Best Portable Camping Shovels In 2019: Buying Guide and Reviews
When someone mentions the best portable camping shovels, the first thing that comes to mind for those who are not used to them is a large piece of metal that takes up all the space in your bag. That couldn’t be further from the truth because times have changed and now we have shovels that are barely the size of one’s arm.
What are they good for if they are that small? Well, when all you want is to scoop ice to make your campsite habitable, then you don’t need the largest one. Also, portability is key and so the first thought is having a tool that you can carry comfortably even when you don’t have a van.
In this article, we will review 10 of our favorite portable camping shovels, highlighting what we like about them and all the qualities that we think would be beneficial to you. We will also talk more about these tools in a thorough buying guide and FAQ.
Table of Contents
- Portable Camping Shovels – Review & Buyer’s Guide
- 1. Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel
- 2. TREKOO Survival Folding Shovel
- 3. FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel
- 4. LIANTRAL Camping Axe
- 5. M48 Tactical Shovel
- 6. Zune Lotoo Annihilate Tactical Shovel
- 7. DONGKER Folding Shovel
- 8. IUNIO Portable Folding Shovel
- 9. Jingrong Folding Shovel
- 10. SOG Folding Shovel
- Portable Camping Shovels – Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Portable Camping Shovels – Review & Buyer’s Guide
1. Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel
If you are about to get off-road and unsure of the situation out there, this Rhino shovel will be your best bet. It is ideal for those less severe roadblocks that could use a compact 2.7 x 9.9 x 6.4-inch shovel. Though this military-style shovel is quite short, its square build will penetrate the ground and even uproot some light roots while in the process – thanks to its serrated sides – to get you out of a sticky situation in no time.
Even though this shovel is made of heavy-duty material – Powder Coated Carbon Steel – it only weighs 2.65lbs, which is ideal for a hand shovel. It fits nicely in the hand and it helps that it comes with a carrying case. It folds into a compact 9″ x 6″ which is as portable as they come, and it has a pick on the side, making it multi-functional. Its price makes it a worthy investment and the money-back guarantee is a nice touch.
- Lightweight – just over 2lbs.
- Heavy-duty material for durability.
- Has serrated edges for uprooting roots.
- Better for less severe situations.
- A little too short for heavy snowing.
2. TREKOO Survival Folding Shovel
This Trekoo shovel is made of high alloy steel material reinforced to resist rust, which is how it can be used anywhere. While it folds into a neat compact piece that fits easily in its carrying bag, it can also be unfolded into three sizes: 24.8inch, 18.5inch, and 13.38inch. The board is 0.18cm thick to endure tough conditions and the sides of the board are serrated to chop things on the side for a neat job.
This shovel is multi-functional in that you can use it for digging, prying, shoveling, sawing, chopping, and cutting as well as picking. That makes it ideal to bring with you on your fishing escapades, hiking, camping, and any other outdoor adventure. The fact that it can be taken apart into pieces that are easy to carry in the bag that the maker provides makes this shovel and even more worthy investment.
Speaking of this shovel’s multi-purpose natures, the head doubles up as a bottle opener. The board, being made of alloy, is tough enough to act as a hammer during an emergency. The head’s curved nature allows it to be used as a hoe while the pick does some lifting and digging.
- It can be unfolded into three sizes.
- Reasonably priced.
- Compact and lightweight.
- It can be a little flimsy.
3. FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel
This Five Joy package has all the survival tools you need when you’re out in the jungle. There is a serrated saw for cutting and prying, a paracord to tie things, a shovel to dig, and a sharp axe blade for cutting. They all fit perfectly in the carrying bag that the manufacturer provides when you make a purchase. There is even a magnesium rod to start fires in the jungle since matches are overrated.
The shovel is easy to assemble and disassemble and it fits perfectly inside the bag when folded. The entire package weighs 1.2lbs, and with that portable bag, you can bring it anywhere. The blades are made of carbon steel and aerospace-grade aluminum that is not only durable but also not affected by water. Your blades stay in the same shape without succumbing to rust or any other destruction that is caused by water.
The shovel has a screw-locking device that makes it adjustable into 40°, 90° or 180° angles so you can use it as hook, hoe or shovel. The aluminum handle has a slip-proof foam cushion that makes it a joy to work with.
- Slip-proof foam cushion on the handle.
- Adjustable shovel for multi-function.
- 5 pieces of outdoor equipment in one package.
- A little more expensive than others.
