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Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel camp shovel/trowel

Been a durable dependable camp tool for over 10 years. It has taken its share of abuse with rock, roots, and hard ground and shows no real sign of any plastic fatigue.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong material
  • Orange color makes it easy to find


  • A luxury item many backpackers find unecessary

This is one of our camp staples, both for car camping and backpacking. I find it more convenient than trying to find a stick that's strong enough to dig in our rocky CO soil or using the heel of my boot. Plus, when you gotta go, sometimes you gotta go and it's nice to just have the tool right there.

It has worked for us for more than 10 years and I can see it going another 10.

Update (July '14): My trusty trowel snapped in half on my last backpacking trip. Trying to coax a hole in some very rocky terrain ended up being too much for it after many years of use. Oh well, maybe it's time to save the few ounces of weight and try the stick method for a while.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't recall

Most of the titanium cat hole shovels weigh from .6 to 1.0 ounces, price around 30$, and they are short (about 6 inches), and not ergonomic . The Coghlan's is longer, more of a bulb planting garden trowel. It has a good handle for leverage and weighs 2 ounces .

When lightening up gear, I figure about 10$ per ounce to upgrade is a fair price from old to new. The Backpackers Trowel vs the titanium is a 25 to 27$ per ounce cost. Not a good price to pay to lose one measly ounce. You decide.


  • Ergonomic
  • Lightweight

Strong plastic, proper length, easy to spot color.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $2

I didn't really expect much from such a low-cost item but it has been durable during camping trips as well as working in the garden.  It seems to be about the same weight as other trowels that I have seen.  I like the orange color, it makes it easy to find.

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Price Current Retail: $2.99
Historic Range: $1.87-$4.95
Reviewers Paid: $2.00
Weight 2 oz / 55 g
Product Details from Coghlan's »

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