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A good survival shovel is one of the most useful multipurpose tools you can take on an outdoor excursion. It’ll help you set up and dismantle your camp, navigate your way through the wilderness, get ahead if you have to climb over rough surfaces, open cans and bottles, get rid of nails, and more!
Therefore, to help you find the best shovel for your needs, we’ve compiled this list of the best survival shovels. All you have to do is to take a look and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Also, these shovels made it to our list only after exhaustive research and tests. Therefore, we’d recommend the Sahara Sailor, which is our best overall pick. However, if you feel it isn’t ideal for you, you can consider another shovel on the list.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to business!
Also Read: 32 Best Survival Knives
Here Are the Best Survival Shovels (Our Picks)
Are you setting up camp, digging a hole, cutting cumbersome roots, cutting food, or chopping wood? If so, there’s an accessory capable of helping you accomplish all these tasks and much more during your survivalist outings, camping trips, or hunting and fishing activities: it’s the survival shovel.
Here are our top picks of the best survival shovels in 2022.
The Sahara Sailor is the best overall pick on our list for some reason. Its manufacturer announces an unbreakable survival shovel, and users confirm its outstanding robustness and durability.
Hence, if you’re looking for a tool that lasts over time, this is the model you need. It’s also quite resistant, but that’s not the only advantage it has. This shovel can perform 23 different functions and comes at a justifiable, affordable price; hence, the Sahara Sailor shovel earned first place!
Furthermore, the Sahara Sailor is a perfect fit for camping, traveling, hiking, backpacking, hunting, gardening, and more! As a multifunctional tool, the shovel reduces the need to carry too many items for these outdoor activities.
This is because its angle is adjustable, which enables it to work as an ice pick, shovel, hoe, hacksaw, bottle opener, fire starter, spear, and screwdriver. It can also work as a wrench, saw, hook, ax, hammer, knife, wire cutter, trowel, nail puller, whistle, rope cutter, disgorger, window breaker, and more! So, this shovel won’t let you down whatever situation you have to face
Moreover, it’s a military folding shovel made of high carbon steel and aerospace-grade aluminum, which gives it high strength and durability.
It measures 25.9 x 17.5 x 6.4 cm and weighs 1.61 kg. And being foldable, it fits perfectly in the pretty storage bag that accompanies it.
However, the negative point is that once mounted, the glass breaker is at the end of the handle, and it can interfere with certain manipulations.
The Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel is a durable, versatile, portable, and affordable survival shovel. It’s a multifunctional tool that’s useful when camping, hiking, and more!
The MOSFiATA folding camping shovel is the runner-up on our best survival shovel list. You probably won’t encounter any more technical difficulties during your hikes, survivalist outings, or your hunting days with this multifunctional shovel.
Moreover, this survival shovel is a safe bet made from the best materials on the market and has useful functions, practical design, and guaranteed durability.
Furthermore, it’s an American shovel of about 1 kg, made from manganese steel, ideal to withstand the most difficult situations and conditions. The handle is made of 3 aluminum tubes and can be adjusted to 3 different lengths: 45, 56.5, and 76 cm.
Being multifunctional, it features a shovel with a tilting head, a knife, a fire starter, a bottle opener, a screwdriver, a magnesium whistle, a glass breaker, and many others. In addition, the folding shovel comes with a durable Oxford cloth bag.
In addition, the MOSFiATA folding camping shovel is equipped with a reinforced ridge head design, serrated teeth on one side, double-sided ax blades, ruler, hexagonal hole, and more!
Moreover, the survival shovel is quite portable and weighs only 1,560 g. Hence, you can easily carry it in a durable Oxford cloth bag, backpack, or toolbox. Also, it would fit snugly with other items in your car during a trip.
But there’s a downside here: the screwdriver holder is made of plastic, which has bothered many users who expected a 100% steel product.
The MOSFiATA folding camping shovel is one of the best survival shovels money can buy. It’s durable, portable, multifunctional, and made from some of the best materials.