4. LIANTRAL Camping Axe
The LIANTRAL survival kit is made to be adjusted to your preference, and so the pieces can be switched with others that you feel are more suited for you. The ax and shovel are made of carbon steel which is durable and not easily destroyed by weather elements. Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy is used for the bar for durability while an anti-slip grip is added to make this tool easy to use. The shovel can be taken apart and put back together in no time and without the use of tools. Still, the manufacturer includes a manual to guide you if you need any help.
The ax can be used as a shovel, a wrench, a hoe, and even a hammer, thanks to a sturdy head that is made of heavy-duty material. You can adjust the bar to your preferred height too. This package is lightweight at 4.76lbs and so it is ideal for lots of purposes. LIANTRAL gives you a year’s guarantee and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Compared to other portable shovels on the market and its features, this shovel is reasonably priced.
- Anti-slip grip on the handle.
- Compact, lightweight, and comes with a carrying case.
- Weatherproof material.
- It cannot handle heavy weight lifting.
5. M48 Tactical Shovel
The sharp tip of the M48 Kommando shovel’s head makes it a weapon as well as a shovel that will dig into both snow and dirt. Its serrated blade can be used a saw if need be while its nylon molded fiberglass handle is ergonomic and easy to hold. Being a lightweight package – 7 ounces – this 16.2 x 10.6 x 3.6-inch shovel can be brought to any outdoor expeditions easily.
Unlike other shovels, the M48 is not height-adjustable. It is quite small and used as is but it packs a punch, thanks to its sturdy construction. The material used – tempered stainless steel – makes the cast tough while the black oxide coating makes it even more weather-resistant. A black nylon belt sheath that is plastic-lined that is reinforced with 5 rivets is placed on the outer edge to make this shovel even more durable. Because it needs no assembly, this shovel is easy to use and will last a long time regardless of the conditions it is exposed to. United Cutlery gives you a year’s warranty.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Sturdy and weather-resistant.
- One-size – handle not height-adjustable.
- No mention of carrying case being included.
6. Zune Lotoo Annihilate Tactical Shovel
The Zune Lotoo shovel weighs a little under 3lbs and can be adjusted to six angles with the simple touch of a button. It can be turned into ten useful survival tools including a shovel, hand saw, shovel saw, bottle opener, knife, wire cutter, emergency whistle, camera support, fire-start rod, and hammer. While the shovel’s head is stainless steel for weather resistance and durability, its handle is made of anodized aluminum tubes that enhance its grip and longevity.
The shovel is 24.4 in when assembled, but a screw lock system enables you to lock it into various sizes for height adjustability. The manufacturer says it can bear up to 400kgs and some reviewers said they could attest to it. It is a little pricier than most portable shovels on the market, but it does have more superior features. For angles, you can tilt it to 30°, 45°, 60°, 115°, 135°, and 180° to use as you please. This package from Zune Lotoo is one of the best portable shovels on the market.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Adjust up to six positions with a button.
- Camera support that is already screw-tightened.
- Diamond pattern designed handle.
- Quite pricey.
7. DONGKER Folding Shovel
The DONGKER folding shovel is an all-in-one camping tool that will cut, pry, and dig into tough ground and snow. Built of carbon steel and aviation aluminum alloy, the shovel’s head will not succumb to weather situations or be affected by water. The handle is ergonomic, anti-slip and not affected by sweat, and it is also made with durable material. Because the head is sharp on the sides, it will cut into shrubs easily while making sure every item in the way is removed.
Though the shovel is 33 inches, it can be adjusted to different sizes to suit your preferred height. The shovel board is 0.25cm to endure tough conditions while the entire package folds into a 10.6*7.1*2.6inch compact size. It weighs 1.33kgs which is heavier than most, but that is only due to all the pieces inside this package. Thanks to a 180-degree rotating lock, this shovel can be angled differently to suit different purposes; it hooks at 45,° turns into a hoe at 90,° and is a shovel at 180.° all this is done at the touch of a button.
- Anti-slip handle.
- Made of all-weather material.
- Quite heavy at 1.33kgs.
8. IUNIO Portable Folding Shovel
This foldable shovel is 38 inches in length and can be adjusted for height. It has a sturdy handle that is ergonomic and made with anti-slip material, and the overall make of the rest of this shovel – its other parts – is equally sturdy. The bar is light and to adjust it to a different height, you just have to push it in or pull it out. This package can transform into the ultimate survival kit – hexagonal wrench, saw, bottle opener, emergency whistle, shovel board, nail extractor, hoe and pickax, fish scaling tool, fire bar, and even a screwdriver. When put together, it turns into this compact case that fits perfectly inside a carrying case that is part of the purchase.
