Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Riverwalker’s Gear - The Compact Survival Shovel


There’s usually only one way to dig yourself out of a mess in a survival situation and that’s by having a good shovel handy. The main problem is that it’s pretty hard to carry a full size shovel with you all the time. While a full size shovel can be easily carried in a pick-up or a trailer, they don’t fit very easily into the trunk of your car or on a backpack.


Whether you find yourself stuck in the snow, the mud or a bunch of loose sand, a compact shovel may be just thing to dig yourself out of a bad situation.



Having a military-style folding shovel and a folding pick version is great but carrying both can be a little awkward and a little heavy when added to the rest of the gear that you may be carrying in your pack. Been there and done that! This is where the real versatility in a lightweight and compact shovel comes in handy. You get the versatility of both a shovel and a pick with this survival tool and don’t have to carry the added weight.








 At slightly less than 2 pounds, this compact survival shovel folds up easily into a 6” pouch that can fit easily under your car seat, in your trunk or your bug-out bag. You could also carry it on your belt but even at less than 2 pounds that’s a lot of weight to added to your belt.










This particular compact shovel assembles easily with only two main components and has a very sturdy steel handle with oversize rubber grips which allow you to easily get a good grip on the handle. 




It also allows several different configurations for use as a shovel only, pic only or a combination of both by merely loosening and tightening the adjustment knob on the handle.





At a mere 16 inches in length it will also allow you to get into some pretty hard to reach places. Although a longer handle will give you more leverage, sometimes they can also get in your way if it’s needed in a tight space.


Saving weight and space with your survival gear will lighten your load and give you additional room for others items you may need as well. With a relatively low cost, it won’t dig a big hole in your pocket either!

Got digging tool for survival?

Staying above the water line!


Riverwalker

8 comments:

Shreela said...

I've gotten my vehicle stuck a few times, but never used a shovel to get clear. Just used sticks until the tires found traction.

How are shovels used when stuck in mud or sand?

Also, are some positions better than others when working with such short shovels?

Anonymous said...

I'd recommend the Cold Steel Spetnatz shovel. Not as compact as the above, but no joints to get filled with dirt or get rusted so ornery to use :^). The CS is very rugged and about 18" long - just about right for a ruck or backpack.

I keep one of those under my pick up seat for emergency uses. Makes for a pretty impressive weapon in case of car jacking or parking lot violence as well.

Shreela, when it comes to vehicle extrication, you pretty much end up with both knees planted in the dirt / mud, sitting down on your heels and digging out. It greatly helps if your wheels are pointed straight in-line with direction fo travel. Some lively cussing and sweat is also par for the course, lol.

A jug of water is extremely helpful to have in hand, ibuprofen later on when full effects of labor hit.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Las Vegas many years ago and one day took my 2 wheel drive pickup down a dry wash. When I decided to turn around and drive out the slight grade was enough resistance to cause me to dig in right to the axle. I had a shovel in the truck and it was a life saver. It was summer, 116 degrees and I didn't have any water with me. I maybe could have done it without a shovel but it would have taken more effort and in that temperature without water more effort can be fatal.

vlad said...

You are right again. A shovel is necessary. The Bushranger XJack is optional but desireable.

http://vlad-unclevlad.blogspot.com/search?q=jack

riverwalker said...

To: Shreela

Normally when you get stuck your tires have a tendency to dig a hole which puts your tires in a position where the surface area that gives you traction is below the level of the ground. i usually try to dig out enough to make a slight slope that will allow the tires to get enough traction so that the vehicle will free itself when you put it in gear and give it some gas.

Using additional materials on the slope (a board, cardboard, sticks, etc.) in front of the tire helps also but sometimes isn't enough if you don't dig yourself out some beforehand.

The shorter the shovel, the closer you'll need to be.

Thanks.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:44

I generally try to keep a full size shovel handy but prefer even a small compact shovel over using a stick or can to dig myself out with...less labor intensive.

Thanks anon.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 2:30

I hate when a vehicle gets stuck up to the axle...just know that it's going to take even more effort to get it free.

Glad you had a shovel handy!

Thanks anon.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: vlad

I don't think you go much of anywhere without a shovel...I'm pretty much the same. Had to dig myself out a few times using an empty can and it wasn't very much fun.

Yep! Gotta agree. When you need a shovel, you NEED a shovel.

Thanks vlad!

RW

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