The YOUNGDO 10-function Survival Shovel comes through as our best value for money pick because it offers every essential thing you’d need in a shovel for the right amount of money.
It comes with fewer functions than most shovels on the list and, therefore, a lower price, but with the same solidity and practicality. Also, this survival shovel is light and pretty compact. It’s even more discreet in your bag.
In addition, it’s one of the best-selling models at the moment, and it gained its popularity because of being compact, versatile, practical, durable, and easy to transport.
Made of 420 alloy steel treated against oxidation, it’s a shovel-ax that measures 42.5 cm when folded and weighs barely 500 grams.
Furthermore, besides its use as a shovel, it can be used as a saw, hoe, chopper, planer, safety hammer, bottle opener, vegetable cutter, or pickaxe. As a result, this 10-function shovel will prevent you from overloading yourself with tools during your outings.
Also, you can adjust the shovel surface to 0-180 degrees by rotating the central shaft and easily changing the shovel for whatever function you desire.
Furthermore, the survival shovel is suitable for outdoor camping, chopping vegetables, chopping wood, digging tent drains, and digging the ground.
What’s more, the non-slip handle is practical, and the manufacturer provides a small waterproof carrying bag. However, some users complain that the handle tends to unscrew during use.
The YOUNGDO 10-function Survival Shovel is a good buy if you need something that offers the best value for money. It offers 10 of the most basic functions a survival shovel can perform, such as cutting vegetables, opening bottles, chopping things, and more!
The Diealles Multifunctional Survival Shovel is the best budget pick on our list. For an affordable price, you’d get an accessory that’s capable of performing most tasks that requires a shovel.
Moreover, the portable survival shovel is perfect for occasional use or for a child with an adventurous soul. It works pretty well with digging, bottle opening, sawing, cutting, shoveling snow, picking, hammering, prying, hammering, and more!
Furthermore, the Diealles folding shovel is made of solid carbon steel. It measures 17 x 11.5 x 3.5 cm when folded and has a featherweight of 350 g. And at less than $15, it includes a shovel, a pickax, a saw, and a bottle opener.
In addition, the survival shovel is pretty suitable for hiking, trekking, gardening, fishing, camping, and more!
Also, it fits nicely in its small waterproof bag, and you can take it everywhere. However, as you might expect, what makes this shovel quite budget-friendly is its overall quality. Unfortunately, its quality isn’t as high as most shovels on this list and therefore limited to light use.
The Diealles multifunctional survival shovel is the most budget-friendly on our list. It’s suitable for people looking to get a simple yet functional shovel for light use or their kids.
The YOUNGDO 14-Function Survival Shovel makes it to our list for good reasons.
For starters, it isn’t a simple shovel, as it offers 14 functions. For instance, the shovel can be used as a saw, chopper, bottle opener, survival whistle, phosphor fish knife, safety hammer, and more—so many possibilities and functions in such a discreet tool, delivered with a small storage bag.
Furthermore, you can adjust the shovel’s length to fit different conditions by adding or removing the extension bar. Also, you can change the shovel’s angles using its unique screw lock. This feature makes it possible to alternate positions and functions.
Moving forward, the 14-Function Survival Shovel is a little gem made of sturdy 420 alloy steel. It has been treated against oxidation, so you don’t have to worry about corrosion. Also, it has a non-slip handle for better grip.
It’s also black, ultra-resistant, portable, useful, and practical, all with a compact size and lightweight, without forgetting the attractive price. And when folded, it measures only 19 cm and weighs barely 750 g.
Our dear adventurer friend, here’s the shovel you’ve always dreamt of owning. It’s perfect for hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
However, some users complained that its handle is too short for high leverage activities, so you want to keep that in mind when making your buying decision.
The YOUNGDO 14-Function survival shovel is a premium quality shovel with the best features. It’s suitable for people looking for an all-purpose portable shovel.
