Guide to Survival Shovels

When survivalists think about essential tools, they probably think of hatchets, headlamps, and knives. But shovels can be just as handy. Opening up a route through an icy pathway, digging a sanitation hole, creating an escape route by digging under a fence, or simply clearing and preparing an area for use can be tiresome, challenging, and even hazardous without a shovel.

Digging with your hands can harm cause cuts, bruises, and blisters. These are a few reasons why shovels have become an essential aspect of a survivalist’s gear. What’s intriguing is that survival shovels come with features and design that you are unlikely to find in the standard shovels being sold on the market. But what survival shovel brand is suitable for you?

Considerations to Make

Before coming to the point of making a purchase, you need to make a few considerations. That’s because not all survival shovels are made equal. Below are some of the things you need to ask yourself.

  • Should I expect to dig smaller holes, like the ones needed for sanitation?
  • For how long and for how much distance might I carry the shovel?
  • What’s the probability that I’ll get caught up in a situation where I’ll have to dig through snow or set up an ice shelter?

In addition to the answers to these questions, take the following into account:

Material – Avoid survival shovels made of plastic. Though they may be lightweight, they break quickly. Instead, go for ones that won’t corrode even if you have to dig holes in wet conditions, like those made of stainless steel. You may even come across models designed with high-carbon steel, but these require a unique oxide paint to keep corrosion at bay.

Handle Length & Blade Edges – Aside from the material, you should look at the handle length. A shovel that features a long handle will be easier to use. This can, however, add more weight than desired if you’re looking for something portable. Other than that, look at the kind of blade edges being offered with the shovel; modern models have serrated and other specialized edges.

Blade Size & Shape – The other two things to look for when it comes to the shovel’s blade is its size and shape. Bigger blades will allow you to get through all the digging quicker. Plus, it can be powerful enough when needed to work through obstacles, like heavy roots and thick objects. AS for the shape of the blade, it is categorized into the following: flat, wide, pointed, and narrow.

Where to Buy
Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping Folding Shovel
FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool
SOG Folding Shovel
Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade
IUNIO Survival Multitool Folding Shovel


1. Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping Folding Shovel

This is a well-designed folding shovel that should come off as useful in a variety of situations. 1055 carbon steel has been used for its construction, while it’s equipped with a 7.42-inch-long blade for digging dirt, snow, mug, etc. When completely open, the blade’s length extends to 10.8 inches, which is again ideal for convenience when carrying out tasks. Other than that, there’s an aluminum inner tube as well as a PP handle on the shovel. Though the T-handle can be a little uncomfortable, the Schrade SCHSH1 is a top-quality survivalist shovel that has everything you need to get by.

What makes it stand out?
The shovel weighs just 2 pounds, so survivalists can easily carry it around in their survivalist kit or bug out bag.

2. FiveJoy Military Folding Shovel Multitool

You won’t find a more durable shovel than this one. It’s made of carbon steel that’s heavy duty and water resistant. It’s 20.6 inches long, with a 7 inches high and 5.7 inches high head that offers an additional surface area for digging and entrenching. Also, it’s quite portable and can be easily carried around in a bug out bag or an emergency kit (it weighs just 2.16lbs). Moreover, FiveJoy’s survivalist shovel has such a large variety of add-ons it’s crazy – you’ll find it packed with a glass breaker, a whistle, a fire starter, a wire cutter, a saw, a hoe, an ax, a hammer, and a lot more. Essentially, there’s everything there to survive the zombie apocalypse.

What makes it stand out?
The handle has been thoughtfully engineered to be slip and proof. It optimizes control and comfort while being able to leverage with all sorts of gloves to minimize the fatigue of hands.

3. SOG Folding Shovel

One of the best-sellers in the range of survivalist shovels, SOG’s F08-N is compact, and snaps 18-1/4 inches when it comes to the length. It also contains a serrated edge on one of its sides to allow for cutting and slashing. Its triangle handle seamlessly fits into a user’s hands, and when the shovel is folded up, it takes no more space than a small pile of papers. SOG folding shovel also features a nylon sheath, which allows buyers to keep their shovel safe while digging, camping or hunting. Plus, its carry case and high-carbon steel construction design make it extra durable for a shovel of its size.

What makes it stand out?
The SOG folding shovel has a three-way folding design, collapsing into a portable size; an ideal survivalist shovel.

4. Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade

Let’s say you want to keep a shovel that’s simple, but you also wish it fits into a bug out bag in case you get caught up in such a situation. What shovel should you go for? Gerber T-Tool Folding Spade, of course. It’s a reliable, rugged, and tested design that can be used in multiple outdoor situations. The steelhead of the shovel is made of powder-coated steel (boron) and there’s also a serrated edge on the side to enable users to get through trenching amongst those thick roots. The blade’s shape also supports deep digging into the ground with each attempt. The Gerber E-Tool comes to only 9.37 inches in a closed position, and a safety lock design comes to life in a completely open position.

What makes it stand out?
The Gerber E-Tool is one of the mightiest shovels in its industry but it’s also quite portable, weighing around 2 lbs when placed on the back.

5.  IUNIO Survival Multitool Folding Shovel

Most survivalist shovels make you dig on your knees. That’s because they are short to allow your feet to be used while digging as the typical backyard shovels do. However, the IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel is different. Not only it is equipped with several survival tools like fire starter, hammer, emergency whistle, bottle opener, saw, and more, but it is 38 inches in length when it’s completely assembled, which means you can stand on your feet while digging. The best part? You can remove the extension sections for times when you need a shorter version of your survival shovel.

What makes it stand out?
Both the blade and the handle of the shovel are water-resistant and high-strength courtesy of its high-carbon steel design.

Over to You

Many survivalists tend to neglect survival shovel when putting their essentials together, but that can later turn into regret, especially when you need to create an escape route or get caught up in an emergency situation. You will find that survival shovels such as the ones mentioned on this list are one of the most valuable gears/piece of equipment you can have in an escape, self-defense or survival situation.