6 Best Backpacking Trowels for Your Outdoor Trips

best backpacking trowel

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If you’re looking for the best backpacking trowel for your next camping trip, then you don’t need to look any further. We have taken the time to review multiple options and put together a list of the best of the best so that you can take a look at the specifications of these great products and choose which one is right for your outdoor needs.

Whether you are taking a short camping trip with your family, going on a long hiking trip into the dense wilderness, or using it for gardening, you can use these rugged trowels to dig a cathole or even dig up dirt in your garden. These trowels have many uses, and you want one that will work for anything you need. However, the perfect fit is hard to find with so many on the market.

So, we have compiled the 6 best backpacking trowels for you to pick from so that your next gardening day, or hiking or camping trip will be a whole lot easier.

The top 6 backpacking trowels

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1. The Tent Lab New Improved Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel

TheTentLab New Improved Deuce(R) Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel - Now in 3 SizesThis great trowel is one that you can use for anything outdoors. This tool is the first that can be used upside down for tough, rocky ground and it has a length gauge so you can measure the length of the hole your digging. It has a large scoop so that you can dig a bigger hole quickly, and it helps leave no trace while backpacking. It has four teeth on the leading edge that enables you to cut through small roots quick, and easy.

This trowel comes in a multitude of colors including a deep red, royal blue, gold, and classic black. This tool also comes in three different sizes (0.45, 0.60, and 0.97) so you can choose which one will work best for your needs. Plus, this product is very lightweight, especially compared to its counterparts.

This product is made from aerospace-grade aluminum that is tough and durable so you can expect this item to last through multiple trips with ease. It also comes with a lifetime warranty so that you get years of protection and your tool will be replaced if anything were to happen to it while in use. And, the average price being between 18 and 24 dollars, this tool is a steal for the quality you get.


  • Lightweight, easy to carry
  • Wide variety of colors available
  • Hooks onto backpack
  • Different sizes available
  • Rugged and sturdy
  • Lifetime warranty for insurance


  • Short in length
  • No ergonomic handle, uncomfortable handling at times

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2. Coghlan’s Backpacker’s Trowel

Coghlan's Backpacker's TrowelThis lightweight little tool is one that will get small jobs done right. It is perfect to take with you when you want to travel ultra-light and cover lots of ground quickly. This product is small, but strong and comes in at an astonishing 2 ounces.

This trowel is made out of hard plastic that keeps it long-lasting for use over many years and it has sharp edges so that it can dig through the soil without much effort. The color is bright orange so it is easily visible out in the woods, even at night.

The price point on this product is around 2-3 dollars a piece with the option of buying a multi-pack with two or more to a pack, up to six. You can’t beat the price for this tool, and with its lightweight frame it is portable enough to take anywhere and easy to see why this is one of the best backpacking trowels.


  • Very light and portable
  • Handle has a hole for backpack attachment
  • Low price point
  • Easily visible in surroundings


  • Edges are not serrated
  • Made from plastic, not aluminum

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3. IUNIO Military Portable Folding Shovel And Pickax

IUNIO Folding Shovel 17 inch Length Military Portable with Pickax Carrying Bag Multitool Spade for Camping Entrenching Car Emergency (Compact)This versatile multi-tool has features like no other trowel. This tool contains a shovel blade, ruler, saw nail extractor, hex wrench, and a 110-inch paracord so you have the ability to use it for many different situations. This tool is made for camping, hiking, gardening, or survivalists looking for a tool that can be used for multiple applications.

This multi-tool is extremely portable and comes with a pouch for easy transportation and a belt loop hook so that you can keep the carrying pouch at your side. It is also sturdy and durable made from stainless steel which keeps it wear-resistant.

This tool is also guaranteed to last but it also comes with a lifetime warranty that covers anything that does happen to it. This guarantees that you will get a replacement trowel or a full refund within 24 hours if there are any problems with your item. For around twenty bucks a pop, this tool is a great deal.


  • Versatile with multi-functions
  • Comes with a pouch for portability
  • Wear-resistant and sturdy
  • Lifetime warranty for insurance
  • Decent price


  • It is heavier than others
  • Shovel end can snap off

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4. Vargo Dig Dig Tool

Vargo Dig Dig ToolThis Japanese inspired tool is a versatile tool that can be used in the dirt or the snow. The serrated edges and rounded handle make it ergonomically designed so that it is still comfortable to hold even when working with tough terrain.

This product is made from lightweight titanium and is built to last through years of digging. Titanium is stronger than plastic, aluminum, and is 45% lighter than steel and resistant to corrosion. The blade has a U-shape that helps the tool work well in all different types of soil, sand, and snow with ease.

This tool can also be used as a tent stake with the boat cleat cutouts that are made to hold onto the shelter’s guylines in any type of ground.  Plus, with the rounded handle, it won’t it won’t dig into your hands as you use it.