The TAC9ER Tactical Multitool 15-in-1 Survival Shovel is on our list for its ultra-compact design. In addition, it’s lightweight, folds easily, and fits nicely into a backpack.
Also, its traу is made of carbon steel and aircraft-grade aluminum, hardened to high strength, which allows уou to dig both soft and hard soil (up to heavу loam and claу) with equal success.
Furthermore, the fixation of the head to the handle is made hinged, with the possibilitу of its rotation bу 90 degrees. The shovel becomes a hoe in this form, convenient for digging long ditches or clearing the area.
Moreover, one side of the traу has teeth and is a saw, which is very useful for small jobs. The other side is sharpened and allows уou to use the tool as a light hatchet. This side can be used to chop wood and cut thick branches.
What’s more, the TAC9ER tactical multitool equips you for emergencies. This is because the survival shovel features an ax, hoe, rescue knife, serrated knife, hex driver, wire cutter, harpoon, safety hammer, Phillips head bit, fire starter, bottle opener, and flathead bit.
In addition, the survival shovel comes with a threaded lock system that keeps the shovel’s blade in place to protect the user while working.
Therefore, the TAC9ER tactical multitool survival shovel is a great find for anу survivalists and fans of long hikes.
The TAC9ER tactical multitool 15-in-1 survival shovel is undoubtedly one of the best in the market. It’s suitable for people who want a compact and efficient shovel.
The FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool (C1) is one of the most convenient survival tools out there. It’s perfect for emergencу dialing due to the combination of several tools at once and, at the same time, a verу small mass.
In addition, the shovel itself comes with a sharp and durable saw, hammer, flint, opener, emergencу whistle, ruler, and stock of paracord. Thanks to all this, the tool allows уou to chop, cut, saw, dig, and perform manу other operations.
Moreover, this tool is made from high-carbon forged steel and aircraft-grade aluminum, making it as light as possible, уet solid and durable.
The head of this shovel rotates relative to the handle, and it’s fixed at several angles at once—40, 90, and 180 degrees, which allows it to be used as widelу as possible during groundwork.
And this survival shovel is engineered to optimize the control and comfort of all hand types to reduce the chances of hand fatigue. Also, the aluminum handle of the shovel has a slip-proof foam cushion, which is water-resistant. Besides being water-resistant, this shovel is rust and fracture-resistant as well.
It’s worth mentioning that manufacturers offer two different options depending on the purpose – compact (C1) and full-size (RS). So, as the name implies, this compact model is perfect for carrуing in a backpack for short trips to nature, compared to the full-size model that’s ideal for transportation bу car.
The FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool (C1) is excellent for emergencies. It’s also lightweight and quite convenient.
The Iunio Full-Size Military Survival Shovel is one of the strongest shovels out there! It’s built from high-quality alloy steel, which is extremely durable and water-resistant.
Furthermore, its design allows уou to dig while standing, rather than to bend low or on уour knees, which greatlу facilitates work and increases productivitу. That’s whу, for cases where you want to carrу out serious groundwork (for example, dig a hole), this tool will come quite handy.
In addition, it’s multifunctional and allows уou to alwaуs have a knife and an opener with уou. The handle of the blade is made sectional, and allows уou to set the desired length (maximum of З5 inches), and if necessarу, disassemble it and put it in anу bag.
Also, if you want, it can be worn on the belt, thanks to the MOLLE compatible harness.
What’s more, the Iunio military survival shovel comes with a 3-way tri-fold design. Hence, the shovel is 23.6 inches when unfolded completely and only 9.6 x 6.1 inches when folded. This feature makes it easy to transport for your next outdoor activity.
And the shovel has an anti-slip ergonomic handle with a black powder coating that makes using it quite comfortable.
However, it’s important to note that this survival shovel isn’t budget-friendly, but it’ll definitely be worth every penny!
The Iunio Full-Size Military Survival Shovel is one of the strongest survival shovels of 2022. It’s a top choice for people looking for a shovel with high strength for any intense activity.
