› Camping shovels

Why take a camping shovel on your trip around Oz?

Your camping shovel is your best mate when you need to dig yourself out of a hole, create an emergency toilet, or just build a fire pit. Regardless of the sort of camping you do, a shovel comes in very handy. Most of the time it’s a useful work-saving tool, other times it can be a life-saver.

When we left on our trip around Australia, we did not take a shovel.

Unbelievable! It didn’t take us long to realise it was an essential…especially as we strayed further from ‘civilisation’. So, of course, we bought one as soon as we could. Now we keep ours in the car at all times, because you never know when you’ll need it.

Bogged in Coffin Bay National Park, SA.This soft sand caught us by surprise in Coffin Bay National Park, SA. Our camping shovel came in handy getting it all from under the car. Afterwards the kids had a laugh, but the joke was on us!

What sort of shovel should you buy?

It depends on what you are using it for, and how much space you have available. Whatever shovel you buy, make sure it has:

  • A sharp-pointed blade, and
  • A good durable handle.

Here are some options:

Folding camping shovel

This is the kind we bought. They don’t take up much space and will do the trick in most situations. They are also a good size and weight for everyone in the family to use. You can buy these at army surplus or camping shops.

Camping shovel - foldedFolded.
Camping shovel - unfoldedUnfolded.

Long handled shovel

These are great if you do a fair bit of 4WDing, but they do take up a lot of space. The longer handle helps get right under your vehicle when you’re bogged. Most people we saw who had these secured them to their roof racks.

Your typical garden shovel

If you’ve got one you love and have the space, take it…saves you buying another bit of kit. The challenge is that it’s still bulky, but it doesn’t give you the reach of a long handled shovel.

Whatever type of camping shovel you choose, just make sure you don’t leave home without one. Our folding shovel was about $20 from a camping shop, and did everything we needed on the trip.

The uses are endless!

In case you need an extra incentive, here are just a few ways you're likely to use your camping shovel:

To dig a hole.

  • To use as a toilet (if you have a portable toilet this may not be an issue).
  • To bury pirates' treasure for your kids to find!
  • At the beach to bury your kids in, up to their necks. They’ll love it!

At your camp site.

  • To level ground, or fill in divots.
  • To dig a trench around your site during heavy rain to channel water away (particularly important if you have a soft-bottom camper trailer).

On the camp fire.

  • To prepare a fire pit for those chilly evenings, where one isn’t provided.
  • To spread coals to break up or cool down a fire when you’re finished with it.

When you are off road.

To get your vehicle or camper out of a bogged situation. You’d be amazed how much sand you can trap under your vehicle. A shovel is an essential 4WD recovery tool!

I still can’t believe we left without one!

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› Camping shovels