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7 Best Survival Shovels For Emergency Situations 2023

7 Best Survival Shovels For Emergency Situations 2023

The best survival shovels for 2023 offers insights into a crucial element in the domain of survival gear. Alongside their primary usage, these tools are multi-functional, helping wilderness adventurers and survival enthusiasts perform significant tasks. It’s essential for digging, cutting, or even self-defense; a multifunctional instrument every outdoor enthusiast or survivalist should possess in their kit.

But with so many survival shovels in the market, deciding which one to get can be difficult. Luckily we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best ones around.

In this guide, we listed our top three picks. We’ll also discuss the importance of having a shovel in your survival kit and the factors to consider before getting one. So if you’re curious about the shovels that ended up on our list, read on!

Our Top 3 Picks

In This Guide

The 7 Best Survival Shovels For 2023

1. Zune Lotoo Survival Shovel 28-in-1 Multitool
  • Durable built made of cast martensitic steel
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Includes 28 survival tools
  • Adjustable shovel angle
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

The shovel surface of this foldable multitool for camping comes equipped with both a shovel blade and an axe blade.

The shovel has six adjustable positions between 30 and 180 degrees. This will provide you with flexibility in digging sites and methods. The various angles allow you to get the leverage you need for digging in different environments.

The brand also offers a lifetime warranty which means they’re confident about their products. We can’t blame them — they made this shovel durable martensitic steel cast in one piece. Plus, the joint is durable. It won’t rust even after 25 days in salt water and won’t break in temperatures below 60 degrees.

Also, it can be packed in its carrying case for storage in your vehicle.

The main drawbacks of this shovel are its price and weight. But if you need a dependable survival tool and want to avoid lugging about a lot of other stuff, this is a fantastic option.

Budget Pick
2. AugTouf 18-Inch Military Folding Shovel
  • Compact and sturdy
  • Ergonomic non-slip handle
  • 3-fold design for easy storage
  • Includes a nylon case you can use as a kneepad or attachment
  • 90-day warranty
  • Two sizes available
  • Small
  • Nylon bag is thin

This 18″ Military shovel is versatile for any outdoor adventure or emergency. It has a body forged from heat-treated high-carbon and thick blades with a sawtooth edge. And it’s resistant to deformation and corrosion. So it’s a reliable piece of survival equipment for various situations.

You can fold this multipurpose tool in two ways. Either fold it straight or at a 90-degree angle to perform different tasks. Then, use it for shoveling, hoeing, sawing, digging, cutting, and hammering.

The broad, non-slip triangular handle is ergonomically designed to relieve hand and wrist strain. You’ll also find the 3-fold design that makes it a compact tool for storing for emergencies.

Besides that, you will get a sturdy nylon case with a sponge interior and loop on the outside. It has several uses, such as a knee pad during shoveling or a belt or backpack attachment.

AugTouf provides a 90-day no-hassle warranty. You may choose between two different sizes, 18.1 x 4.7″ and 22.8 x 5.9″. Available color choices are black and olive.

3. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade
  • Excellent D-grip design
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Foldable design makes it easy to stow anywhere
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Not for heavy-duty use
  • Short handles

Gerber’s E-Tool is a sturdy survival shovel folds into a small package. It’s great for removing tiny areas of weeds and rubbish on the ground, and it collapses to the size of a baseball cap when unused.

It has a steel shovel head, an anodized 7075 aluminum shaft, a nylon-filled grip, and a carbon steel blade. And in case of any problems, Gerber offers a lifetime guarantee.

The shovel’s D-shaped grip makes it simple to exert force, and its sturdy blade makes quick work of tough dirt. Also, it has a powder coating that protects the head and a serrated edge for light sawing.

If you’re looking for a shovel that requires little storage space but is still strong and reliable, the Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade is a good choice. It can handle light to moderate digging and trenching without fail.

4. RHINO USA Folding Survival Shovel With Pick
  • Made from high-quality, heavy-duty carbon steel
  • Lightweight and collapses into a compact size
  • User-friendly military-style design
  • Comes with a storage bag
  • Pickaxe side is weak
  • Handles are short

Rhino USA Folding Survival Shovel is one of the best survival shovels made in the USA today. This foldable shovel is perfect whether you need to remove some dirt from under your tire, dig small trench, or general use around the camp site.

This entrenching device gets its design from military models. It’s also made of durable carbon steel to withstand the rigors of outdoor use.

It also has two pounds of powder-coated carbon steel, a pickaxe, and rugged and sharp saw teeth. There’s even a pickaxe connected that you can use by tightening the head at a 90-degree angle.

The best part is that it’s lightweight and foldable. You can fold it into a portable case in a garage or vehicle trunk, making transport and storage much easier.

Also Great
5. Suprock Survival High Carbon Steel Tactical Shovel
  • Versatile design
  • Includes many survival accessories
  • Compact yet tools are comfortable to use
  • Sturdy and solid handles
  • Heavy
  • Included bag breaks easily

Suprock features a shovel axe made of thick high-carbon steel. It also has high-carbon stainless steel integrated casting technology.

