Best of the basics: A look at the best survival shovels
By Edsel Cook // Sep 17, 2019

One of the must-have equipment for any survival scenario is a military-grade survival shovel. It can perform all the functions of a typical shovel while also being smaller, lighter, sturdier, and more versatile.


The FiveJoy C1 Military Folding Shovel Multitool exemplifies this multi-functionality. It can chop wood like an ax, open bottles, pound objects like a hammer, and whistle for help. It also features a magnesium rod fire starter and a wire cutter.

Made from high carbon steel with a corrosion-resistant finish, the C1 shovel is sturdy and easy to assemble and disassemble. The handle dries quickly and keeps the user's grip from slipping.

Next on the list is the Entrenching Tool from SOG Specialty Knives and Tools. It boasts a trifold design that can be folded into a compact form the size of the shovel's head. Thanks to the shape of its triangular handle, this survival shovel is easy to manipulate.

In addition to digging, the SOG survival shovel also works as a hoe, a trenching tool, and a saw. With a hard case of black carbon steel, this tool will last for decades. (Related: Portable stoves are a must-have for every prepper.)

There is an appropriate survival shovel design for every individual

The Trencher is a collaborative design between Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) and custom blade maker Tom Stokes. The resulting survival shovel is aerodynamic, ergonomic, and gritty.

One side of the Trencher's spade can be used as a wood saw. The opposite side features a beveled edge for chopping. And the reinforced steel tip of the shovel laughs at any rock in its way.

The textured handle also improves the grip of the user's hands. Both the handle and the spade are made of sturdy materials.

The fourth recommended model – the BAALAND Military Folding Shovel – shows that bigger may also be better. Its longer, larger handle gives it greater leverage and power.

When it's time to get a move on, the survival shovel can be folded. It fits in a tactical waist pack with a belt loop.

This model boasts more than 18 functions. A screw locking feature lets the user change the angle of the BAALAND shovel so it can serve as a hoe or a hook.

Meanwhile, its kit includes an emergency flashlight with red and white diffusers. The flashlight also has an integrated power bank for recharging portable electronics.

Survival shovels also serve as hammers, axes, and self-defense weapons

IUNIO designed its Military Portable Folding Shovel for functionality, practicality, and reliability in any terrain. The folded-down survival shovel fits in a tactical waist pack – it may be hung from the belt, kept in a bug-out bag, or stored in a bug-out vehicle.

The high-carbon steel construction ensures the sturdiness of the survival shovel. A rubber grip covers the handle and makes it easy to use in dry and wet conditions.

Its other survival features include a bottle opener, a fire bar, a hammer, a hoe, a knife, a nail extractor, a saw, and an emergency whistle.

The final entry is the M48 Kommando Survival Shovel. The smallest and lightest of the six recommended designs., it measures just 16.2 inches in length, weighs a mere seven ounces, and fits inside a nylon pouch that you can connect to your belt.

The M48 is perfect for camping trips and outdoor jobs. The sharpened point of the spade has a serrated edge for sawing and a concave edge that serves as a small ax.

It also works well as a self-defense weapon. Compared to a heavier shovel, its compact size and light weight make it easy to wield against potential threats.

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