17 Best Camping Shovels To Make Your Campsite Habitable In 2024

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 high-quality camping shovels that make essential tasks effortless for both beginners and experienced campers alike. Keep scrolling to find your perfect pick amongst these best-selling options.

In This Article

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

17 Best Camping Shovels

1. Best Lightweight:SOG Folding Shovel

Constructed from tempered high-carbon steel, this heavy-duty camping shovel ensures durability. It is compact and can handle tougher jobs effortlessly. This foldable camping shovel is a convenient, portable, and multipurpose tool that can be bent into three angles as per requirement. Have a look at this video where the reviewer tests the folding shovel to see if it meets your buying requirements.

Color: Black | Material: Carbon Steel | Product Dimensions: ‎12 x 9 x 3 inches | Item Weight: ‎1.53 pounds

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Relatively smaller in size
  • Non-adjustable handle
protip_icon Point to consider
Using a shovel with an angled shaft can help reduce strain on the back while shoveling (1).

2. Best Portable Design:Rhino USA Folding Shovel

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 8,099 positive customer reviews on Amazon are a testament to its quality and reliability.

Weighing only two pounds, the Rhino USA’s Folding Military Shovel is made of powder-coated carbon steel. Even with a length of 23 inches, 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. If you need more useful information about the versatile shovel with pickaxe for camping, check out this review video.

Blade Material: Carbon Steel | Color: Folding Survival Shovel | Material: Carbon Steel | Item Weight: 2 pounds | Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches.

Pros

  • Durable and portable design
  • Heavy-duty build
  • Ideal for different types of terrain
  • Convertible into an ax by twisting the head

Cons

  • Locking mechanism may be complicated

3. Best With Multiple Attachments: Tac9er Survival Shovel

4.5

Stay ready for any situation during camping with Tac9er’s survival camping shovel that features an ax, hex driver, serrated knife, wire cutter, hoe, harpoon, saw, rescue knife, bottle opener, safety hammer, head bit, flathead bit, and fire starter. This durable and foldable shovel is made with a mix of carbon steel and aircraft-grade aluminum and has a threaded lock system that keeps the shovel’s blade in place while you work.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to assemble
  • Shovel with for starter for camping
  • Includes a nylon carrying pouch
  • Backed by a five-year warranty

Cons

  • Some might find the accessories smaller than expected
  • Handle might have a slight bend
SOG Folding Shovel
Best Lightweight
Rhino USA Folding Shovel
Best Portable Design
Tac9er Survival Shovel
Best With Multiple Attachments
Color Black Folding Survival Shovel-
Material Carbon Steel Carbon Steel-
Dimensions ‎12 x 9 x 3 inches 1 x 1 x 1 inches.-
Weight ‎1.53 pounds 2 pounds-
Blade Material- Carbon Steel-
Rating
Reviews7,3288,099-
Price$18.74$26.9$29.99
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

4. Best Durable:Redcamp Camping Shovel

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. Learn more about this entrenching camping shovel in this product testing video.

Handle Material: Carbon Steel | Item Weight: 2.5 Pounds | Color: Black | Material: Aluminum

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Locking mechanism might be flimsy

5. Best Quality:Gerber Gorge Folding Shovel

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, this shovel with serrated edge for camping can plow through the hardest of soils effortlessly.

Blade Material: Carbon Steel | Handle Material: Fiberglass | Item Weight: 1.7 Pounds | Color: ‎Black | Product Dimensions: ‎13.5 x 5 x 3 inches

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Bracket that attaches the blade to the handle is flimsy

6. Best Secured Locking Mechanism:Coleman Folding Shovel

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Join the 1,989 satisfied buyers on Amazon who have said the product meets their needs and expectations.

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 trusted camping shovel with a saw blade is lightweight and comes with a carry pouch for portability.

Material: ‎Blend | Color: ‎Multi | Item Weight: ‎1.3 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎7.25 x 4.25 x 2.3 inches

Pros

  • Secured locking mechanism
  • Extendable handle with ridges offers a firm grip
  • Can also be used to clear snow
  • Compact and versatile design

Cons

  • Relatively smaller in size
protip_icon Quick tip
Apply a light coating of oil to the metal parts of the shovel to protect them from moisture that can cause rust and corrosion.

7. Best Versatile Tool:FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel

Designed for high outdoor functionality, Fivejoy’s Military Camping Shovel could be a great reliable 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.