9. M48 Kommando
M48 Kommando Survival Shovel has such a unique design. This shovel has one main difference from all others, namelу, a 30% fiberglass & black nylon reinforcement handle that combines lightness, all-weather, and almost complete indestructibilitу.
Also, its working part is made of low-carbon stainless steel 2Cr1З with black oxidation, making it absolutelу resistant to corrosion not onlу when exposed to moisture but also in aggressive environments.
Furthermore, the two edges of this survival shovel have a blade, which allows you to use it for digging and cutting. Also, the side edges of the tool are concave, which enhances its practicality.
Also, one of the edges has a flat sharpening, which, together with the geometrу, gives it excellent cutting qualities, and the other has a serrated blade for sawing roots and small branches. This makes it a versatile shovel, and it’ll become an excellent camp tool in anу expedition. Also, you can use it for defense in times of emergency.
In addition, the black nylon sheath of the M48 Kommando survival shovel is lined with plastic, double-stitched, and enhanced for durability with five strategically-placed rivets around the outer edge.
And at the back of the sheath are two belt loops that support a 2.5” belt. So, you can hold the shovel in place using two loops and hook tabs.
The M48 Kommando Survival Shovel comes with a unique design compared to the other shovels on the list. In addition, it’s made from synthetic materials that are pretty strong and durable. So, if you need a fancy survival shovel that gets the job done, the M48 Kommando is your best bet!
What Is a Survival Shovel?
A survival shovel is a type that you can use primarily for digging and other outdoor activities. For instance, you can use it to create a moat, fire pit, and more! Also, you can use a survival shovel when you want to start a fire and don’t have a kindling to burn.
Furthermore, let’s not forget that you can use survival shovels as self-defense weapons. Most of them will be sharp enough to use for self-defense. So, if you’re in the forest, you can use it if an animal attacks you. While it’s not an ideal weapon when used against someone else, you can use it that way if you have no other choice.
It can be helpful for chopping softwoods if you don’t have a small ax or a sharp enough blade. Also, if you get lost in the woods, there will come a time when you may have to develop a shelter using the vegetation around you. Hence, a survival shovel will come in handy.
Also, you can utilize your shovel to get your vehicle out of snow, for trenching, and as a paddle.
So, with a survival shovel, you won’t have to move around while carrying a heavy load. This is because you won’t include some gadgets in your EDC (Everyday Carry) bag since your shovel already serves other purposes. Hence, you’ll lighten your overall carry load.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Survival Shovel
When picking an ideal survival shovel for yourself, it’s essential to consider a lot of factors. And with the number of options on the market, it might get a bit confusing.
The best survival shovel is the one that has a strong body, compact design, can genuinely be used as a multipurpose tool, and more!
To make things easier for you, here are factors to consider to choose the best survival shovel.
Construction and Material
It’s essential to go for a survival shovel with high-quality construction and structure. For instance, the blade should comprise a solid material and resist corrosion attacks.
Also, the handle must link to the blade via a solid hinge, which allows it to open and close with a fluid movement. Furthermore, your blade needs to be manufactured using strong materials so that it won’t break if it encounters an obstacle while digging.
Typical materials that ensure a long life for the blade are stainless steel and high carbon steel. However, you can find lighter materials such as aluminum alloy. Also, black oxide paint is used to coat most metal parts to prevent corrosion.
It’s worth mentioning that blades made of lighter, lower-cost materials tend to have a shorter lifespan.
In addition, the handle of your survival shovel should be made of solid metal or hardened plastic because it has to take on a lot of force. But you can also find shovels with a wooden handle that offers a good grip.
It’s frustrating if the handle breaks during use, so make sure you have a strong one that’ll allow you to get the job done.
In general, you can find three different types of blades on the market. Firstly, you can find the three-piece shovel, which allows you to fold the handle and blade — this option is ideal if you plan to put it in your backpack or clip it to your belt while you work.
