Should I Bring a Shovel Backpacking?

Near Zero Ultralight Titanium Backpacking Shovel for Camping

A common question many people ask when backpacking in the backcountry is; Do I need to bring a shovel?

Bringing a shovel while backpacking can be a useful tool, but whether it's necessary comes down to personal preference and depends on the specific conditions of your trip and the regulations in the area you plan to visit.

If you decide to carry a shovel, consider the weight and size of the shovel, as backpackers often prioritize lightweight gear to reduce the overall load.

Using a stick to stir the fire and perform basic tasks is common among campers and backpackers, but it might not be as effective as a proper backpacking shovel.

On the other hand, some experienced backpackers may opt not to bring a shovel, relying on other techniques and tools to manage their campfires and perform necessary tasks. It's essential to be knowledgeable about the area's regulations and environmental considerations before making a decision.

Advantages of bringing a shovel:

  1. Fire safety: Some forests may require a shovel to properly manage and extinguish campfires. Having a shovel allows you to efficiently control and put out the fire, reducing the risk of accidental wildfires. 

  2. Leave No Trace principles: If you follow Leave No Trace principles, a small backpacking shovel can help you dig a small hole for burying human waste, promoting proper waste disposal and minimizing your impact on the environment.

  3. Versatility: The Near Zero titanium shovel not only is great for fire safety and digging, but is also excellent to be used as a frying pan over a fire or over a fuel canister stove. Did you know that you can cook quesadillas, chicken, fish, and even pancakes using a Near Zero shovel? Additionally, if purchased with a sharped edge, it can be used as an ax or machete for chopping wood or assist with meal prep. It is the ultimate versatile camping tool! Check it out HERE

    Ultimately, whether you choose to bring a shovel or rely on other tools like a stick depends on your personal preferences, the trip's requirements, and your commitment to Leave No Trace principles.


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