Camping is fun if you possess the right travel-friendly tools. A portable shovel is one of the essential tools you need to make your campsite habitable. Most camping shovels have multiple features that do not require you to spend a considerable amount on other camping gear. A shovel can serve as a saw, hammer, ax, compass, fire starter, and bottle opener. Therefore, it helps you bury waste, dig trenches, build fire pits, and much more.
Here, we have compiled a list of the best camping shovels that make essential tasks effortless to both beginners and experienced campers alike.
Types Of Shovels
Portable shovels are available in multiple shapes and sizes. However, they are of two types based on their additional accessories and features.
- Simple shovel: These models are efficient in clearing the ground or for pitching a tent. They are smaller and serve a single purpose. You can find them in both foldable and stretchable models.
- Multipurpose shovel: These models are versatile and serve multiple purposes. They will work as pickaxes, fire starters, saws, emergency whistles, screwdrivers, and more. A multipurpose shovel is an all-in-one kit suitable for beginner campers as it can meet most outdoor requirements.
Our Top Picks
17 Best Camping Shovels
Constructed from tempered high carbon steel, this heavy-duty folding camping shovel ensures durability. It is compact and can handle tougher jobs effortlessly. It is a convenient, portable, and multipurpose tool that can be bent into three angles as per requirement.
- Serrated edge for cutting off branches
- Comes with a carrying bag and belt loop
- Secure lock prevents the latch from opening
- Solid and lightweight build
- Can be used as a pick or hoe
- Relatively smaller in size
- Non-adjustable handle
Weighing only two-pounds, the Rhino USA’s Folding Military Shovel is made of powder-coated carbon steel. Even with a length of 23inches, it can fit well into its carry pouch when folded. The sharp serrated edge on one end of the shovel increases the functionality of this tool.
- Durable and portable design
- Heavy-duty build
- Multipurpose model
- Convertible into an ax by twisting the head
- Locking mechanism may be complicated
Made for digging small trenches and pits, this mini camping shovel is lightweight and portable. The ergonomic handle offers a comfortable grip, and the shovel has anti-corrosive metal parts. Furthermore, these metal parts are heat-treated to increase their efficiency and durability.
- Steel handle offers firmness and durability
- Non-slip surface on the handle
- The coating on the metal parts prevents the formation of rust
- Includes a five-year warranty
- Might not be suitable for plowing the hard soil
- Not foldable
The military camping shovel by Redcamp has sharp serrated edges for digging and cutting the bushes. You can also cut roots, mulch, and plow sand or snow with this multipurpose tool made of aluminum. Its compact and lightweight design enables the shovel to fit well into your glove box and be carried around with ease.
- Durable design
- Suitable for camping, fishing, and hunting
- Angle of the shovelhead can be altered as per the requirement
- Strong and thick blade
- Includes a one-year warranty
- Locking mechanism might be flimsy
The Gerber Camping Shovel’s serrated edge can be used for chopping roots or clearing bushes in the camping area. It features a glass-filled nylon handle and powder-coated steel shovelhead. Foldable and rigid, it can plow through the hardest of soils effortlessly.
- High-quality and durable construction
- Doesn’t have any fiddly parts
- Lightweight and portable design
- Handle can be used as a hammer
- Easy to operate
- Bracket that attaches the blade to the handle is flimsy
The Coleman multipurpose tool is made of durable steel construction with a serrated edge for sawing. Its tempered steel shovelhead is intended to last long, while the rear end can be extended to be used as a pick. The shovel is lightweight and comes with a carry pouch for portability.
- Secured locking mechanism
- Ergonomic handle with ridges offers firm grip
- Can also be used to clear snow
- Compact and versatile
- Relatively smaller in size
Designed for high outdoor functionality, Fivejoy’s Military Camping Shovel could be the best choice if you are a backpacker. It is a lightweight tool offering multiple features that a camper might need during their trips. You can use the shovel’s serrated edge for clearing bushes and adjust the handle’s length for additional convenience.
- Durable carbon steel construction
- Versatile tool including an ax, hammer, and an emergency whistle
- Lightweight and portable
- Shovelhead can be adjusted to multiple angles as per requirement
- May not be durable
If you search for a versatile yet lightweight tool, this military camping shovel could be the choice. With the inclusion of all the basic tools required for camping, you can trench or pick effortlessly. Easy to assemble and replaceable, it keeps you prepared for most outdoor tasks
- Carbon steel construction offers strength and durability
- Adjustable angle of the shovelhead for added convenience
- Handle length can be adjusted as per the requirement
- Compact and lightweight design
- Includes a fire starter and an emergency whistle
- Knife handle is made of plastic
The UST Portable Shovel barely takes up any space in your backpack. It is a foldable camping shovel made of rust-free finish aluminum for durability. With its easy-to-attach carabiner, it is always within reach during emergencies. Its basic and simplistic design allows you to pitch a tent or dig out a campfire.
- Lightweight and portable design
- Durable and sturdy build
- Convenient and suitable for hiking, backpacking, and hunting
- Curved angle for easy digging
- Handle may not have a comfortable grip
- Seems relatively small
A well-built and versatile model with improved functionality, this multipurpose shovel is convenient to use. Construction from steel and aluminum alloy can handle the toughest outdoor terrains that need to be leveled for setting up camp. It works as a firestarter, screwdriver, and hammer, therefore meeting most of your backpacking needs.
