The Folding Shovel - The Ultimate Camping Tool You Never Knew You Needed
September 07, 20233 min read
I know what you’re thinking: “Seriously, a SHOVEL? For CAMPING?”
The more experienced campers likely know the value of a reliable shovel as a way to keep your campsite clean, safe, and comfortable and an absolute godsend in a couple of sticky situations. I favour the Gentlemen’s Hardware Folding Shovel for its compact, lightweight design in addition to its sturdiness. Still not convinced? Here’s a laundry list of tasks you’ll find yourself using a shovel for on many a multi-day camping trip:
Digging a fire pit. Everyone’s favourite task when first arriving at camp is building a fire to cook and keep warm. The responsible camper knows the importance of digging a proper fire pit, as it keeps the blaze contained and decreases the likelihood of forest fires. Clear all flammable material in a 10ft radius, dig your pit one foot deep and line the rim with rocks. This contains sparks and embers more effectively and makes the fire easier to cook over and even smother at bedtime.
Moving coals for cooking. Once you’ve got a nice bed of embers, it’s time to reward yourself with a delicious fireside meal! A shovel is an effective way to move embers into a concentrated spot, giving you more control over the heat you cook with.
Smothering the fire. When it’s time to turn in, simply smother the fire with the dirt left over from digging your pit. Sure, you could just kick it in and get dirt all over your boots, or you can pile it in with a folding shovel and keep your feet soil-free!
Make a camping cooler. Nothing is more refreshing than a cold beer on a hot summer’s day. Warm beer, not so much. Keep the heat off your refreshments by digging a cooler pit and covering it to keep them from the sun!
Level out your sleeping area. Speaking of relaxation, who likes sleeping on uneven ground? Nobody, that’s who. With a folding shovel, you can level out the high and low spots under your tent, giving you the rest you deserve after a day of adventuring.
Digging a rain trench around your tent. If you’ve been camping, you’ve been camping in the rain, probably not on purpose. Avoid sleeping in a swamp like everyone’s favourite loveable ogre, and dig a water trench around your tent with a channel draining towards the low ground. You can thank me later.
Moving snow. Speaking of digging at camp, you’ll be doing an awful lot of it if you ever plan on Winter camping. There are definitely better snow shovels out there, but if you’re after a more lightweight & compact option or you need a second shovel for your camping buddy, a folding shovel will be invaluable for digging out space for your tent and fire pit. The handle is even large enough that you can use it with gloves or mitts!
Clearing around car tires. I’m fond of the phrase, “it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” This rings especially true for a folding shovel kept in your car, even if it just acts as a good luck charm to ward off sticky situations. Trust me, you’d much rather have one when you get stuck in the mud or snow.
Sawing branches and firewood. While it’s no super-sharp Japanese Silky Saw, this shovel features a saw edge that works great in a pinch for cutting down saplings and firewood!
Even if it lives in your trunk and never sees the light of day, a folding shovel is an invaluable tool the few times you need it. And if you get ambitious and do some serious bushcraft or camping, this folding shovel will quickly become your best friend!