  • Versatile use
  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Comfortable handle
  • Durable titanium


  • Too short for deeper holes
  • Bends if stepped on

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5.  The Prairie Dog – Ultralight Camp Shovel Trowel For Backpackers

The Prairie Dog - Ultralight Camp Shovel Trowel for Backpackers - 0.7 Ounces/Extendable Handle/Double Sided Spade/Comfortable Grip/Minimalist Lightweight Tool for Digging Cat Holes/Made in USAThis lightweight tool only weighs 0.7 ounces, but it packs a big punch. This trowel is made from aerospace aluminum and can handle extra hard soil and rough ground. It is also versatile as you can dig with either one of the ends. The large end is for the bulk of the digging and the narrow side is for cutting through roots or digging out rocks.

This tool can also be used as an extra tent stake and can be dug into the dirt, sand, or snow for windy days when a little extra stability is needed. For the price point around 20 dollars, this tool is an extremely good deal.

This tool, although with proper use it can be used for many years, comes with a lifetime warranty if unintended use causes it to break or snap. A replacement will be sent in this case, and if you choose to return it, you have 30 days to do so.


  • Weighs under an ounce
  • Durably made with aluminum
  • Digs with both ends
  • Can be used as a tent stake
  • Good price point


  • Trowel is thin
  • Works better when the handle is attached

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6.  Cysikop Military Tactical Folding Survival Shovel

Cysikop Military Tactical Folding Survival Shovel - Army Surplus Shovel, Portable Compact Multitool Entrenching Tool with Alloy Manganese Steel Handle Essential for Hiking, Camping, Car EmergencyThis tool is part of the best backpacking trowels because it is a multi-functional tool that can be used for digging, cutting, sawing, and hammering. The trowel is made with a stainless-steel shovel head with aluminum handle with reinforced riveting double load bearing. It is also built to be resistant to corrosion and wear and tear from frequent use.

This tool is also equipped with an attack hammer that can be used in case of an emergency for breaking through a window, and for safety purposes. Even with these extra features, this trowel can be stored easily because it can be folded in half. The shovel head comes with a bag to store this separately so that the sharp edges won’t harm you or your belongings while being transported.

There are several different packages that you can choose to go with this tool, but all range from 15 to thirty dollars, depending on which accessories you get with it. It can be adjusted to 30, 90, or 180 degrees to be used as a hook, hoe, or shovel.

This tool also comes with a full refund if returned within the first three months, and has a lifetime technical support for any questions that come up about the product.


  • Multiple functions can be used
  • Adjustable angles for optimal use
  • Durable build
  • Comes with an attack hammer
  • Comes with a bag for shovel head


  • On the heavier side for size
  • Handle cover can be flimsy
  • Handle tightens nut, loosens with use

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What to consider when buying a backpacking trowel?

There are a few things that you should think about before making your purchase that should assist you in your decision of which product to buy. Here is what you should consider before spending your money on a trowel.

Weight of the trowel

Depending on the type of trip you are taking, you will want to think about the weight of the trowel. If you are trying to keep your backpack lightweight for an extended wilderness, or camping trip, then you will want to find a lighter option. 

This isn’t something that is always thought about, because a trowel is a smaller sized tool, but on a long trip the weight of all your items adds up. Getting an ultra-lightweight option will help keep you from getting too tired if you are hiking.

female backpacker walking away
Female backpacker walking away | Emerson Ward

Cost-effectiveness vs. durability 

Understanding the tradeoffs of getting a cheaper option for your trowel will allow you to decide what you will really need when you are out in nature. If you need an extremely durable option, then getting a cheaper product may not last you as long, and you would be better off with something that is sturdier even if the price is higher.

It can be tempting to get the cheapest option available, but that can backfire badly if something happens to your item while you’re in the middle of a trip. This is an essential item, and you don’t want to skimp out on the important stuff. You don’t want to be in the middle of a campsite and have your trowel break on you. Especially if you don’t have any other option available.

So, make sure that you think about what kind you will definitely need while you are using it.

Final thought

Although there are a lot of great options, there is something out there for everyone because each person’s needs are different. Avid hikers and campers will likely need a trowel that will hold up even after many uses, and those who only occasionally camp will be able to get away with getting a product that isn’t as durable and is more cost-effective.

However, no matter what you decide is right for you, you know that there are so many options out there that you can choose from. So, narrowing the list down to the top few products helps to eliminate the items that are not worth the price, or your time. You wouldn’t want to find out that your trowel is easily broken while you need it, so taking this list into account is a smart move.

Whichever trowel you choose, any from this list will work great. These are on the best list for a reason and these products will give you the biggest bang for your buck while allowing you to have one of the most durable, cost-effective, and best backpacking trowels on the market.

Featured image src: Best backpacking trowel | nadjadonauer

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