What is one thing you need to have in your camping gear inventory? Sleeping bag? Check. Tent? Yeah, it does help a lot to have one of those. Food? Without a doubt.
So what else do you absolutely need? It could be something you don’t have in your kit but the moment you have it you will wonder how you got by without it for so long. That is a folding camp shovel.
Oh yeah, I didn’t know I needed one either till I went on my second camping trip into the somewhat backcountry of Oklahoma. When My son and I set up camp we quickly found out that we were going to need to dig a hole if we wanted a campfire. There was too much grass on the ground. I wasn’t going to be the guy who gets blamed for burning down half the county.
So, we did what any man would do for fire. We got sticks and started digging. We were able to get a fairly good-sized hole dug, and eat some hotdogs. The digging could have gone faster and with less effort if we had a shovel. Especially if we had a portable sized shovel.
The very next day that is what I bought. I picked up the Ozark Trail Folding Shovel.
First, off I figured this would work for the summer. It was bought through Walmart and You are gambling when you are hoping for quality at Walmart. You can get good quality stuff but not always. Especially when you mix Walmart with China. SoI figured the Folding shovel would last the length of summer and it would possibly suffer some loosen the rivets or something to that effect. Either way, I was able to buy it for next to nothing so I didn’t have much hope.
What I learned
I found out that when out in the great outdoors you will need to dig. It may be something as important as a latrine or even if you have a fire pit. You are might be limited in the water department. So, you will need to have a way to dig up dirt for many reasons.
Digging is important for the outdoors. Dirt can hold a canopy edge down if you are into bushcraft. You may also need to have a trench or a way to bury your anchors if you are in a wind storm. So get a shovel. A folding shovel will fit in a pack, a bag or if you have a box. The Ozark Trail Folding SHovel will fold to a small size it is not light coming in at about 2.5 pounds but you don’t want ta lightweight plastic shovel when you have to dig in hard ground.
Folding shovels are very versatile. Not only are you able to dig a hole or a trench but you can set the head into a few different configurations to get even more options out of this versatile tool.
This is a bit of given, you can dig a hole for any number of reasons. The head is steel and can take a pretty good beating. So if you hit a rock as you are digging it isn’t going to crumple or even dent.
Hoe / Trencher
If you are needing to clear the brush or the ground or make a trench. then lock the head of this shovel into the 90 angle and away you go.
You can use the saw teeth on the side of the shovel head as a saw. Now you can have the head unfolded or you can fold the shovel head over and get a bit more power into the sawing action.
While the head is in the 90 settings you can attach a rope to the handle and use the shovel as a grappling hook. SO if you need to climb up a tree this could be used. I can vouch for how easy it would be but I do know it will hold at least 270 lbs man off the ground without bending.
If you are climbing up a steep dirt hill then the shovel can help you pull yourself up. Again I am amazed at the options you can do with a simple shovel.
If need be you can also use this shovel as a melee weapon.
I am glad I bought this and proud to have it in my arsenal of camping equipment. Are there better shovels out there? Possible but there are a few points that I would say need to be improved on like the rivets and I understand why China but wish it was American made it has the Ozarks in the name. That’s the heart of America right there.
Yet, all in all, I like the Ozark Trail Folding shovel. Glad I have it and will get to use it.
- Unfolded 23 in
- Folded: 10 in
- weight about 2.5 pounds
- Head: Steel
- Handle: Steel