14 Best Backpacking Shovels for Outdoor Adventures and Tactical Applications

14 Best Backpacking Shovels for Camping and Tactical Use

The backpacking shovel brings together durability, versatility, and compatibility. These are a multifunctional tool that is necessary for outdoor survival. It can serve as an ax, saw, compass, hoe, hammer, emergency whistle, fire starter, and even a bottle opener.

When you’re out in the wilderness, there are a lot of things that you need to worry about. Food, water, shelter… But what about when nature calls? You’re going to have to bury your waste somehow! That’s where a backpacking shovel comes in handy. There are a lot of different shovels on the market, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

In this blog post, we will take a look at 14 of the best backpacking shovels on the market and discuss their features and benefits. Whether you’re looking for a tactical shovel or something for everyday camping trips, we’ve got you covered!

1. TerraDig Tactical Shovel

TerraDig™ Tactical Shovel
TerraDig™ Tactical Shovel

TerraDig™ is the most compact, multi-purpose tactical shovel in its class. Perfect for camping, hiking, and preparedness.

Constructed from lightweight military-grade materials, TerraDig™ uses durable 3CR13 shovel plates & an advanced Aluminum Alloy handle that offers unparalleled lightweight utility with no loss of strength or usability.

2. EST Gear Survival Shovel | The Best Tactical Shovel Entrenching Tool You Can Buy. 

EST Gear Survival Shovel

If you’re looking for an awesome, lightweight tactical shovel then the EST Gear Survival Shovel is the tool for you.

The EST Shovel is the ideal multi-tool for emergency and survival purposes. If you want to upgrade your survival tools, without overpaying, then The EST Military Shovel is the entrenching tool for you.

Packing 18 tools in one, this shovel has a hardened-steel, reinforced shovelhead that’s durable enough to chop, saw, slice, and dig in any condition. The EST Folding Shovel’s military-grade aluminum handle makes it a breeze to work with.

It comes with a packable ripstop nylon pouch. Simple to disassemble and lightweight, the EST Shovel can fit anywhere from your bug-out bag to your truck.


  • Lightweight
  • Foldable
  • Versatile
  • Designed in America
  • Easy to use and assemble
  • Comes with a Lifetime Warranty


  • The origin country is not clear

3. Tactidigger™ Portable Shovel

Tactidigger™ Portable Shovel
Tactidigger™ Portable Shovel


Tactidigger™ is the tactical backpack shovel you never knew you needed. A true multitool for outdoor enthusiasts, this unassuming spade combines a saw, shovel, compass, baton, knife, and firestarter into one single item.

Its multi-functional nature enables digging, sawing, chopping, cutting, picking, prying, hammering, bottle opening, and shoveling with one single tool.

The Tactidigger™  shovel folds into a compact package with a carrying pouch and loop for easing latching to a belt or backpack. It is built from strong and sturdy carbon steel with a military-inspired design.

4. BlackPig Backpacking Shovel for Camping

Camping Folding Shovel,Multi-Functional Survival Spade Military Mini Portable Stainless Steel Shovel for Camping, Backpacking, Gardening, Hiking (Black)

This is a multipurpose camping folding shovel that is applicable to cutting, sawing, digging, prying, chopping, shoveling, and hammering. It can be folded into 2 parts which makes it compact and comfortably fit a big

It is made of a high carbon steel body and handles which makes it last longer. It features a compass right on the shovel handle that can guide you to survival when lost. It is a very important accessory for hiking, exploring and gardening.

5. aiMaKe Super High Strength Military Folding Shovel with Carrying Pouch for Camping

Seeking for a high-quality folding shovel that is easy to put together and compact, the Super High Strength Military Folding Shovel is a recommended choice. It is a good choice for camping and hiking and gets the job done with ease.

It is multipurpose camping equipment that can be used for prying, hammering, chopping, bottle opening, cutting, and shoveling. The material is made of high-quality carbon with a steel handle hence durability is guaranteed.

6. THE PRAIRIE DOG – Ultralight Camp Shovel Trowel for Backpackers

The Prairie Dog - Ultralight Camp Shovel Trowel for Backpackers - 0.7 Ounces/Extendable Handle/Double Sided Spade/Comfortable Grip/Minimalist Lightweight Tool for Digging Cat Holes/Made in USA

This is a very light and durable camp shovel that is made with high-grade Aluminum to withstand rough use with time. It extends to a maximum of 3 feet hence, giving you the necessary strength for all your digging needs.

It is multipurpose as an end is committed to digging and others can be used to cut through roots and rocks. It is comfortable to use and fits any hand firmly. It can also serve as a spare tent stake when camping on a windy day.

7. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade

Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade, Serrated Edge [30-000075],black

The Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade comes with a serrated blade edge that applies to saw and chopping roots. It is made of a glass-filled nylon handle as well as a powder-coated steel spade head. It is a foldable, strong, and rigid spade made from long-lasting materials, which makes it withstand rough handling in any environment.

Weighing just 2 pounds, it is lightweight and folds into a compact size. It has a serrated edge which makes digging in a tough environment very easy It can cut through plants and grass with ease.

8. SOG Folding Shovel

SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel – Entrenching Tool 18.25 Inch Foldable Shovel Camping Shovel w/ Wood Saw Edge and Tactical Shovel Carry Case (F08-N)

Seeking for the ideal small shovel that can comfortably handle big jobs, the SOG Folding Shovel Survival Shovel is a good choice. It works effectively as a snow, gardening or sand shovel. This is a versatile tool with a wood saw edge and rotating spade that can serve as a how and a pick.

It features first grade materials in construction – high carbon steel – hence will last pretty long. It can be collapsed into a small compact size makes it fit your backpack when not in use.

