Folding shovels for canoeing?

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Jul 27, 2013
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Hello guys, I was wondering how many of you carry folding shovels or entrenchment tools in your canoe with you? What uses do you guys have them for? What are some you guys would recommend?

thanks, Alex
 
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I have an old Army shovel.

But frankly your post reminds me of a use for old beater paddles. There is a story here. Back in '96 on the Snake the guide made chili in the evening. After coffee the next morn, there weren't enough entrenchment tools to go around. Hence everyone for his own willow with his own blade spade.
 
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Dec 8, 2013
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We carry a folding trenching tool. I think we got it at Academy Sports. We use it a lot!

Look at Highlander Double Folding Shovel
 
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We've carried one for a number of years and never used it until my wife decided she wanted to rebuild the steps at Ramsay Ledge campsite.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I had a folding shovel-hatchet tool that I carried in my gadget-laden canoe my first year. I never used it for anything. Then I misplaced it in the post-apocalyptic chaos known as my basement.

That was 34 years ago and I've never missed it or even thought about it again . . . until this thread.
 
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I carry a folding shovel. The blade/scoop is about 4 inches long. It gets used when no latrine is nearby.
 
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Red Lake, Ontario
A folding shovel would be all but useless where i normally paddle. What soil there is around is but a few inches thick before hitting a bedrock and almost always intertwined with so many roots that digging would be impossible.
 
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I have an old garden trowel that I take, once in a great while I'll use it to level the ground under one of my boxes a little bit, smoothed back when I leave. Not sure I understand the use being described here but when I think of "shovel" I think of digging. Pretty sure I don't want to see campsites dug into to please the various campers that come there. After a bit it would look like the Mole Marching Band drill field.

For sure I have a shovel in all my trucks, you just never know. But not camping.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Most places I go have some form of thunder box (latrine). I usually remember to pack a garden trowel anyway. That's the only digging I'll do.
ps I've long suspected there was a black hole vortex sucking some of my clutter collection from my basement. I used to blame my wife for de-cluttering my "junk". But now, I'm thinking the other end of this sci-fi vacuum might be in Glenn's basement.
Dear Glenn; You can keep my stuff. I don't even remember what most of it was. What I do miss though, is an old frumpy felt hat, and some really cool t-shirts. I don't worry about my mismatched socks anymore.
 
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Hello guys, I was wondering how many of you carry folding shovels or entrenchment tools in your canoe with you? What uses do you guys have them for? What are some you guys would recommend?

I think I have a folding shovel still around somewhere. I hope I never find it again. It had rusted to near inoperability and was never very efficient to begin with. It was too short handled, not especially sturdy and, despite the folding aspect, not that small to pack.

The only redeeming feature of a folding shovel was the ability to set the blade sideways and use the serrated side of the blade to whack tall grass. An application I needed…. hummm, I never actually needed or chose to do that.

The modern variants of the folding shovel I’ve seen all seem too closely based on Mil-spec entrenching tools.

http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-22-41578-Gorge-Folding-Shovel/dp/B000WZCSTO

I’m generally not dodging rifle or mortar fire while making a hole, and so there is no advantage to being on my knees while digging.

On solo trips I carry only a small plastic trowel for personal cat-hole use. I’m not making that many holes and I’ll accept digging from my knees once a day.

A recommendation for an actual shovel? On family or companion trips I sometimes carry a small True Temper “Real Tools for Kids” shovel.

http://www.amestruetemper.com/products/detail.aspx?ProductId=213&FamilyId=126&LineId=78

The one I have is at least 20 years old and is still going strong. Inexpensive, built like a full sized shovel and sturdy as hell. The handle is long enough to use without crouching over or dropping to my knees. At less than 2 lbs (1 LB, 14OZ) it is no heavier than a folding shovel and a lot easier to use.

What do I use it for?

Digging deadman anchors. Digging cat holes; the curved 6” wide blade makes a perfect cat hole with four plunges and is easier to dig with and cover with than a trowel. Digging a fire pit below the high tide line. Flinging pony poop out of camp. Cutting off thorny smilax below ground level on a tent site so they don’t puncture my sleeping pad. Dumping coals atop cast iron cookwear. Burying other folks crap, literally.

That little “kids shovel” is small enough to live in my vehicle and, while I wouldn’t want to dig the truck out of a ditch with it, in a pinch it would be better than a plastic hand trowel.
 
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I have a Gerber. I keep it in my pack basket in the shed with all the other stuff I don't use. :) (see pack basket thread!)
 
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Alburnett Iowa
I got a folding shovel in my truck but it doesn't go in the canoe with me. I always end up in the BWCA where there are pit toilets and fire grates. If I didn't have a pit toilet available I could dig a cat hole with a stick.
 
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