Clicky

"I've gotta be - shoveling off."

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,972
68
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#1
One of the characters on a radio show, when I was a kid, was a friendly mortician. Hisominous line as he departed, was always, "I've gotta be - shoveling off". Well, I bought a new shovel.

For years, the military entrenching tool - a small, folding shovel - had been a standsrd piece of gear for campers. Originally, it had a stout, wooden handle, with an attached shovel head that folded straight out for digging, half way to serve as a pick axe, and fully back over the handle for carrying. This shortened the overall length by about 7".

In the 60s, an all steel shovel started to be issued. The shovel head had serrations along one edge, to help cut through roots. The head folded to the same three positions. The handle was quite different from the original wooden one. This handle is all steel, and ended in a squared off loop. When digging, the handle was better aligned and more comfortable. When picking or chopping, you had a two handed grip. This handle also folded at the end where it connected to the shovel head - AND it folded in its center. The fully folded shovel is only 1/3 the length of an extended shovel. A.do, it is more robust than the original tool. I think you could beat a boulder to death with this tool.

Recently, Gerber - maker of knives and hatchets - has tweaked the tool a bit. The handle is of a reinforced nylon construction. Just as robust, a bit lighter. The blade edges of the shovel head are sharper. Better serrations are there. And the angle of the head is different when folded to its "half cocked" position. Now, it takes a smaller, more manageable bite.

You can order one of these from Walmart, and have it shipped to you. It's easier if you get the Walmart app.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,838
36
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#2
Sounds like a good improvement on the shovel ( entrenching tool ).

I still have a wooden handled one and the metal handled one with my preference being the wooden handled one. The real advantage of the metal handled one is that it folds up into a smaller package.

Both are handy for digging cat holes when group camping. As far as the original use I always considered them torture deices intended on torturing the user.

Digging a cat hole when solo camping , a trowell does a great job and is a lot easier to pack.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,972
68
81
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#3
It's difficult to find a trowel, with a handle sufficiently strong enough to stand up under digging a cat hole in ground that's pinctuated with roots-n-rocks. I have 3 or 4 trowels, and only one can be trusted. The others fold (plastic) or bent (metal). When you find a good trowel, hang on to it, and don't lend out.

But, when digging up the buried treasure that lies awaiting wherever I camp, a shovel works faster. ;-)
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,838
36
75
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
#4
It's difficult to find a trowel, with a handle sufficiently strong enough to stand up under digging a cat hole in ground that's pinctuated with roots-n-rocks.
a shovel works faster. ;-)
That's the difference between you trying to dig threw rocks for a cat hole and myself digging a cat hole in a sandy area. As the realtors say... Location , Location , Location.

A shovel would be nicer if there was a rush for a cat hole but as anouther saying goes.......Prior Planning Prevents Panic. :eek: