get a toilet at the campsite you are visiting. That calls for you to be prepared for the opposite. If there are no toilets out in the woods, then you will have to make them yourself. This will require you to have a shovel to dig up the hole for a makeshift toilet. It will help you and your friends to ease yourselves somewhere safe for the time you will be spending in the outdoors. And when it is time to leave, you will be required to bury back the toilet using a shovel to avoid potential accidents for those who would visit after you. Check also: Best Portable Camping Toilets of 2021

    • Emergencies

      While in the outdoors, anything can happen. You have to be well prepared at all times. You can use a camping shovel as a weapon to fight against intruders. What’s more, you can use a shovel in place of other items that you forgot to bring like pitching a tent or pulling nails, and so forth.


Wrap up

Having read this article up to here, it means that you have understood the basics of a camping shovel. This will open your eyes to the best camping shovels there are on the market for better decision making when purchasing. What’s more, you will know better than to leave out a camping shovel when you are leaving for the outdoors. It is a handy tool for when you are camping. Since there are plenty of camping shovels on the market, it gets quite difficult to determine which one you deserve. That is what the above camping shovel reviews are for. The products above prove to be a good deal for most consumers in terms of functionality and cost. There is everything for everyone.

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