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Old 10-04-2012, 09:32 PM
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Default Small snow shovel to keep in car trunk

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Hi All,

Can anyone recommend a small and/or collapsible snow shovel to keep in the car trunk for emergency.

I live in Metro NYC Area so we don't usually get a ton of snow but hey you never know.

Old 10-04-2012, 11:43 PM
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I never found a "collapsible" shovel I would trust in an emergency.
So, I chose what I would call a short handle coal shovel. But, after doing a quick search, it would appear that they're called transfer shovels.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:46 PM
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Consider an E-tool!

Whoohoo! I got a new Flux Capacitor today. I should have called Granger sooner!
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:33 AM
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This one would probably do:

Just my opinion.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:19 AM
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I prefer something like this:

A short-handled, squarenose shovel. The steel blade is better than the big aluminum "scoops" at dealing with ice.

We tend to end up with a layer of ice at the bottom when everything freezes and partially thaws, then freezes again, with a layer of heavy, wet, slushy crap on top.

And the squarenose is much more useful during non-snow times. Actually, the only reason to go short handle is to fit in a trunk of a car. I throw a longhandle squarenose in the truck if snow is going to be a problem.

I see you're in NY. This shovel could be useful if someone tries to rob you while you are shoveling snow.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:40 AM
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you have the same snow types as you do .... you need a couple of different .... get one of those poly shovels with the collapsible handle .... bunge cord it to the trunk lid .... it's only for moving volumes of free laying snow .... no real digging .....

for digging and chopping get a military trenching shovel of some kind .... doesn't matter too much .... surplus if you can find one ..... not a bad item to have handy in the back seat .....
Old 10-05-2012, 07:27 AM
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I use BCA avy shovels, but we saw a "lifeline" brand or model at the local ACE the other day for 17.00. It was telescopic and had a nice feel and fit, wirth picking up a few extra's for that price.
Old 10-05-2012, 08:14 AM
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I keep a simple D handle shovel on the truck so I can reach way under it or under cars that get Hi centered on ice and snow.
Toy shovels are ok for lite emergencies but in the long run a cotractors D handle is the life saver.
As for uncovering a car , I carry a sheet of blue or green shrink wrap material to cover the car when ever and where ever I park it during the winter .
The material reaches the ground for the cercumfrence of the car truck ,and I lock a portion of it on either side in the door jamb as I lock it for the nite preventing the wind frm blowing it off or snoopers gazing inside .
After a snow fall the material sheds the snow vigerously, so only a minimum is remaining ,and not even ice will bond to it .
With the pick up I only covered the cab area to the ground never worried much about the camper.
But in the morning or just getting off of work, I'd simply shake loose the snow nea the drivers door and lift up the material and un lock it , hop inside and start the truck and let it warm up .
It warms up quickly because the front over the radiator is still covered, which means the heater is going to be comming to temp nicely. While the truck warms I un lock the passinger door and release the material from the door jamb.
Back out side the vehicle ,depending on how deep the snow fell ,and it's weight ,I will either slide it off, or simply roll it off from the top down, to the side I would normally shovel the snow, shake it clean and fold it up and put it behind the drivers seat ready to go. In the mountains I almost never shovel the drive way being dirt and having a layer of snow on it was a nice serface to work with ,less messy.
The material is available at boat repair places that do the shrink wraping for the winter . you don't want it shrunk to fit, but leave it virgin except that it only needs to touch the ground well to give you the most value but aviod custom fitting ,takes less time to put away and deploy.
If you shape it (Shrink to fit ) you won't be folding it to put in the car,nor handling it freely.
My .02cents
It also makes an excelent emergency sled ,or something to lay on putting on chains.
Regular tarp material is seriously inferrior to this material , I have some that is very old still in service.
Old 10-05-2012, 10:53 AM
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Just picked up the lifeline two pack at Costco for $20 (you get two shovels). After looking around I think I will go buy another pack at that price. I will include a link to costco and a review from youtube. I have not yet tested but for that price seems a great deal for a not so used item.

Old 10-05-2012, 11:19 AM
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Thanks for the video review.

I was @ Costco yesterday & looked @ the above lifeline two pack of shovels at Costco.

My opinion:

Appears to be very thin aluminum, don't like lightness, handle, rivets or shaft.

I examined & re-examined several times but finally said nah I will break it easily..

I think the Costco shovel may be OK for a grandmother to clean her steps of 1" to 2" of light fluff snow.

For my vehicle I will stick with a small 26" real metal semi-spade type shovel. I purchased for around $15.00 a few years.

I can dig actual dirt/sand/snow chunks/ice & sharpened one side so I can chop with it & put a coat of wax on it to reduce rust & sticking dirt or snow and I have peace of mind that I know it can be used.

