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How many have trowels or what do you use to dig a cathole?

I am interested in what you use to dig a cathole 6 inches deep? Not passing any judgements..I just bought another one for other people to use while Iam out backpacking near groups....

Trowel. Worth the 17 grams. Those who say they can kick a hole 6"+ deep with the heel of their shoe are kidding themselves.

JRinGeorgia said:

Trowel. Worth the 17 grams. Those who say they can kick a hole 6"+ deep with the heel of their shoe are kidding themselves.

 Yeah they never hit Georgia red clay

You hear a lot of talk about using tent stakes etc, but unless you take one of the big snow or sand stakes there is no way that it would substitute consistently for a trowel, which can also be used as an extra guy line stake in a pinch and has several other uses.

Just retired my ancient plastic trowel for a Deuce of Spades. Looking forward to trying it out next weekend.

I carry an ABS plastic trowel.  Less than an ounce. Think I bought it at WallyWorld.  $3.00 IIRC.

Abs trowel for us, too.  Cheap, light, and functional.

I just use a fixed blade knife.

I was waiting for I use a tent stake, trekking pole, boot heel....But I should have presumed this group has a good understanding of LNT....I always follow up on social media with 2 places you can get a titanium trowel that weighs next to nothing...

You can get the big aluminum snow/sand states for about $2 each at REI.  

I got the deuce of spades from TRAILSPACE and in the past I have always just used a stick to spite the weight. But it is so light, small and flat, that I have no issues taking it with me now. It really is a great tool! I have even been able to dig down into some harder ground with it with no issues what so ever. Its worth giving it a try

I can't make sense of claims that a boot heel or trekking pole is sufficient to dig 6".  Of course I hike in places with rooty ground, dense clay, and hidden rocky treasures.  Certainly some types of soil can be easily dug like that, but the lack of moisture and roots would indicate that the soil isn't very bioactive and might not decompose your deposit very quickly.

I use one of those titanium trowels and am very happy with it.  I busted the handle on a couple of those orange plastic jobbies, have tried to do with a snow stake and attempted to use one of those montbell spoon scoopie thingies.  My titanium one is super light and works better than all those other ones I have tried.

I use a billet aluminum ice-cream scooper that was shite at scooping ice cream, and turns out to excel at scooping dirt. It will never bend, even when I stupidly pry rocks/roots with it, which happens a lot apparently, 'cause I had to resort to a billet aluminum ice cream scooper.

Oh wait, I've been digging 6'...I only need 6"?

Pillowthread I know your an LNT trainer...lol   6-8 inches,,,Love to see a picture of the scoop you always use....

There are days when I feel what is going on in my gut....   and I know 6" will not be enough.

two pints said:

There are days when I feel what is going on in my gut....   and I know 6" will not be enough.

 Sure it is. You just need to dig two holes. =o

For a big group hike with shared weight we used a U-dig It Pro, review here:

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/u-dig-it/folding-hand-shovel-and-trowel/

But now I have a 17g Deuce of spades, which my wife and I will test thoroughly in the Wind Rivers this summer.

pillowthread said:

I use a billet aluminum ice-cream scooper that was shite at scooping ice cream, and turns out to excel at scooping dirt. It will never bend, even when I stupidly pry rocks/roots with it, which happens a lot apparently, 'cause I had to resort to a billet aluminum ice cream scooper.

Oh wait, I've been digging 6'...I only need 6"?

 I've actually had to educate people they were digging too deep for the bioshpere to process and take care of the poop they were leaving behind.

Yeah It's kinda paradoxical 'cause it seems as though the further down you go, the better, but it's really a soil activity thing.

I'm gonna look into this Deuce of Spades. Maybe it'll come up on Massdrop.

It's backordered at REI.

I've recently ordered a ti trowel Deuce Scoop from Dutchware because I wanted to replace a relatively heavy and large and not so productive ABS plastic trowel. I'll write a review once I try it our in a few next weeks. From my research it's the most inexpensive TI trowel on the market for the time being with all the benefits of TI.

I got the Deuce of spades 4 day before my weekend trip...It's to early to come to a conclusion onit..But it weighs next to nothing..I got directly from the website 20 bucks..I have no idea what it goes for through other outlets.

My weapon of choice is the Big Dig from QiWiz.net. It weighs 17g/0.6oz, costs $36 (plus shipping), its 7.25" long, and has tons of surface area to make digging and scooping easy.  It may not be the prettiest thing, but it does its job well.

I have not used the Deuce Scoop or the Deuce of Spades.  I purchased the Big Dig before either of these other options were available.

I use a flat rock and/or boot heel.  Heavy, but really cheap. I don't carry the rock very far at all.

Mike I have the big dig by qwiz..I wanted something to handoff to groups,..Now I want to compare them both...

Denis, I will be very interested to hear your comparison between the Big Dig and the Deuce of Spades.  I accidentally left my Big Dig on top of Gregory Bald a few years ago.  I tried to make do with a snow stake for a while....  that didn't work out so well.  So I just got a replacement for my lost titanium widget.

I use a Fold-A-Trowel. I used synthetic material trowels for awhile, but found they wouldn't dig easily in the rocky soil I often encounter. As well the stainless is good for putting coals on a dutch oven.

I don't mind getting dirty. And I like going lite. I use a stick or my swiss army knife. It works great.

Maybe next time I will use a cat. That would be a real cat hole.....lol

Have for the last several years been using a snow stake.  It is adequate and doesn't break like the orange plastic backpacker trowels. 

For a Christmas stocking stuffer I got a "Deuce of Spades".  Again, adequate.  Scoops better than the stake but the stake chisels hard ground better.

Denis, have you been able to compare the big dig and deuce of spades yet?  I'm torn between the two and would love some input. 

stevet said:

"Deuce of Spades".  Again, adequate.  Scoops better than the stake but the stake chisels hard ground better.

You can use the Deuce upside down, digging with the handle end, for better digging in hard soil. Since the handle end is smaller your force is more concentrated, giving it better digging power. Here's a video from the inventor demonstrating:

https://youtu.be/GT2uZ5cIoXg

You can use the Deuce upside down, digging with the handle end, for better digging in hard soil. Since the handle end is smaller your force is more concentrated, giving it better digging power. Here's a video from the inventor demonstrating:

https://youtu.be/GT2uZ5cIoXg

I will have to try that next time out!

So as I said I just use a fixed blade knife. Well a buddy introduced me to this neat knife shovel like thing that people use for metal detecting and is also a Japanese gardening tool. Definitely highly effective I was impressed and he could just cut it so a plug would pull up. I don't know I'll abandon my knife for a tool that's sole purpose is to dig a hole for me to do my business in but if I was gonna it would be this thing my buddy has.

I must be "that guy" then, because I never bring a trowel. I use a stick, or trekking pole. I have never had any issues. Sure its not quite as quick as a purpose built tool, but it still suffices. A stick about double thickness of my thumb always works like a champ. This obviously depends where in the country you are, but in the soft loamy soils of the NE it has yet to be an issue.

If only I can train my dog to dig a hole for me.

October 1, 2020
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