Do You Really Need a Survival Shovel?

Do You Really Need a Survival Shovel

Many survival enthusiasts consider a survival shovel one of the most important survival tools. The survivalist’s mantra is "you can't make a shelter without breaking ground." A survival shovel makes it possible to break through snow, sand, or dirt and create a place for you and your family to survive. But do you really need this tool? What if you never leave your home and never plan on being in areas where there is snow? It's not necessary unless Mother Nature decides to show up at your door with an unexpected gift of heavy snowfall!

How to Choose a Survival Shovel?

Survival shovels are becoming increasingly popular, resulting in an extensive range of different shovels to pick from. Suppose you live off the grid or enjoy hiking, camping, road trips, and other outdoor activities, having a survival shovel will come in handy. It is tiny and foldable (depending on the shovel), making it easy to use and transport wherever you go, even inside your backpack. It can be used to chop, cut, dig, light a fire, put up a camp, assist you in climbing, fight and protect yourself against predators and wild animals, repair equipment, and much more. Modern survival shovels can be used for trekking, camping, survival and self-defense, gardening, and many other activities as a survival shovel tool.

What is the Purpose of the Survival Shovel?

This is perhaps the essential element to consider when selecting a survival shovel. You have the option of using a traditional shovel or a multi-tool shovel, which I will discuss further below. As a result, consider what you intend to do with the shovel. If you enjoy outdoor activities regularly, you should invest in a survival shovel. But which type?

Assume you enjoy going on camping outings in the winter. Naturally, you'll need a tactical shovel capable of digging through potentially frozen earth in that situation. On the other hand, if you like a more straightforward camping vacation and don't want to bring a lot of tools and materials, you should choose a multi-tool shovel that can help you with a variety of chores such as making a fire, cutting, digging, opening cans, and more.


A multi-tool survival shovel is far more versatile than a traditional survival shovel. But, again, because it's more expensive, consider if you truly need one. The multi-tool shovel's stock is foldable and made up of two or three portions that may be screwed out. The inside of the store is hollow, where numerous tooltips are kept there are also folding shovels with high carbon steel.


Here are some of the ultimate survival tool that a multi-tool survival shovel may include (depending on the type, brand, and model) and is necessary to pair with your bug out bag as a lifesaving survival tool:

Knives are used for gutting fish, hunting, cutting, and self-defense.

  • Fishing spear: A fishing spear that is sharp and precise.
  • Compass: Always be aware of your whereabouts, especially if you are in the wilderness or where there is no cell service.
  • Fire-steel: Obtaining a spark to start a fire even under adverse weather circumstances.
  • When it's snowing, use an ice ax to break up the ice and make your route simpler.
  • When there is no other manner or form of communication to tell of difficulty or situations, an emergency whistle comes in help.
  • Bottle opener: It's always a good idea to have one on hand, especially after a long hike or while sitting around the campfire with a cold beer in hand.
  • Hatchet: A survival hatchet is usually a good idea, and some shovels can operate as hatchets and chop wood.


A tri-fold shovel has less adaptability and possibilities than a multi-tool, but it is very reliable, durable, and resistant to environmental conditions. If you choose this shovel style, it's better to acquire one with a threaded locking system for secure assembly. Soldiers and military personnel employ the tri-fold design, a compact form with a polymer grip.

Shovel Head

Because the shovel's head will be doing most of the work, it's critical to inspect the material it's composed of. To have a survival shovel that will endure for years, opt for a full shovel head made of solid material, such as heat-treated stainless steel or reinforced nylon.

Metalheads are heavier, making them ideal for entrenching. However, remember that you will need to sharpen metal heads frequently, which you will not have to do with nylon heads. Also, make sure the head is robust and sturdy. As a result, if you can bend it with pressure, it's not useful for survival and isn't strong enough.

In addition, consider the contour of the head. If you wish to dig deeper in rugged terrain or use the shovel as a weapon in self-defense, search for leaders with serrated edges. Almost all survival shovelheads and the shovel blade have a sharpened point and jagged edges. Some knives may have a serrated edge on one side of the blade and a straight blade on the other. Because of the many configurations, the shovel can also be used for sawing and cutting.


Another item to consider when selecting the best survival shovel is the handle. You want a solid grip on the shovel so that it is easy to use and comfortable to use. Longer-handled shovels are more convenient to use. However, because of the length of the handle and the fact that it is heavier, carrying the shovel may be less fortunate.

A shovel board with a shorter handle will be easier to carry and use, but keep in mind that you need to bend more when digging. Some survival shovels include adjustable handles, which is a beautiful answer.

  • Steel handles are sturdy and long-lasting. However, keep in mind that you may feel some shock reverberate through the handle when you dig.
  • Polymer handle: The polymer handle is durable and lightweight, making it ideal for any outdoor activities and carrying it with you wherever.
  • Wooden handle: A wooden handle absorbs shock well due to the bend in the hold. Even in hardwood designs, there is always the possibility of the wood snapping or producing splinters. A survival shovel with hardwood handles suits campers looking for a long-lasting shovel.

Weight and Portability

When it comes to the best survival shovels, you want a shovel that is both sturdy and strong, as well as lightweight and easy to carry. And, yes, such shovels do exist. Look for shovels with a carbon steel design head if you want something light. However, don't forget about the handle, and opt for shovels with polymer handles, which are the lightest.

Choose the tri-fold survival shovel if you desire a compact shovel. When the shovel is small (and foldable), it can be stored in your car or stuffed into your backpack or daypack without taking up too much space or being too heavy to carry.

Most shovels weigh between 0.5 and 1.87 pounds, depending on the shovel's functionality, materials, and design. However, this factor is unimportant if you intend to use the shovel primarily for general camping purposes.


You're about to invest in a vital instrument or an amazing tool for yourself, so be sure it works flawlessly and for a long time. I recommend choosing a shovel with a carbon steelhead when it comes to durability. It is exceptionally long-lasting and will last for many years. Look for shovels with coated heads as well. During digging, cutting, sewing, and other duties and activities, the blade may be subjected to a great deal of stress. If the head of your shovel is not coated, it will corrode and rust over time, especially at the edges where the blades take the most impact. In the end, you'll need a new shovel.

The shovel's head will survive longer if it is clear-coated or powder-coated, as this coating will protect the head from impact and other environmental conditions. Powder-coated heads are corrosion-resistant, have a robust surface, and are free from friction during chopping and sawing. Another thing to remember is that some shovels will need to be sharpened over time (depending on use), particularly those with a stainless steelhead. However, sharpening is not required for nylon-based shovels.

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