Again this my small shovel is for my vehicle but it can also go camping as well and not for a BOB.

Home Depot, Kmart, Sears sometimes carry these shovels.

Just my .02
Old 10-05-2012, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 9111315 View Post
Consider an E-tool!
The e-tool stinks for serious snow removal. The blade is just too small.
Old 10-05-2012, 01:05 PM
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Aluminum grain scoops for moving snow,for serious crap stirrup handle square nose.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:33 PM
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I would not use them for anything but snow that is for sure . I have several of the small harbor freight cheap steel shovels (although mine have wood handles see link) and they work great for everything from digging a tent trench in rock laded soil (done a few times) to burying the fire after camping. The problem with steel is it rusts, even coated steel rusts and I do not want my trunk caked with rust. What would be perfect is a thick aluminum or titanium shovel. But who wants to spend that kind of money even if someone does make one.
I live in Utah and get a lot of snow, and I still have yet to have to dig my car out more than twice in 20 years. Now I do not go off road in the winter so your situation may be different. I really want to dual use these as emergency winter snow shovels to compliment my GHB for my vehicles, and to carry one to scout camp snow caving.
A steel shovel is the way to go however for me weight and corrosion are a factor with snow.

Not to mention rust in the trunk has to pass the wife acceptance factor. LOL
Old 10-05-2012, 03:07 PM
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Why take a chance. With snow and ice builup you need something sturdy. Just throw a short handled regular shovel in your trunk and call it a day.
Old 10-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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As others have said. Go with a mountaineering shovel. Its what they are designed for. Since its for your car, I'd definitely go with an all aluminum model. BCA, Black Diamond, etc. There are tons of companies out there that make high quality ones, that won't break the bank....
Old 01-06-2014, 02:26 AM
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Default This one will be what you want

Originally Posted by jetsrb32 View Post
Hi All,

Can anyone recommend a small and/or collapsible snow shovel to keep in the car trunk for emergency.

I live in Metro NYC Area so we don't usually get a ton of snow but hey you never know.

Old 01-06-2014, 08:26 AM
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For shoveling quantities of freshly fallen snow a snow shovel works.
For getting unstuck from a parking space that the snow plow has buried in a frozen berm they do not work well. and a sand shovel or full sized spade is best.
When we go into the mountains snow wheeling/intending to get stuck; we bring spades, sand shovels, grain scoops (everyone has a favorite) as well as lowly G.I. trifolds, specific shovels excel at specific jobs.

...A U.S.G.I. military trifold e-tool is what I carry to get unstuck year around in all vehicles. the small size is an advantage in that it is very storable and available for emergencies; it is not for shoveling driveways but will definitely work in emergencies. Fluffy/powder snow is relatively easy to dig but this shovel will work for packed frozen snow, sand and mud also; compact easy to fit in a trunk or under as seat; a bit short, if you manage to high center the vehicle but, overall, it works better than any other folding/collapsible, easily storable compact shovel that I have used (examine them carefully some GI tri-folds are way better than others and a few are not good).
Do not cheap out with a chinese replica they self destruct and won't even move light/powder snow.

If you have enough room a mini D-handle spade from a garden store works, a large/full sized D-handle spade will outwork smaller versions.
Grain scoops are OK if you have the room (and the larger versions can be used to sled down hills) but they take excessive amounts of space, IMO.
Be extremely careful of any thing labeled "mountaineering" or "collapsible" as many are made in china and are easily destroyed when significant digging is needed (there are a few that might work, i.e. Black Diamond, but the collapsible ones with plastic blades did not last for me. If its for the vehicle weight makes almost no difference and you will be paying extra for a light weight back packable "mountaineering" shovel that may or may not do the job, IMO.

When it comes to compact vehicle tools I favor tools that are tough enough that G.I.s can use them without destroying them.

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Old 01-06-2014, 09:38 AM
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I quit carrying a shovel years ago, instead I carry a garden how in the car during the winter. With a shovel you can reach certain areas under the car but with a hoe you can get all the snow out from under the car and when you turn it upside down, you can bust ice with the backside of it. Best idea I ever had concerning the white stuff.
Old 01-06-2014, 09:52 AM
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From Nov. to Feb. I keep full sized ones in the Jeeps --
Old 01-06-2014, 11:03 AM
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D handle shovel with the square point. i prefer one about 40" overall length. and one with a wooden handle works better for me as well.
imho, the collapsible and e-tool types are pretty useless. they will make you work way too hard in very adverse conditions.
also, when the shoveling is done it will be time for some salt, kitty litter, or floor dry for additional traction to get you unstuck.


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