Made of high-carbon steel, this shovel is not prone to rust or corrosion. It is durable, and the shovel head that is sharp and sturdy will handle lots of weight. One of the sides is serrated for cutting, ensuring that nothing gets left behind. The rubber on the handle makes it comfortable to hold and use.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Height-adjustable and you can switch it to different angles.
- A little pricier than most.
9. Jingrong Folding Shovel
This military camping shovel is 38 inches in length and 3.8lbs, which we find manageable. The blade is made of manganese steel while the handle is aerospace-grade aluminum. When they are both combined, they make a formidable tool that is ideal for survival in any outdoor situation. Because this shovel is quite flexible, it can be used as an ax, pickaxe, fish-scaling tool, hoe, and a firelighter. It is also an emergency whistle, which is why its price makes it quite a worthy investment for those who love outdoor fun.
Because of the durable high-quality material that makes this shovel, it will not succumb to water damage. It is also covered by a lifetime guarantee by the manufacturer. You can use the spade at 45°, 90, ° or 180° angles as a hook, hoe, or as a shovel and it all takes seconds to change angles. Everything in this kit can be taken apart and put together in the least time and it is also easily packed in the package that the manufacturer provides.
- Easily switch angles.
- Reasonably priced.
- Lifetime guarantee.
- Water-resistant material.
- The construction is a little flimsy as per some reviewers.
10. SOG Folding Shovel
This tool that can be used as a camp shovel, snow or sand shovel, or a gardening shovel is quite small – barely bigger than an adult’s arm – is light and compact and can be used by anyone. Measuring 18.25 inches at full length and a mere 24.5 ounces, you can fold this shovel and place it inside its little bag that you will carry comfortably without noting you have any tools on you.
It can be folded three-ways; into a small portable outdoor shovel, a hiking shovel, or a compact E-tool for camping. Made of high-carbon steel, this shovel is not only super durable, but it is also water-resistant and not corrodible. It comes with a lifetime guarantee too and so you can trust that the manufacturer has faith in their product.
- Lightweight and compact as it is foldable.
- Small – the size of one’s arm.
- Made of sturdy, durable material.
- Quite small and so it is ideal for light tasks.
Portable Camping Shovels – Buyer’s Guide
You would think it wouldn’t be so hard to buy a portable shovel, right? Well, it isn’t so hard when you know what to look for, but most times there are just too many brands that one gets confused. With bias on durability, functionality, and price, here are some of the factors we consider the most necessary in a shovel.
You already know it needs to be strong, and so plastic is not one of the materials you want on your shovel. Military-grade alloy is what will give you value for your money as well as stainless steel to prevent corrosion and water damage. These shovels made of durable material may cost a little more than others, but they are worth every dime.
Build and Function
You want a shovel that has length-adjustability for your ideal height. You also want a handle with a good grip and anti-slip to make it easier to work with. One that slips every few seconds will not give you the comfort you should have when working. If you can get one with serrated edges on the blades, you will get more function out of it than regular cutting and there is also a consideration on the blade’s sharpness.
A shovel with a folding handle is great because it becomes easily compact and easy to carry. Most camping shovels can be turned into so many other survival tools, and so you may want to look out for one that is multifunctional.
Size and Portability
You certainly want a shovel that can be folded into a much smaller package that you can carry easily in its small carrying case – most come with these. The lighter it is, the better it will be for you. Most of them, even with their several units that form survival kits, can be taken apart easily and everything packed individually inside the bag.
Will price matter that much? Well, the cheapest portable shovels are not the best because of their flimsy construction. If you are looking for a survival kit, then you should be willing to spend a little more for a product that will serve you well for long. More expensive shovels are mostly made of durable material and have lengthy – even lifetime – warranties. So, yes. Price matters and we are in favor of the more valuable shovels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Conclusion – Wrapping Up
We hope you know more about camping shovels than you did at the beginning of this article. We also hope you can now comfortably select the best camping shovel for your needs using the guide and review we have laid out.
As always, we endeavor to bring you the most up-to-date information and so we only review products available on the market and that you can easily buy online. We will keep this article updated at all times to make it a go-to guide on portable camping shovels.