Blade Material: Carbon Steel | Handle Material: Aluminum | Item Weight: 1.2 Pounds | Color: Black

Pros

  • Made of durable material–carbon steel
  • Versatile tool including an ax, hammer, and an emergency whistle
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Shovelhead can be adjusted to multiple angles as per requirement

Cons

  • May not be durable

8. Best Stainless Steel: Yeacool Backpacking Shovel

4.5
Yeacool Backpacking Shovel Image: Yeacool

Yeacool’s multifunctional yet affordable camping shovel can work as a shovel, saw, ruler, nail extractor, hex wrench, paracord, and even a spare tent stake. Its one-piece construction prevents the handle from bending or breaking off. In addition, this rugged, high-strength stainless steel shovel is strong enough for digging in rocky ground, making it suitable for metal detecting and rockhounding.

Pros

  • Rust-resistant stainless steel blades
  • Has a paracord-wrapped handle
  • Carrying pouch with belt attachment
  • Comes with a shovel sheath

Cons

  • Some might find its length shorter than expected
  • Might be on the bulkier side
protip_icon Did you know?
Camping shovels with larger blades are suitable for digging and moving uncompressed materials. On the other hand, survival camping shovels with narrow blades are suitable for rough use.

9. Best Sturdy Build:UST Light Duty Shovel

The UST portable camping 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. Tested by several reviewers, its basic and simplistic design allows you to pitch a tent or dig out a campfire.

Handle Material: Aluminum | Item Weight: 18 Grams | Color: Orange | Material: Synthetic.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Durable and sturdy build
  • Convenient and suitable for hiking, backpacking, and hunting
  • Curved angle for easy digging

Cons

  • Handle may not have a comfortable grip
  • Seems relatively small

10. Best Foldable: Oakvue Survival Shovel

4.4

Oakvue’s foldable shovel is made of 3CR13 stainless steel, chromium, and carbon alloy, making it durable and rust-resistant. This user-tested shovel has a lightweight and versatile design. Plus, it includes camping tools such as a hex spanner, saw, multifunctional knife, window breaker, screwdriver, fire starter, whistle, and compass, making it an ideal kit for camping and hiking.

Pros

  • Adjustable handle length
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable angle makes it multi-purpose
  • Comes with a practical waist pack
  • Great camping shovel with compass

Cons

  • Accessories may require re-adjustments
  • Some might find it smaller than expected

11. Best Multipurpose:Tyger Auto Shovel

The Tyger Auto Shovel is a high-quality, indestructible camping shovel. It has an instant switch system and a threaded handle with an ergonomic design for smooth camping trips. Made of solid carbon steel and aerospace aluminum tubes, this foldable, ergonomic camping shovel offers durability, versatility, and effortless survival during camping.

Handle Material: Alloy Steel | Item Weight: 3 Pounds | Color: Black | Material: Aluminum, Carbon Steel | Product Dimensions: ‎10 x 6 x 2 inches

Pros

  • Includes a one-year warranty
  • Adjustable shovelhead suits most requirements
  • Compact and portable shovel
  • Includes a firestarter, ice pick, screwdriver, hammer, and more

Cons

  • Too heavy for backpacking

12. Best Aluminum: TheTentLab Deuce Backpacking Trowel

4.6
TheTentLab Deuce Backpacking Trowel Image: The Tent Lab

TheTentLab’s upside-down backpacking trowel, made of 7075-T6 aluminum, comes in three sizes to enable you to choose the one that best suits your needs. The lightest trowel weighs about 0.45oz, the second in line is slightly heavier at 0.6oz, and the third and heaviest short-handle trowel weighs about 0.97oz and is suitable for dealing with difficult hole-digging situations.

Pros

  • Anti-corrosion paint
  • Smooth, round edges
  • Short handles to make digging more effortless
  • Available in various colors

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for use on hard ground
  • Some might find it smaller than expected

13. Best Heat-Treated Head: Vivosun Military Folding Camping Shovel

4.4
Vivosun Military Folding Camping Shovel Image: Vivosun

Vivosun’s multifunctional shovel can be used as a hand shovel, hoe, pick, or saw. The premium shovel’s durable carbon steel body and heat-treated head make it ideal for digging, sawing, chopping, and shoveling snow in the winter. Moreover, unlike regular shovels that are hard to carry, this military-grade camping shovel has a three-way folding design that makes it the perfect size for easy storage and portability.