- Compact, lightweight, and foldable shovel
- Includes a portable carry pouch
- Handle has extension bars for added convenience
- Includes a pickaxe and a bottle opener
- Locking mechanism might not be firm
The Tyger Auto Shovel is a high-quality, indestructible camping shovel. It has an instant switch system and a threaded ergonomic handle for smooth camping trips. Made of solid carbon steel and aerospace aluminum tubes, this foldable shovel offers durability, versatility, and effortless survival during camping.
- Includes a one-year warranty
- Adjustable shovelhead suits most requirements
- Compact and portable shovel
- Includes a firestarter, ice pick, screwdriver, hammer, and more
- Too heavy for backpacking
With a heavy-duty powder-coated steel blade and an ergonomic handle, this folding military shovel is a multipurpose camping tool. Its simple folding mechanism converts the long shovel into a compact design for easy portability. It can be used as a saw, pickaxe, shovel, or crowbar based on your requirement.
- Shovelhead is an all-in-one spade
- Heat-treated and high-strength material offers durability
- Lightweight and compact; occupies little space in the backpack
- Triangular handle for easy hold
- May be relatively small
- Locking mechanism might be fiddly
Featuring a collapsible aluminum head, the Overmont’s Compact Shovel is an ideal backpack gear or car safety accessory. This foldable shovel is made by an anodizing process for increased durability and strength. Its adjustable height of up to 32in makes it convenient to use for most outdoor requirements, including picking, trenching, or maneuvering snow.
- Includes a mini ice scraper
- Lightweight and compact
- Can be broken into three pieces for portability
- Holes in the shovelhead can be used for hanging
- Handle grip is too small
With six adjustable angles by the simple touch of a button, the Zune’s best tactical shovel serves as a hand saw, bottle opener, saw, wire cutter, and more. Its stainless steel head paired with an aluminum handle offers high strength and durability to this product. This multipurpose camping tool weighs only four pounds, making it a compact and easy to carry gear.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Diamond-patterned design offers efficiency
- Packs in a multipurpose, high-quality bag
- Easy to assemble
- Mixed reviews on durability
Suitable for gardening and picking, this compact folding military shovel by Bleiou is portable and lightweight. It has a rubber handle for comfort and a firm hold of the shovel. You can bend the shovelhead up to 90° for digging trenches, scooping out rocks, or flatten the ground to pitch a tent.
- Includes a compass at the bottom of the shovel
- Serrated edge on one side of the head can be used as a saw
- Made of tempered steel for strength
- Can be used as a pick
- Plastic handle may not be durable
Constructed from aluminum alloy, this camping shovel is suitable for most campers, as its handle can be extended up to 43in. Its lightweight design reduces labor, and its detachable design makes it fit well into its compact carry pouch for portability.
- Can be used for snow removal
- Ergonomic design
- Can withstand heavyweight
- Advanced coating gives smoothness and strength to the shovel
- Triangular handle for a convenient and firm hold
- Plastic handle can be fiddly
This folding military shovel features an ergonomic shovel blade and a handle made of high-strength carbon steel. Depending on the requirement, the shovelhead can be adjusted to a 90-degree angle. It is a lightweight shovel useful for sawing, cutting, hunting, or backpacking.
- Meets most camping needs
- Helps in effortless digging of trenches
- Portable and compact size
- Shovelhead has serrated edges and can be used to cut wood
- Anti-slip handle for a firm grip
- May not be corrosion-resistant
How To Choose The Right Camping Shovel?
You need to decide on the type of shovel to buy based on your camping needs. Here are some features for you to consider while buying a camping shovel.
- Material: Shovels are usually made of stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum materials. Steel is heavier but durable. Aluminum is a lightweight material but may not be as strong as steel. The higher the price of a shovel, the more durable the material is.
- Handle: The strength of a shovel lies in its handle. An anti-slip handle with grooves offers a firm grip. Handles with adjustable and foldable lengths are convenient to use. Metal handles are durable and stronger compared to plastic ones.
- Size: It depends on the usage. Digging or trenching requires larger shovels.
- Portability: You require a lightweight, compact, and foldable shovel if you are going backpacking. A slightly heavier shovel may be suitable for vehicle campers.
- Additional features: Some shovels come with additional tools, and they are versatile and highly functional. If you are a new camper and are in search of multiple camping tools, you can consider buying these models, and they are pocket-friendly too.
- Protection: Carrying cases prevent popping of the shovel handles during travel. They also help in the easy portability of the shovels.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How should I care for my camping shovel?
As shovels are mostly made of metals, they should be kept away from moisture. After each use, wipe the shovel as leftover dirt can hold moisture against the metal parts, causing rust formation.
2. Can I get my shovel blade sharpened?
Yes, you can get the shovel blade sharpened, as dull edges can impact their performance. The sharpening of the blade enhances its performance.
3. What should I do if I struggle to fold or unfold my shovel?
If you have trouble folding or unfolding your shovel, it could be due to rust formation. You can lubricate such areas for a smooth performance. Cleaning the shovel immediately after its usage is one of the best ways to avoid rust formation.
Whether you’re a camping enthusiast or one who loves to experience the outdoors occasionally, a camping shovel is a must-have tool. It helps you dig out rocks, flatten surfaces for pitching your tent, and ensure that the campsite is habitable. However, before purchasing a shovel, ensure that it meets your size requirements and is lightweight, compact, portable, and made of durable materials. Furthermore, to ensure safety, choose one that features an anti-slip handle with grooves and has a protective case for easy and safe storage.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Our team of writers and product reviewers bring you this list of the best backpacking shovels for camping after taking into account factors such as outdoor requirements, portability, material, and grip. We have compared several products from various websites and even considered user reviews before compiling this list. We present you with a detailed description of products, their pros and cons, and a buying guide to help you get your hands on the best one.