The 4 Best Camping Shovels on the Market– Reviews 2023

best camping shovel

Photo by Wwwsdm / CC BY

Shovels have been used for almost as long as mankind has existed.  The reason why is because their use is so wide-ranging and simply makes life easier in an outdoors or camping trip.  If you’re currently in the middle of making preparations for your next camping trip, including a good camping shovel in your preparations is an absolute must.  It’s possible that you’ll end up using your shovel for more uses than any of your other tools.

Camping shovels and entrenching tools are far more advanced today than they were just a few years ago.  Even though they’re still basically a metal plate attached via a hinge to a handle, they still come with a number of features that increase their strength, comfort, versatility, and mobility while simultaneously reducing weight and encumbrance.  What’s more is that they don’t cost a fortune either.

We’ve scoured the internet and have found what, in our humble opinion, are the 4 best camping shovels on the market:

Glock Entrenching Tool

While we are all familiar with what a Glock pistol is, far fewer of us are familiar with the fact that Glock produces tools and other items that go beyond firearms.  Once such example is their Glock Entrenching Tool, which will make a perfect companion for you on any camping trip.

The saw removes directly out of the handle for each of transportation and storage.  Nonetheless, when attached together, this entrenching tool (see full specs) is extremely rigid and can be locked in four separate positions, with each position being even more rigid than the last.  The holster allows you to keep this shovel on your belt so that it can be literally by your side throughout your next camping trip.

Glock Entrenching E-Tool and KYDEX Sheath Review

U.S G.I Military Original Issue E-Tool

If you want a true military grade camping shovel, the U.S G.I. Military Original Issue E-Tool is a top of the line choice.  This shovel consists of a simple blade constructed out of steel that is then attached to the aluminum handle.  Both the handle and the blade are then coated over in a black finish that doubles as an anti-corrosion and rust agent.  You could literally carry this shovel (see full specs) anywhere from the humid and tropical jungles to the hot desert to the frigid Arctic and it wouldn’t rust over.

One side of the blade has been serrated and the other has been sharpened so it can both hack through ice or saw through branches for constructing shelters, and if necessary, defend your life against an attacker or a hungry animal as well.   If you want versatility and a badass feeling for using a US military tool, this just might be the best camping shovel for the money.

US Military Ames Entrenching Tool Folding Shovel- Prepping Must Have Tool

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F19-N Elite

The SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F19-N Elite sports a very aggressive and high carbon blade that is perfect for cutting through wood.  In fact, you could use this shovel in place of a saw (which is actually included in the overall package) or a machete for hacking through thick brush.

The handle is constructed out of a strong and yet lightweight carbon that definitively removes a lot of the weight and makes the shovel more balanced as a whole.  SOG sells the F19-N Elite shovel with a limited lifetime warranty, so you can ensure that this heavy duty tool will be with you not just on your next camping trip but on your many more down the road as well.

SOG Elite Entrenching Tool

Gerber Gorge

Gerber makes just a bit of everything, this includes knives, axes, and of course a folding shovel or two. The Gerber Gorge is designed to be rugged, lightweight and performs multiple tasks. The Gorge is quite compact, it folds away in a small but usable bag. It’s perfect to toss in a backpack and hit the trails. The Gerber Gorge weighs a mere 28 ounces and is only 16.5 inches long. The Gorge is designed to be used to break through the hard packed ground without issue.

The Gorge is a two in one system that has both a blade for digging and a hammer head. Folding the shovel head down reveals the base hammer. This hammer is designed for driving tent stakes into the ground and doing similar work. It’s certainly not a carpenter’s hammer. The handle is really nice and broad and makes working comfortable. The Gerber Gorge is also pretty affordable and carries the Gerb name behind it.

Survival Unlimited (Gorge Folding Shovel)

What to Look for in the Best Camping Shovel

With a camping shovel, you can dig trenches, hack ice, defend yourself, saw down shelters, start a fire, and construct shelters.  These are the reasons why in the beginning of this article, we made it clear incorporating a camping shovel in your survival and camping preparations is an absolute must.

When searching for a camping shovel, the first thing that you will want to overview is the general size.  You’ll probably want a shovel that is compact and capable of folding up.   Don’t mistake a small or lightweight shovel for being weak; in fact, the opposite of true.  Furthermore, a smaller and foldable shovel would be much better for transportation since you can easily attach it to the outside of a survival pack and carry it around that way.

That being said, when you extend your camping shovel, you still want it to be as rigid and strong as possible.  This means it must have a durable locking mechanism that locks the handle and blade in place together.  If there is no locking mechanism or if the mechanism is weak, then you should reject the shovel in a heartbeat.

Finally, make a list of the different neat features that the shovel has incorporated into it.  You want the shovel to be as versatile as possible.  Things to look for include a serrated edge so that the shovel can essentially act as a saw, and a sharp and pointed edge so that it can dig deep and fast into the ground.  With these conditions in mind, you’re sure to find the best camping shovel for your needs.  Good luck!

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

Share the Post and Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *