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Shovels are indispensable in survival situations, but there’s no way you can pack a full-size shovel on the trail, in your bug out bag, or in your car. You need something compact enough to carry everywhere you go, dependable enough to thrive in harsh environments, and versatile enough to keep you alive in a variety of survival scenarios. In short, you need to skip the gardening section at Home Depot and find yourself a military-grade survival shovel.
Our list of the best survival shovels offers a solution for everyone, from survivalists on a budget to discerning customers with an eye for premium quality. All of these survival shovels are compact enough to carry on your waist, strap to a tactical backpack, stash in your bug out bag, or stow in your vehicle. They’re versatile tools with more functionality than a standard shovel and plenty of survival tools to keep you alive in the wild.
The C1 Military Folding Shovel Multitool from FiveJoy is far more than a shovel — it’s also an axe, bottle opener, emergency whistle, fire starter, glass breaker, hammer, hoe, measure, rescue knife, and wire cutter. Use the blade to split logs, hack branches, and slice food in camp. Scale fish and strip small branches for kindling with the rescue knife. Quickly start a fire with the magnesium rod, and use the inner strands of paracord to suture and stitch wounds. In short, you’ll be prepared for just about anything with this survival shovel.
The C1 Military Folding Shovel Multitool is built to last a lifetime. It’s constructed with premium high carbon steel, designed to thrive in the harshest conditions, and has a rust-resistant finish to prevent corrosion. The anti-slip, quick-dry handle ensures you never lose your grip, helping you dig and chop with confidence.
Thanks to this shovel’s unique locking structure, you can use it straight or at a 90° angle. It’s engineered to travel anywhere with you, breaking down into parts that easily fit into a compact, molle-compatible travel case. It’s compact and lightweight at just 2 pounds, making it easy to stash in your backpack or stow in your car for emergencies.
Anytime you see the SOG Specialty Knives and Tools logo, you know you’re getting a battle-ready, field-tested tool. The Seattle-based company is renowned for its tactical gear, outfitting US armed forces and law enforcement for decades.
The SOG Entrenching Tool is a compact shovel designed to travel anywhere you go — in your car, stashed in your backpack, or on your belt. The ultra-compact collapsible trifold design folds down to the size of the shovel head, secured by a durable locking mechanism. Even with its compact size, the lightweight, ultra-compact shovel outperforms larger, heftier survival shovels, and is easy to maneuver with the ergonomic triangular handle.
The combo shovel/saw/hoe is excellent for digging, trenching, and cutting, whether you’re in the backyard or the backcountry. Constructed with hardcased black carbon steel, the SOG Entrenching Tool is engineered to survive decades of heavy use in the field.
Founded in 1994, Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) builds innovative knives and tools that inspire and endure. The Oregon-based company takes a unique approach to the design process, collaborating with custom blade experts all across the US to design and manufacture blades and tools that are truly one-of-a-kind.
Designed by Tom Stokes in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Trencher is the perfect blend of aerodynamics, ergonomics, and good old-fashioned determination and grit. The unique three-position heavy-duty spade features a razor-sharp wood saw on one side, and a beveled edge on the other for chopping wood and roots. Rocks won’t be an issue with the reinforced steel tip, and the ergonomic handle will ensure you keep a steady grip while you’re working. Speaking of the handle, there’s even a wire cutter built right into the textured grip.
The Trencher’s blade is constructed with 1050 carbon steel, while the handle is built with a combination of carbon steel, polypropylene, and nylon. It comes with a black polyester sheath with a polypropylene insert.
If you’re looking for a larger survival shovel, go with the BAALAND Military Folding Shovel. You’ll enjoy a larger handle that’s at least a foot longer than the average survival shovel, providing you with more leverage and power. When you’re ready to move, the shovel folds down and fits in a high-quality tactical waist pack with a belt loop. It’s compact enough to toss in your bug-out bag or keep in your truck for emergencies.
The BAALAND Military Folding Shovel is a survival multi-tool with 18+ functions, including a shovel, axe, bottle opener, bow, fire stick, glass breaker, hexagon spanner, hoe, icebreaker, flashlight, hammer, harpoon, hemostatic hose, nail puller, rescue knife, rope, saw, and whistle. It’s easy to adjust the shovel angle with the special screw locking device, allowing you to position the spade at 30°, 90°, or 180° for use as a hook, hoe, or shovel. The shovel is constructed with high carbon steel, and features an oxidation treatment to provide additional luster and enhance its durability.
In addition to the versatile shovel, the kit comes with an emergency flashlight with red and white flashlight diffusers. The flashlight has a built-in power bank, so you can use it to charge portable electronics like a cell phone or tablet while you’re on the road.
The Military Portable Folding Shovel from IUNIO was designed to be practical, functional, and reliable in any environment. It’s 31 inches when fully extended, and folds down into a tactical waist pack that’s easy to transport. Carry it on your waist with the included belt loop, leave it in your truck for emergencies, or toss it in your bug-out bag for when shit hits the fan.
The Military Portable Folding Shovel is constructed with high carbon steel that’s sturdy and dependable. The rubber grip is easy to grasp, even in wet conditions. When you’re not using it as a shovel, you can rely on the tool’s other survival features including a bottle opener, fire bar, hammer, hoe, knife, nail extractor, saw, and emergency whistle.
The M48 Kommando Survival Shovel is designed for survival situations, with the capability to serve as a compact shovel, axe, and defensive weapon. The shovel point is sharpened with a partially serrated edge for sawing and a concave chopping edge for turning branches into kindling. It’s an ideal choice for camping, outdoors use, and light chopping.
The M48 Kommando Survival Shovel features an indestructible injection-molded nylon handle with 30% fiberglass and nylon reinforcement. The shovelhead is constructed with tempered 2Cr13 stainless tool steel, sealed with a hard black oxide coating for lasting durability. It comes with a reinforced nylon pouch for travel that easily connects to your belt.