camping trowels

5:27 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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Just wondering what you all are using for cathole trowels?


I've been using the orange polystyrene Coghlans backpackers trowel for quite a while now. It works fine, is actually quite lightweight at 55g, but I always found it awkwardly sized (just a bit too long) to pack easily.

In my ongoing efforts to upgrade my gear by downsizing, I went ahead and ordered one of these: http://thetentlab.com/Deuce/DeuceofSpadespage.html

At 17g and a very compact size, it should be a nice upgrade. Can't wait to get it, it's an overseas shipment for me so it may be a while (never thought I would be anxiously awaiting a cathole trowel lol).


I know some people just use tent stakes, but for 3 season I mostly carry titanium nails, pins or small v pegs which you cant really use efficiently.

What are you guys using?

7:06 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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I use a sand and snow stake, not all that dissimilar to the Deuce Of Spades.

(I turn my around and use it like a pick not like a spade because of its shape)


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7:28 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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Hiking stick works for me. Mine are pretty solid so work fine for poking holes and I'm carrying them anyway.

7:41 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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now that the smallest and I might add pretties toilet I've ever seen. Let me know how it works. this is one area I could cut some weight I use a cheap $6 Timber Creek army type that weighs 1pound by my fish scale but it is very sturdy as we have a lot of very hard red clay and rock in Georgia and South Carolina. mine packs down to 5in long 3.5in wide and 2in thick. more than I want to carry but its sturdy enough to hack threw roots and very hard ground when needed

7:46 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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John Starnes said:

now that the smallest and I might add pretties toilet I've ever seen. Let me know how it works. this is one area I could cut some weight I use a cheap $6 Timber Creek army type that weighs 1pound by my fish scale but it is very sturdy as we have a lot of very hard red clay and rock in Georgia and South Carolina. mine packs down to 5in long 3.5in wide and 2in thick. more than I want to carry but its sturdy enough to hack threw roots and very hard ground when needed

 haha yeah I thought they were cute


If it was a big brand item I wouldnt have bothered but I like to support US cottage manufacturers if and when I can.... though often their shipping outside the US is so expensive that I have to completely rule them out.... however these guys were very reasonable.


I got an orange one... I got so used to using the orange plastic one that I figured why mess with a perfectly good theme.

8:25 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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On some of the big ticket Items some of these guys (who can afford and do travel that way) on TS  might could deliver them on the trip over to you, after all most of us are about helping each other out.  GLAD to know you bury. went on one hike after setting up camp right at dusk I went for a walk had seen white flowers all day so I was all the way in to what I thought was more of the flower, you can imagine my surprise and anger when I realized I was in the middle of a human waste mine field.(not changing subject) let us know how that trowel works on top of those rocky hills in your picture. if you say good might get one myself blue of course.    

8:38 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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That's a good thought...TJ1984 if you are considering a purchase over here shoot me an email...with family on both sides of the pond we have a regular but intermittent trade going back and forth. May charge you a couple of tubes of Primula cheese with chives for someone to carry back to me (I don't know why I crave that, but it hearkens back to childhood I guess).

I like the trowel...since my Coghlans broke finally years ago I went with a new GSI outdoors version. Not heavy at e oz, but not lightest either. It's green so easily lost...I miss the Orange. With the choice in colors and low weight I may have to switch if you give it a thumbs up review. Tried using stakes and other alternatives, but I never felt I was maximizing my LNT approach by digging catholes deep enough. This may fit the bill.

9:26 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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@TJ: I use an all-aluminum trowel that I believe was intended for use as an ice cream scoop. Found it at a thrift store for $1. I can't bend it; I've tried, as that's the test I use...if I can bend it with my hands it won't work during the times I need it.


You see, I can usually get things done with a tent stake or nearby stick. If I know I might need a trowel I bring this thing, at about 3 ounces, as it's cast aluminum and can be counted on to handle roots, rocks, and the like...I might post a picture...

11:20 p.m. on June 28, 2015 (EDT)
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I use a Qwizz trowel its 04,oz titanium, I use the original he has which is the smallest .I looked at the Duece of Spades but that was a little heavier..But it's a great trowel.https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fqiwiz.net%2F&ei=QrSQVdisFses-QGbj4DwDA&usg=AFQjCNGKoX2kWmp2hJKjYvAi77b1pzwgEQ

.Found people using boot heals and stakes and poles never worked accordingly and the cathole was always shallow for them and myself..

6:46 a.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

@TJ: I use an all-aluminum trowel that I believe was intended for use as an ice cream scoop. Found it at a thrift store for $1. I can't bend it; I've tried, as that's the test I use...if I can bend it with my hands it won't work during the times I need it.


You see, I can usually get things done with a tent stake or nearby stick. If I know I might need a trowel I bring this thing, at about 3 ounces, as it's cast aluminum and can be counted on to handle roots, rocks, and the like...I might post a picture...

The hilariously named sea to summit iPood looks a lot like a modified ice cream scoop so you are ahead of the game!

7:35 a.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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I have Deuce Of Spades, great little trowel. Titanium weight at a plastic price. Carves through Georgia red clay no problem...

7:42 a.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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If that thing can dig in GA I am in...red clay doesn't stop at the state line unfortunately. The sea to summit ipood was a great name, but it looks like that has been changed....some apple lawyer must backpack. A couple of years ago, I hiked with a guy for a day or so that used one. He said it was average at digging and the "handy" compartment in the handle could hold only a days worth of TP. He was planning on replacing it. Still can't beat that name though.

8:32 a.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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JRinGeorgia said:

I have Deuce Of Spades, great little trowel. Titanium weight at a plastic price. Carves through Georgia red clay no problem...

 great to hear that!

2:03 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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A camping trowel is a great thing to have on a camping trip for moving coals onto the rim of the Dutch Oven, steel of course. I have never seen any other need for one. They did not exist until recently as a tool for backpackers. A stick works fine.

2:39 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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ppine said:

A camping trowel is a great thing to have on a camping trip for moving coals onto the rim of the Dutch Oven, steel of course. I have never seen any other need for one. They did not exist until recently as a tool for backpackers. A stick works fine.

Wild camping is a very grey area in England and Wales (legal in Scotland but follows strict etiquette). This involves camping on anything other than designated camp grounds. However it is generally accepted that people will do it anyway, but they are asked to follow fairly strict LNT etiquette. Two important facets of that are first, no fires, and second appropriate disposal of waste. In particularly because there are wild ponies and sheep that roam the hills, burying stuff deeper is a necessity.

3:43 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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I think disposing of waste in the backcountry can sometimes be a fluid situation. There is nothing wrong with bringing a trowel...but ppine is right to say that a trowel is unnecessary for proper LNT disposal. If it is sandy enough soil (or I am in a big enough hurry) I use the heel of my shoe. If the soil is a little more difficult...I usually just grab the nearest appropriate stick. For very stubborn soil I will look for a 4-5 foot stick about an inch in diameter and cut a "chisel" grind on one end (takes about 10 seconds)...the extra length of the stick brings all the large muscles of my body online....and I find I dig a bigger hole deeper in less total time with less overall effort.

6:22 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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"A stick works fine"

Maybe "I stick works fine where I hike" would be more precise.

There are areas where I need a rock to bang in my Easton pegs, I can assure you that a stick does not work there.

6:29 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Franco said:

"A stick works fine"

Maybe "I stick works fine where I hike" would be more precise.

There are areas where I need a rock to bang in my Easton pegs, I can assure you that a stick does not work there.

 what if you cant find a stick!!!!!????!!!


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7:05 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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I'll be honest...I would be more concerned with my visibility than improvising a digging tool!

7:17 p.m. on June 29, 2015 (EDT)
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Yes TJ, I did think of that too because I have hiked many times above tree level and on semi desert areas too.

Reminds me of the (years ago) persistent suggestions not to use a mat because forest duff will do.

6:42 a.m. on June 30, 2015 (EDT)
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Much to my surprise, it arrived today!

Initial impressions: Very light, I could easily break it with my hands if I wanted to.... but the way it's built makes it quite strong for digging motions, and I guess that is what you want.

It would also make for a really good tent peg if you need a sturdy hold in some very soft ground!

Going to give it a thorough run through if I can get out this weekend.

9:47 a.m. on June 30, 2015 (EDT)
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thanks for the explanations.

I just had my first experience with "wag bags." If it is too rocky to dig, consider using a similar device to dispose of waste and take it with you. they have a deodorant and other material to that turns the waste into a gel.

11:45 a.m. on June 30, 2015 (EDT)
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TJ1984 said:

Much to my surprise, it arrived today!

Initial impressions: Very light, I could easily break it with my hands if I wanted to.... but the way it's built makes it quite strong for digging motions, and I guess that is what you want.

It would also make for a really good tent peg if you need a sturdy hold in some very soft ground!

Going to give it a thorough run through if I can get out this weekend.

 Please edit judiciously if you choose to include a video in your review!

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