Open main menu

Camp Shovels and Trowels

Top Picks

How we choose: The best camp shovels and trowels highlighted here were selected based on 66 reviews of 8 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a camp shovel/trowel that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

Disclosure: Trailspace never accepts payment for gear reviews, product placement, or editorial coverage. When you buy through affiliate links on our site, Trailspace may earn a small commission, which helps cover the costs of running the site.

TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #2

user rating: 5 of 5 (7 reviews)

This is a very light, durable, and functional camp shovel with the added benefit of being very useful for a number of other applications around camp that might not be so obvious.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very lightweight
  • Great for digging holes
  • Has a number of other useful applications
  • Takes up zero space in your pack

I want to first knowledge that I received my Deuce of Spades as a gift for being a past Reviewer of the Month here on Trailspace and I also want to confess (and I hate to admit...) that I was really excited to be receiving this "potty" shovel as a gift. I have always been interested in gear and equipment and when I first saw the Deuce of Spades I thought it looked like a really cool shovel, but more importantly also thought that it could be very useful for a number of other applications which would make it a great addition to my pack.

Read more: TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #2 reviews (7)

Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

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.

Reasons to Buy

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

Reasons to Avoid

  • 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.

Read more: Coghlan's Backpackers Trowel reviews (3)

Vargo Dig Dig Tool

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

This is a very strong, durable, and functional backpacking potty shovel and spare tent stake with the added benefit of potentially being useful for a number of other applications on a backcountry trip or around camp.

Reasons to Buy

  • Chisel point and not so wide shovel allow good penetration
  • Works well in tough soil conditions
  • Has other potentially useful applications

Reasons to Avoid

  • It’s not the lightest option available
  • Color or lack of, may make it easier to misplace
  • Cost

When I first received the Dig Dig Tool my general impression was that the design was very utilitarian/functional. After taking the Dig Dig Tool out on several trips I have found that it does a great job doing what it is intended to do, which is to dig catholes. Design and Construction The Dig Dig Tool’s overall length is 8 1/8 inches, it is about 1 5/8 inches wide and weighs 1.3 ounces, and it is made from a grade 2 Titanium. So while the shovel is reasonably light the material and method of construction make it very stiff and strong, so there is little to no risk that it would ever bend or be damaged during normal use.

Read more: Vargo Dig Dig Tool review (1)

U-Dig-It Pro Folding Shovel

user rating: 4 of 5 (3 reviews)

A sturdy folding trowel for doing trowel-related business. Not exactly UL, but it won't break or bend even when prying rocks or chipping at compacted soil.

Reasons to Buy

  • Very durable
  • Good lock, does not fold accidentally
  • Stainless steel, will not rust

Reasons to Avoid

  • Weight
  • Could be a bit longer

Needless to say, this was a very popular item on our 8-person, 24-day hike on the JMT. The U-Dig-It Pro handled all that traffic with aplomb, allowing for safe and adequately deep deposits of bodily fruits in the Sierra's tough, rocky soils. My daughter kept it on one of the compression straps on the outside of her pack so it was always available and everybody knew where it was, and the words "have a U-Dig-It experience" entered our trail vocabulary! Ralph wants one too! Ready for action! Ours is called "U-Dig-It Pro" but it seems to be the same item with a new name.

Read more: U-Dig-It Pro Folding Shovel reviews (3)

Sea to Summit iPood Alloy Pocket Trowel

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (5 reviews)

What can one say about a small little trowel, designed to dig cat-holes in the woods to bury crap in? Well, how about it’s well designed, has a really fun name, and does what it’s supposed to do? This thing is not designed to dig trenches around your tent in a rainstorm, make fire pits, cut kindling, mine for gold, or stir your scrambled egg breakfast. It’s designed to dig small hole in the ground. Remember that. Remember, too, that while the iPood Pocket Trowel is a really neat item, it’s not 100% perfect.

Read more: Sea to Summit iPood Alloy Pocket Trowel reviews (5)

TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #1

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Pages could be written about an ultralight backpacking trowel...I believe the Official Moto is "They help you doo-doo the right thing." But enough has already been said about TheTentLab's Deuce #2 and #3, so I'm here to finish the Trilogy with my few inputs on this wonderfully functional and compact tool: It helps me dig tiny holes in the backcountry and has been a reliable companion for a long time. Mostly I just forget it's there...until I desperately need it.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ultralight at 0.45 oz or 12.8 grams...about the weight of a beefy stake.
  • Made in Colorado
  • Multi-use...can use as a stake, backscratcher, cheese slicer, etc.
  • Very durable...has lasted close to 9,000 trail miles.
  • It gets the job done...not always perfectly but good enough.
  • Simple, compact, easy...just one of those items that always goes along and I never give hardly any thought to.
  • Lifetime Warranty

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some ground just hates an ultralight trowel, no matter what...that's why I love 2nd and 3rd chances.

First off, I wanted to use this opportunity to say thank you for the lovely 2022 Trailspace Top 25 Gear Reviewer awards, graciously supplied by TheTentLab and Trailspace! A comparison of the Deuce #2 (top/blue) and Deuce #1 (bottom/orange) A few things stand out from the above comparison: 1. The lovely and proud inscription on the top towel, plus my favorite color, and 2. the "Made in Colorado" inscription on the bottom trowel, a saying near and dear to my heart (I was made in CO too).  Also, it's very hard to tell any sizable difference between the #1 and #2 when I line them up together.

Read more: TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #1 review (1)

TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #3

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

An essential tool for backcountry camping, where strength, durability, light weight and effectiveness are critical! Tentlab's Deuce #3 HD Trowel meets and exceeds on all counts!

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Strong design angles
  • Lightweight

                                             The Deuce #3 HD Trowel  by TentLab One cannot really wax eloquent on a poop shovel, but if you would be about TentLab's Deuce #3 HD Trowel. I have owned and used other shovels but when an extended trip where weight and durability was really a priority I moved from heavier, folding models I own to the TentLab Deuce models.   Why I chose the Deuce #3 model:  Backpacking in California's Eastern Sierra's and Colorado's Rocky Mountains...the ground is comprised of...well...rock.

Read more: TheTentLab Deuce of Spades #3 review (1)

More Reviews of Camp Shovels and Trowels

Trailspace reviewers have shared 66 reviews of 8 different camp shovels and trowels.

Show All »

or add yours

Other Types of Knives and Tools

Find more knives and tools reviewed in these related categories:



Axes and Hatchets

+2 more types

Review Your Outdoor Gear

If you've found this site helpful — or if we've missed something important — please consider paying it forward by some of your favorite outdoor gear.

Why? From professional gearheads to outdoor novices, everyone has an important point of view to contribute. will support the outdoor community and help others find the best gear.

Trailspace reviewers are outdoor enthusiasts like you: hikers, climbers, paddlers, backcountry skiers, and trail runners who share our experiences with the gear and clothing we rely on to get outside. Learn more about Trailspace