A survival shovel is perfect to dig a hole for a trench, fire pit, and/or shelter, cutting wood to build a fire, as a self-defense weapon, or as a multi-purpose EDC tool. It is ideal for all types of environments (i.e., urban or wilderness). Finding a survival shovel can be a difficult task so our team performed hands-on rigorous reviews of the best shovels to help you make a decision.
Before we go into our reviews of the best survival shovels on the market, below is a list of our top picks that we have tried hands-on. If you are in a hurry, make sure to check these out:
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Best Survival Shovels: My Top 9 Picks
The following is a list of the best survival shovels that are currently on the market at the moment. It is important to know that you have plenty of options to choose from. Find a shovel that will fit your personal needs and preferences and you might be happy with it for the long term. Let’s start with the first shovel on our list:
1. EVATAC Elite Tac Review – Highly Recommended!
One of the most versatile multi-use shovels in the market, the EVATAC Elite Tac is the perfect size to fit inside your bug out bag, INCH bag, or some other similar go-bag. The shovel is an 8-in-1 as shown in the image.
Here are pictures of our team member, Bryan’s, EVATAC Elite shovel:
The shovel head is nicely weighted 440 stainless steel thus allowing digging into soft or hard ground simple. The shovel comes with a 90-degree hoe, fire starter, Phillips screwdriver, flat screwdriver, compass, whistle, bottle opener, and saw.
This is SurvivalCache’s most recommend survival shovel due to its excellent features, compactness, minimal weight, and it even looks good. A must-have!
SurvivalCache.com Exclusive Discount: EVATAC has provided our visitors with a special offer. For a limited time, these are on a liquidation sale! EVATAC ordered way too many and they want to sell them quickly. Get the discount by going here, or clicking below as well.
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2. EST Gear Survival Shovel Review
EST Gear, an new manufacture in the survival gear industry, has created a world-class shovel. This shovel has 18 tools in one, with exceptional quality. The shovel is reinforced such that it will not “give” when digging a trench.
The handle is military-grade aluminum to ensure maximum stability, strength, and durability. It comes in a nylon pouch for easy storage in your EDC, BOB, or camping bag. The 18 tools include the shovel, sawblade, rope cutter, axe, wrench, knife, compass, fire starter, bottle opener, and more.
Bryan from the SurvivalCache team did a hands-on review. Here are the pictures:
We highly recommend this one for it’s exceptional quality. Check it out:
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3. Zune Lotoo Annihilate Tactical Shovel Review
If you are looking for what might be the most indestructible shovel on the market, you might find the Zune Lotoo Annihilate Tactical Shovel to be the best choice. Not only is it the most indestructible shovel for survival purposes, but it also has so many other tools at your disposal. Why get standalone tools when you can a total of twenty-three tools in one shovel? They range from knives, pickaxes, firestarters, whistles, and so much more.
Whether you want to build shelter, cut wood for a fire,or defend yourself against dangers, this tactical shovel can handle it all. This is another shovel that is made from high-quality carbon steel. Needless to say, it’s built like a tank that you can take with you just about anywhere outdoors. We dare say that this is the Swiss Army knife of survival tools.
- Includes a total of 23 survival tools
- Very sharp
- Perfect for camping and survival situations
- Super tough
- Built to last you years or even decades
- Storage bag not included
- A bit heavy in weight at 3.97 pounds
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4. Tyger Shovel Review
There is nothing tougher than carbon steel. But when it’s a shovel that’s made from military-grade carbon steel along with aerospace-grade aluminum, it’s a shovel that you do not want to mess with. Not to mention, the durability would be insane. That’s what you’ll get in the Tyger shovel. Aside from your standard shovel, you can utilize the numerous tools that are also included with this. They include your firestarter, screwdriver, ice pick, a hammer, a hoe, and so many other tools that you can use to carve, cut, clean, or dig. It also comes with a lightweight and sturdy storage sheath so you can be able to safely transport it in your backpack if and when you need to be on the move.
- Great quality
- Superior sturdiness
- Very sharp cutting
- Can handle any kind of weather outdoors
- No rust or corrosion ever
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5. Wufang Camping Shovel Review
This shovel has well over a dozen functions, thus making it a pretty good shovel to have on hand just in case you need it. Plus, it can be a great shovel to have no matter what the weather. Dirt, snow, grass, it doesn’t matter. Don’t forget that it can also cut wood, gut fish, dig holes and so much more. This is a survival shovel that can pretty much do it all. In fact, there really isn’t a thing that we can think of that this shovel cannot do in the outdoors. If you camp, hike, hunt, or fish a lot this might be the shovel worth using.
Made from high-steel allow and a rubber handle, this is the shovel that can handle all kinds of impact and absorb shock every time it hits the ground or a hard surface.
- Perfect for every day or outdoor use
- Can be used year-round regardless of weather
- Superior toughness
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Very light in weight
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6. iunio Folding Shovel Review
Next on the docket is the iunio Folding Shovel. If storage is a bit of an issue, this might be the shovel that will alleviate that problem. Plus, it has it’s own storage bag so you won’t have to risk slicing your EDC bag or backpack by accident when you take it with you. We’re not joking here — survival shovels are so sharp that you can easily puncture or tear open your bag. Of course, that alone will cause a disaster.
This shovel uses multiple handles each with its own tool at the end. You can use the pickaxe, a safety hammer, emergency whistle, and so much more. You’ll have more than enough tools to take along with you so. Plenty of space to pack more essential tools in your EDC bag. The shovel itself is made from high-quality carbon steel, which is probably one of the toughest types of steel there is. It’s one of the most popular choices if you were to find a survival knife. That’s because they are sharp and they can handle all kinds of abuse.
- Easy to assemble and put together
- Tools are easy to use
- Bladed tools are quite sharp out of the box
- Comes with its own storage bag made from durable materials
- Fits so many hand sizes
- Might be a little heavy
- Screws may get a little loose after short-term use
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7. Pathway North Camping Axe and Survival Shovel Review
First on the list, we’ll be taking a look at the Pathway North Camping Axe and Survival Shovel. If you are looking for a really awesome survival shovel that will give you more than just that, this could be exactly what you are looking for. The ax is made from a strong mix of chromium and carbon, two of the toughest metals that can handle any kind of abuse and impact. If durability is an absolute must, you know for certain that both a shovel and an ax like these can stick with you for the long term.
This is the perfect tool for chopping, entrenching, cutting, and if needed for self-defense. These are probably the two tools you do not want to head outdoors without. Especially when you face the possibility of getting lost in the outdoors.
- Excellent quality
- Perfect for those who spend time outdoors
- Sharp right out of the box
- Can be used as an EDC or camping tool
- Great for cutting wood, bushes, or digging holes for shelter
- Threads may need to be lubricated before assembly
- You may need to tighten it a bit harder since it might fall apart easily
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8. Black Tea Military Folding Shovel Review
This shovel might just be a good choice for those who are looking for a budget option. Just because the price is reasonable, doesn’t mean the quality is subpar. This shovel measures up to 30 inches in length when fully installed. It’s made from carbon steel, thus making is super sharp and super durable.
For the price it’s going for, you know for a fact that it will be the steal of the century. Let’s not forget the tools that come with this shovel. One of them is a magnesium firestarter. Who says it takes forever to start a fire? If you don’t have a lighter or paracord, a firestarter might be a reliable tool to count on when you are outdoors. Whether you are keeping warm or cooking food over an open flame, no survivalist worth their salt will ever leave home without a reliable firestarter.
- Excellent for camping, hiking, fishing, etc.
- Very sturdy and well-made
- Affordable for most budgets
- Easy to assemble tools
- Not too short or long
- Sheath quality could be better
9. Linatral Folding Shovel & Survival Axe Set Review
Finally, we’ll be taking a look at the Linatral Folding Shovel & Survival Axe Set. If you are looking for something that is super tough, this shovel and ax set made from aerospace-quality aluminum might be something that’s right up your alley. It’s also one of the more affordable choices on the market when you want a shovel that is reasonably priced but doesn’t sacrifice quality in the slightest. It comes with two different sheaths for both your shovel and ax.
This also comes with your additional cutting and puncturing tools that will come in handy when you need them most. Further proof that you don’t need stand-alone ice picks or the like. You can get them in one larger tool that will serve you well in more ways than one.
- Has plenty of multi-functional tools
- Perfect for camping and bug-out situations
- Very light in weight
- Easy to fold for storage
- Super tough build
- May be a bit shorter than expected
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What is a Survival Shovel?
A survival shovel can be used for many purposes. The obvious one is to use it to dig a hole for purposes of building a trench, shelter, fire pit, and more. You can also use it as a small cutting tool when you want to build a fire and have no kindling wood to burn.
Let’s not forget, it can also be used as a self-defense weapon. Most survival shovels will be sharp enough to be used for self-defense. If you are out in the woods, you might use it if you are being attacked by an animal. While it might not be an ideal weapon when used against another person, it can be used as such if you have no other options.
To summarize, here are the main use-cases:
- Creating a trench
- Making a shelter
- Digging a pit (or hole)
- Digging a latrine
Why Is A Survival Shovel Important?
There are some tools that you might not include in your EDC bag or any bag for that matter if you are out and about in the woods. Lightening the load is a good idea since you might need a light enough load to move around with ease rather than feel weighed down.
For their part, survival shovels are a great tool that can be used for multiple purposes. These items can be useful in cutting softwoods if you don’t have a small ax or a sharp enough knife. There will come a time where if you are lost in the woods, you may need to build a shelter using the surrounding vegetation.
Survival Shovel Buyer’s Guide
Choosing a survival shovel might be a difficult task. But leave it to this buyer’s guide to help you make a decision between one shovel or another.
How To Choose
Price could play a role in choosing a shovel of your choice. There are plenty of survivalists that are on a budget. If anything, never sacrifice quality and go for cheap. Instead, invest in the best quality that fits your budget.
Steel and aluminum are two of the best materials that are put into these shovels. They are equally tough, but steel is known for lasting a long time and will be very hard to rust or corrode. If you want a shovel that will last you years or even decades, carbon steel could be something to look for.
How Many Tools?
Different survival shovels will come with a different amount of survival tools. Take inventory of some of the tools that you have and determine which ones you may not have. Then take a look at the shovels that have the tools that you are looking for. It’s important to consider purchasing a shovel with multi-tools instead of purchasing standalone tools. This will not only save you money but space as well.
What Makes A Shovel Good?
This is super important to have. Because durability will take you a long way when it comes to many survival items. You want a survival shovel that can handle abuse and multiple amounts of impact without scratches or dents. Plus, durability will give you a good idea of how long it can last.
A good shovel is something that is easy to cut through wood, shrub, and yes even dirt. The sharper the shovel, the better it will do the job. Especially when it can be useful as a survival tool that does more than what a regular shovel can do.
Ease Of Assembly/Storage
Let’s face it, some shovels may be a little hard to store in an EDC bag if they are fully assembled. That’s why you’ll need to find a shovel that will be easy to put together and easy to disassemble when you have finished using it and want to store it back in the bag. Folding shovels will likely be your best bet if storage is important.
Common Questions about Survival Shovels
The following is a list of common questions we get asked by potential buyers regarding survival shovels. Use this as a guide to help you better understand survival shovels and their functions. Here are the following questions:
Why do you need a shovel for camping?
When you need to set up a tent, you may need to dig a small trench so your tent doesn’t take in water in the event of inclement weather. Also, you can dig holes and create a makeshift toilet of some kind when there is no outhouse or indoor plumbing available.
What are some survival tools that you need?
In survival shovels, they include more than a dozen of essential tools. These include but are not limited to whistles, ice picks, knives, axes, firestarters, and hammers.
What is the quickest way to dig a hole?
If you have a pickaxe, you can loosen up the soil with it. After that, you can use the shovel itself to easily dig the hole.
Can a tactical shovel be used as a weapon?
Yes. Many of these shovels have sharp edges that can be used for self-defense. Also they are fairly lightweight making it easier to yield.
The survival shovels listed above are great for one purpose or another. But if we had to choose, the Evatac Elite Tac Shovel would be a great choice. That’s because it’s durable and has plenty of survival tools than you know what to do with. In fact, that might be an entire EDC kit in one shovel. However, an alternative choice would be the EST Gear Shovel.
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Either way, both shovels are built to last and can do some serious work depending on how you use them.