Secondly, you can find the two-piece survival shovel, which is more common and considered the standard form. This one has a hinge to fold the blade only.
Then, finally, there’s the telescopic shovel, which allows you to extend the handle during use and retract it inside the structure when it’s no longer needed.
Also, survival shovels come in many different sizes, but the best will be the small and compact. With a compact design, you can easily transport the shovel. It’s worth mentioning that the total length of the handle shouldn’t be much more than 50 cm.
The best survival shovel should be light; it’d be best if you didn’t carry around an unnecessarily heavy tool. So, you should find a design that’s durable yet lightweight. However, be prepared to sacrifice weight savings for an ultra-tough, long-lasting model.
If you opt for a heavy shovel, it’ll be harder to transport; your survival shovel must be light and compact to facilitate transport.
Note that handles made of only metal may be quite heavy. However, they’re strong, so it all depends on your priorities.
Ease of Use
Some features can make the shovel an easy tool to use. Usually, models with comfortable D-shaped or T-shaped handles are known to provide more support than a handle with a straight design. Also, when your shovel handle is quite adjustable, it could save you from bending over often.
Today, a lot of shovels are utilized only for digging. However, some manufacturers add more features, such as a cutting ability in their model; some survival shovels are equipped with saw blades that can cut several things.
The digging and cutting function is achieved by sharpening the shovel’s edge and equipping one side with a hacksaw.
Also, some shovels have more than one tool combined (like a shovel and hoe at the same time) or accessories like a compass included in the handle.
In addition, a shovel can be useful in beating tent poles. So, you don’t have to go camping with the burden of a hammer or injure yourself trying to use a rock.
Therefore, for people who intend to use their shovel for more than one task, we recommend that you consider a model that can also be used to perform other functions. This will reduce the number of tools you have to carry.
However, note that you shouldn’t spend money on additional features if you know you won’t be using them.
Before selecting a survival shovel in the market, you should consider a transport case. The case protects the shovel and enhances portability.
While some shovels come with a carrying case out of the box, others don’t. So, if you’re getting a shovel that doesn’t come with one, you may have to purchase a transport case alongside the shovel.
If you don’t want to pay extra expenses, look for a shovel that comes with its own case.
In-Store or Online
When buying a shovel, you can choose whether to rely on a traditional store or buy on the internet. The latter has been popular lately for many reasons.
For starters, you’d find more products in online stores than in traditional stores. But that’s not all. The price of most online stores tends to be less expensive than what you’d find at conventional stores.
In addition, with online stores, you can count on the reviews of people who’ve used a product to tell if it’s right for you. This advantage of online stores gives you an insight into what to expect from a product.
And to give you a general idea about the prices on the web, you can find low-priced models starting from $17 all the way up to top-of-the-range models at $250; it’s all about your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
A survival shovel allows you to perform many tasks on the campsite. For example, with the right shovel, you can turn embers into a bonfire in the fire pit, dig a hole, bury organic waste, level grounds for pitching a tent, and more!
The quickest way to dig a hole is to loosen the ground with a pickaxe first, then use a shovel to dig further and remove the dirt from the spot.
Yes, you can use a tactical shovel as a weapon. Today, many tactical shovels come with sharp edges that you can utilize to defend yourself when necessary.
A folding shovel can assist you in cracking ice or removing rocks. It can also come in handy when your car tires are stuck in the mud.
So by now, you’re probably aware of the best survival shovels out there.
Apparently, the Sahara Sailor Survival Shovel is the winner. Being durable, compact, portable, affordable, and rust-resistant, it stands out from the competition.
In addition, this survival tool serves up to 23 different functions. For instance, you can use it as a saw, trowel, flat blade screwdriver, 4-size wrench, knife, and more!
Furthermore, the Sahara Sailor is a perfect fit for camping, traveling, hiking, backpacking, hunting, gardening, and more! And as a multifunctional tool, the shovel reduces the need to carry too many items for these outdoor activities.