9. GSI Outdoors 2010 Trowel

GSI Outdoors 2010 Trowel- Colors May Vary

Designed with serrated edges, the GSI Outdoors Trowel has the capacity to handle pretty hard soils. It was designed with high-quality materials which makes it last longer. It features sharp serrated edges that are able to cut through forest, root, etc.

The GSI Outdoors 2010 Trowel is made of materials purely friendly to the environment. It is light in weight and comes in a variety of colors.

10. IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel and Pickax

iunio Folding Shovel, Survival Multitool, Foldable Entrenching Tool, Portable Collapsible Spade, Off-Roading E-Tool Kit, for Camping, Backpacking, Trenching, Car Emergency

This versatile portable folding shovel has everything you need to have a nice and seamless camping experience – nail extractor, bottle opener, shovel, whistle, and compass. It is the best companion for all forms of activities like hunting, gardening, hiking, and camping.

It is pretty strong and very durable, made with high carbon steel which is resistant to wear and rust. It features a rubber handle giving the user a firm grip and ease of use!

11. Otplore Folding Tactical Camping Shovel

Otplore Folding Tactical Camping Shovel - Heavy Duty Compact Multitool Military Survival Shovel for Camping Backpacking Hiking Car Emergency, 32"

This is one of the most important accessories perfect for camping, fishing, driving, hiking, and all forms of outdoor activities. It is highly functional and also user-friendly as it comes with a strong handle and an anti-slip design.

This powerful Tactical Camping Shovel has multiple uses and some are fire rod starter, screwdriver, compass, hammer, knife, saw, etc. It folds into a compact size when not in use, making it fit for your backpack.

12. Tri-Fold Entrenching Tool (E-Tool)

Military issue Tri-Fold Entrenching Tool (E-Tool), Genuine, with Shovel Cover

Seeking the perfect accessories for all your outdoor activities, the Tri-Fold Entrenching Tool serves your entire purpose. It is made with a high-quality steel blade and Aluminum handle giving it the needed strength to handle all that you throw at it.

It can be collapsed into a very compact size when not in use for smooth carriage and storage. It was made with a black powder coat giving it the needed strength to withstand adverse conditions.

13. SERGEANT Folding Shovel

SERGEANT Folding Shovel, Military-Grade, Entrenching Tool, E-Tool, for Camping, Gardening, Job Site, Hunting, Snow and Survival Kit, with Steel Blade, Serrated Edge, in Black with Tactical Carry Case

The Sergeant folding shovel is a must-have accessory for all who loves gardening, camping, and job site. It is very compact in size as it folds from 23 inches to 10 inches when folded. It is made with high-quality materials (tempered forged steel) that make it applicable for rugged and heavy use.

It is multipurpose as it can serve as a camping shovel, survival shovel, saw, how, snow shovel, or folding shovel. With the edge, you can cut through plant roots, grass, and hard dirt.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Survival Shovel

The first factor to consider is the weight of the shovel.

Backpacking shovels are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry, so you don’t want to choose something that is too heavy.

Another important factor is the size of the shovel blade.

You’ll want to make sure that the blade is large enough to handle your needs, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to carry.

– The next factor is the material of the shovel blade. Some blades are made from stainless steel, while others are made from titanium or aluminum. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to decide which one is right for you based on your needs.

The last factor to consider is the price.

Backpacking shovels can range in price from around $20 to $200. It’s important to find a shovel that fits your budget, but you also don’t want to sacrifice quality for price.

There are many things that you should consider before you chose the most appropriate survival shovel. We discuss some of them below.


At all costs, stay away from plastic shovels. While they are lighter and cheaper, their rigidity and durability cannot be guaranteed. Thus, you should consider backpacking shovels made of metals like

  • Stainless steel that is a little heavy but resistant to corrosion
  • High carbon steel is stronger than regular steel and is usually coated with oxide paint to guard against erosion.
  • Aluminum materials are lightweight but not very strong.

You should also consider the material of the shovel handle. The material must be strong to handle heavy use.


The making of the backpacking shovel will go a long way to affect its function. As a result of this, you should pay attention to the following:

  1. Handle Length: While excess length will make the shovel weighty, it will make it easier to use.
  2. Blade Size: With bigger blades, you will be able to complete the task faster hence, you should consider this if you will be doing a lot of digging. A small blade, on the other hand, might mean you spend more time.
  3. Blade Edges: There are serrated edges on most backpacking shovels with which one can cut through roots and grasses
  4. Blade shape: a narrow shape is recommended for a task like pitching a tent and digging a hole. While a wide blade shape can help in making snow pt, leveling the earth, digging a fire pit, etc. A pointed blade shape, on the other hand, is suited for digging deep holes and hard earth.
  5. Ease of Use

Most survival shovels come with folding handles. With the folding handles, you can just flip the handle and the shovel is good to go. The con of this, however, is that it comes with a short handle.

There are others that have screws that hold the handle together. With this, you get a pretty longer handle. You should, however, consider the con of screwing the parts together. There is the risk of losing a part of any of the screws.


How heavy your folding shovel is will also affect your comfort when using it. In other words, you have to pay attention to weight when going for it. Asides, you should consider a survival shovel that comes with a carabineer attachment. This helps remove the dirt from the shovel before packing it into your backpack.

Multi-tool Survival Shovels

Quite a number of survival shovels are multipurpose. They could be used as blades, picks, saws, and jiggers. With these, you get additional usability without investing in extra tools.


We have considered the top ten backpacking shovels available in the market. We hope you find what suits your taste appropriately. Asides, we have discussed essential factors to consider before choosing a backpacking shovel.

We do hope this ends your search for the best foldable shovel.

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