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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone use these while hiking, keep them in their packs, etc.?

I've been debating about picking one up, especially since they're not really all that expensive.

Is it something people find useful?
 

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I have two of them but they are kind of heavy.

I carry a Cold Steel Special Forces shovel slipped into my pack sometimes when I have to bury a tie down but the rest of the time I make do with a folding trowel. None of them are any fun to dig with.

Among other things, they are good for burying waste, digging up worms or grubs, digging/burying a tie down for tent, boat or plane, gardening and prospecting. A fox hole is a very unpleasant chore with them.

http://www.google.com/products/cata...ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ8wIwAA#ps-sellers

Amazon.com: Folding Garden Trowel Measures 5-3/4 x 2-1/8 and Includes a Black Canvas Belt Carrier: Home Improvement

Amazon.com: Backpacker S Plastic Trowel: Sports & Outdoors
 

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Tennessee Ranger
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Gerber makes one that is lighter than the military issue shovel and it will still fit in the GI carry case, but it has polymer parts that could possibly be broken easier than a metal one. I have a GI issue one from my time in the Army and I have put it thru hell and it still is in great shape. I personally don't mind the extra weight. Me and the guys in my squad even kept the edges of ours sharpened in case we had to hand-to-hand with them,which would have been highly unlikely anyways.
 

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I carry the general military issue one. It's heavy as hell...but I guess that gets me more in shape. Very handy for the cat holes and scraping fire circles. I also sharpened one side of mine and basically use it as an axe.
 

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For getting stuck in the snow and for elk camp, I pack a light, small headed, short wooden handled shovel (with the square plastic handle on the end fastened to the wood) from the local Ace Hardware. That has been a blessing compared to the crappy military surplus type fold up spades. No pieces or parts to malfunction and lighter than the military version, and I can work twice as fast with it.
 

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Whippersnapper
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for me personally they are too heavy to carry around... but to keep in the boot of the car they are great.
 
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If I'm actually backpacking, I leave the e-tool at home, and make due with a folding trowel.

If I'm going car camping, the e-tool comes with.

They're great to have around, but they don't do anything that I couldn't do with the other, smaller/lighter tools I'm already carrying. Although they do make great toilet seats! Fold the shovel at a 90 degree angle, place 1 cheek on the shovel, and let the other hang... Much more comfortable than just squatting.
 

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I actually carry the gerber entrenching tool when backpacking. On the other hand, my wife and I split the load between us! Honestly, I think the extra weight is worth it. It can be extremly useful in many situations and their much easier to use than those itty bitty trowels!
 

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according to a ex KGB agent who now trains people around here the Soviet army stopped the issue of them to recruits because they were killing each other at a unexceptable rate. i have done some basic training in combat with one. sharpen the edges and it makes a wicked weapon and you can bury the body after.
 

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Really?
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I've been using an E-tool afa I can remember..........the first one was the wood handle, where the shovel head folded. Then I moved to the tri fold model.......imo, they are worth their weight in gold, when ya need it and any campsite needs one.......it's the difference between having a nice campsite, with a fire pit, latrine, flood moats, etc and just sleeping on the ground.....and yes, you can sharpen the edges and it be a defensive weapon, but there's other tools for that.
 
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