It’s durable, heavy, and can withstand harsh conditions. It’s also compact and offers three different length assembly methods. You can adjust the shovel head at 0-180 degrees for different tasks.

It has a hammer and saw, perfect for cutting firewood or breaking stones. You also get a bunch of survival accessories with this package, like an axe, saw, fire starter rod, whistle, compass, knife, safety hammer, and more.

You can fit it with the accessories in the included carrying bag. And with a lifetime warranty service, you know you’re getting a reliable product.

6. SOG Entrenching Tool Folding Survival Shovel with Wood Saw Edge
  • Sturdy build, crafted with black powder-coated high-carbon steel
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Rugged design that can take a lot of abuse
  • Comes with a case
  • Small blade and nylon case
  • Short and has low leverage

The SOG Entrenching Tool is an inexpensive alternative for those who want a simple survival shovel. And if space is an issue, this is an excellent option.

It has a light weight of about 25.5 ounces, so you won’t even notice you’re carrying it. The blade features a saw-ready serrated edge made of solid, tempered steel. It’s made of high-carbon steel and is larger than your hand, yet it’ll last a lifetime.

It’s the best folding shovel for car storage as its compact design fits snugly in the trunk of most vehicles. The design makes it ideal for outdoor, emergency, or trekking spade use.

It’s great for bug-outs, emergencies, and general outdoor survival since it compresses down to shovel size. You can also adjust the revolving spade blade to use it as a pick or a hoe.

7. Tyger Auto 16-in-1 Heavy-Duty Folding Shovel
  • Military-grade design
  • Sturdy and well-made product
  • Includes many survival accessories
  • Easy switch mechanism to switch modes
  • Heavy shovel
  • Extension handle sold separately

Tyger features a 16-in-1 multifunction military-grade solid carbon steel tool for extraordinary durability. Its sturdy construction can withstand extreme temperatures and is resistant to corrosion.

It has a unique instant switch mechanism that allows you to adjust the shovel head from different positions. You can use it as a hammer, axe, saw, hoe, wire cutter, and hook. You can also store this compact shovel in a backpack for any outdoor adventure.

Extra tools include a knife, ice pick, screwdriver, fire starter, and more. You can find these extra tools stacked and connected in the handle, allowing you to access them quickly in an emergency. If you want an extra handle to replace the extras included, you need to buy it separately.

Photo of a survival shovel.

What Is a Survival Shovel?

A survival shovel, also known as an entrenching tool, is an indispensable component of tactical and outdoor adventure gear sets. It’s a multi-tool that incorporates diverse features ranging from a shovel blade to a saw edge, adapted for survival situations.

Equipped for multiple functions beyond digging, it transcends the limitations of a conventional shovel. Depending on the user’s needs, these shovels come in various shapes, features, and sizes.

Benefits of Having a Survival Shovel

The benefits of having a survival shovel in the wilderness range from establishing a safe shelter to securing sustenance through hunting or foraging. These shovels are as versatile as the unpredictable obstacles nature throws your way.

For instance, imagine you and your family are traveling home on the highway during a snow storm. There is already five inches of snow on the ground and it continues to accumulate. You hit a patch of ice and skid off the road into a snow bank.

So you try to maneuver your car back onto the road with no luck. You’re stuck and your kids are scared. Then, you remember the shovel you threw in your trunk a few months ago. You grab it and and start to dig your way out. Within minutes, your free and back on the road.

A quality survival shovel is essential for those who love camping, hiking, or exploring the outdoors. It can help you dig fire pits, clear away obstacles in your path, break up ice or snow, dig drainages, or even provide shelter from bad weather. Some of its uses include: 

Person digging a shelter in the snow. Survival shovels being used in everyday situation.

Creating Shelter

With a sturdy survival shovel at your disposal, creating a makeshift shelter during outdoor adventures or emergencies is no challenging task. Carving into the ground or clearing a camping site becomes significantly more manageable. 

A shovel’s flat blade design assists in creating a stable structure, elevating your chances for a secure hideaway. You can use a shovel to dig trenches or even form a makeshift shelter. This is helpful when caught in bad weather or needing shelter from the elements.

Digging Fire Pits

A survival shovel facilitates the digging of fire pits, an essential survival situation task. A survival shovel, often designed with serrated edges, simplifies this laborious task, allowing for a quicker and safer setup. A survival shovel can help you dig a fire pit fast to keep your camp warm, cook food, and light up the night.

Clearing Obstacles

Armed with a reliable folding survival shovel, clearing obstacles like fallen trees, rocks, or debris off your trail is easier, ensuring unobstructed passage. Its sturdy build lends itself to rugged tasks, giving you an edge in overcoming terrain challenges. Your shovel can also come in handy for clearing away any debris or obstacles in your path.