Pros

  • Shovel head has a blade-like pattern for easy digging
  • Has a sleek design with stable handle
  • Available in two colors
  • Nylon carry case included

Cons

  • Might be a little smaller than expected
  • May not be completely rust-proof

14.  Best Diamond-Patterned Design:Zune Lotoo Survival Camping Shovel

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 shovel with bottle opener weighs only four pounds, making it a compact and easy to carry gear.

Handle Material: Alloy Steel | Color: Gray | Material: aircraft grade aluminum, Martensitic Steel | Item Weight: 3.97 pounds | Product Dimensions: 35.4 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches.

Pros

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Diamond-patterned design offers efficiency
  • Packs in a multipurpose, high-quality bag
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Mixed reviews on durability

15. Best Rust-Resistant: Gold Armour Camping Shovel

4.3
Gold Armour Camping Shovel Image: Gold Armour

Gold Armour’s multifunctional shovel is made of durable and long-lasting manganese and stainless steel. The rust-resistant multifunctional tool is ideal for camping, hiking, gardening, digging, chopping, and many more activities. In addition, this collapsible camping shovel features a locking system that allows the blade to function at three different lengths and angles.

Pros

  • Anti-slip camping shovel with adjustable handle
  • Collapsible design for easy carry
  • Includes a carrying pouch
  • Suitable for different types of terrains
  • Baked by a 15-year warranty

Cons

  • Handles might require frequent re-adjusting
  • May not be completely scratch-proof

16. Best Extendable Design:Cofit Retractable Snow Shovel

Constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy, this tried-and-tested camping shovel is suitable for most campers, as its handle can be extended up to 43in. The high-quality tool’s lightweight design reduces labor, and its detachable design makes it fit well into its compact carry pouch for portability.

Item Weight: 800 Grams | Color: Red (26"-47") | Material: Aluminum | Product Dimensions: 47.24 x 8.27 x 7.87 inches.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Plastic handle can be fiddly

17. Best Multi-Tool Versatility:EST Gear Survival Shovel

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

EST Gear’s heat-treated carbon steel and aerospace-grade aluminum tactical camping shovel is specially designed for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its small size and lightweight design make it convenient and travel-friendly. The multi-purpose and reliable camping shovel set includes a saw, camping ax, knife, hunting spear, bottle opener, fire starter, hoe, wire cutter, hexagon wrenches, nail puller, ice pick, ruler, and hook.

Handle Material: Metal,Wood | Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum | Item Weight: 3 pounds | Product Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 2 inches.

Pros

  • Corrosion-resistant material
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Includes a waterproof nylon storage bag
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Some might find the material slightly flimsy
  • Some tools may not stay locked in place

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, foldable shovel with a compact size if you are going backpacking. A slightly heavier shovel may be suitable for vehicle campers.
  • Additional features: Some shovels come with extra features and additional tools to make them 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 and cause rusting.

2. Can I sharpen my shovel blade?

Yes, you can sharpen your shovel blade, 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 each use is one of the best ways to prevent rust formation.

4. Are all-in-one shovels better than classic camping shovels?

Yes, all-in-one shovels are much better than classic shovels because they are multifunctional and make it easier to carry just one thing on your camping trip. Some all-in-one or multifunctional shovels include a compass, handsaw, bottle opener, wire cutter, and more, making your camping experience much more enjoyable.

5. Do I need a shovel when backpacking?

Yes, you need a shovel when backpacking to dig holes.

6. How big is a tactical shovel?

Tactical shovels are lightweight and compact, making them easier to handle and carry around. A tactical shovel is typically 30 to 35 inches long.

7. How much does a camping shovel weigh?

Every camping shovel weighs differently. However, ensure you carry a lightweight and compact camping shovel, especially if you are backpacking. Typically, tactical shovels are lightweight and feature a compact size, and their weight varies between 1.5 and 4lb.

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 top-rated products from various trusted websites and reliable sources 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.

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.

Infographic: Selection Tips For A Camping Shovel

A camping shovel may sound insignificant among the essential pieces of camping gear. But it is useful for many things, from cleaning the ground to setting up a tent to digging a fire pit. Explore the various features of a good camping shovel in the infographic below to buy one that meets your requirements.

Tips For Buying A Good Camping Shovel (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Shovels: Background Challenges and Recommendations.
    https://ag-safety.extension.org/shovels:-background-challenges-and-recommendations

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