Cleaning Up Waste

Managing waste is crucial in maintaining hygiene in survival situations and having a shovel will make sanitation in the outdoors much easier. The sharp edge of a shovel makes digging a sanitation hole quick and easy, thus helping in waste disposal.

Woman diggin in her garden.

Yard Work And Gardening

While primarily a survival tool, these shovels are also useful for basic yard work and gardening. Their compact size makes them easy to maneuver, perfect for planting and soil cultivation. An extra shovel for your garden or yard work is perfect, especially when you have a few extra hands to help you out. Double your digging and planting time.

Burying Dead Animals

In the unfortunate event of encountering dead animals, a survival shovel can help ensure their safe and respectful burial. Burying dead animals is a grim but necessary task to avoid attracting predators.

The digging efficiency of a shovel speeds up this process, making your environment safer. You can also use a good shovel to bury waste or dead animals. You never know when you might come across a rotted animal and want to bury it because of the smell or you don’t want your little kids touching it.

Self-Defense Tool

In extreme situations, a good shovel can double as a self-defense tool. Its sturdy construction and sharp edges can be formidable when wielded correctly. You can swing it like a bat and do some major damage.

Digging Your Car Out

A shovel finds its application extensively in snow or sand settings where your vehicle might get stuck. A compact, lightweight survival shovel can assist in freeing your vehicle in such situations. The ergonomic handle design ensures minimal fatigue during this exhausting task.

Having a survival shovel to dig your car out of the snow, mud or dirt is a something I have had to do on a handful of occasions. Luckily I was prepared and had my handy shovel in my vehicle.

Digging a car out of the mud and dirt

What To Look for When Buying the Best Survival Shovels 2023

As the variety of survival shovels increases, you require an additional understanding of what to look for when opting for your right-match survival tool.

Many shovels are on the market, each with features that make it better suited for different tasks. But before you buy, here are some factors to consider:

Durability and Quality

The first thing to consider when choosing a survival shovel is its durability and build quality. After all, this tool must stand against demanding tasks like breaking hard ground or splitting wood.

A shovel’s lifespan is closely tied to the quality of its materials, so opt for shovels made of high-carbon steel or a similar durable alloy to ensure longevity. This will ensure your shovel can handle harsh conditions and won’t corrode or rust.

Also, aside from the shovel head, check the handle to see if it is sturdy, comfortable, and easy to grip. Most shovels focus more on the quality of the shovel head and will skimp on the equality of the handle. So look for handles made of strong materials such as steel or polymer.

Portability and Design

Assessing the tool’s folding design and portability, such as whether the shovel can be folded, is equally important. Look for compact and lightweight features, such as folding or telescoping handles. Opt for foldable or collapsible designs for ease of transport, but ensure it still meets your robustness requirements.

Photo of a survival shovel in the woods.

Survival gear must also be compact and easy to carry without consuming much space in your backpack. You want to avoid carrying a heavy shovel in an emergency.  This makes storing it in your car, boat, or backpack easy.

Type of Shovel

From a camping shovel with a hatchet to a special forces shovel, recognizing the kind of shovel that suits your needs the most is of the utmost importance.

There are regular shovels and multi-tool shovels that come with built-in survival accessories. Multi-tool shovels allow you to switch between different modes of use, making them more versatile for different tasks. They come with extra tools like knives, hammers, saws, and fire starters. Some are also adjustable and come with a portable carrying bag.

The best option for you depends on your needs. If you need a basic digging tool for gardening or camping, a regular shovel is best.

However, a multi-tool shovel is best for survival, as you get more features in a single tool. Plus, getting a multi-tool means you don’t need to buy other emergency tools separately.


While you shouldn’t skimp on a crucial survival tool, there are options to fit various budgets. Research and compare to get the best value for your investment. Survival shovels range in price from low to high, with higher-end models costing even more.

Look for one that best fits your budget, but doesn’t skimp on quality. Remember, you’ll use this shovel in emergencies and want it to be reliable and durable.

Key Takeaways of the Best Survival Shovels

When it comes to survival, having the right tools can make all the difference. A good shovel is an essential piece of equipment for anyone who spends time outdoors or wants to be prepared for emergencies. 

The shovels listed above are some of the best on the market in 2023, offering durability, versatility, and ease of use. Whether you’re planning a camping trip or preparing for a disaster, a survival shovel is a must-have tool in your kit.

Consider a survival shovel as a tool to add to your outdoor gear arsenal. Since multi-tool shovels are now available, preparing for outdoor excursions is easier. Plus, you’ll only need to bring fewer items to complete your survival accessories.

Pro Tip: A survival shovel can not only help you in an emergency, but also others who are in need of help. Always being prepared is a must for our family, but it is nice to be able to lend a helping hand to those we come across on our journeys. You never know when you can be the hero and swoop in to save the day.

What’s your favorite survival shovel? Let us know in the comments below.

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