Multi-tools have come a long way. At one time they were simply pocket knives with a handful of other functions. Today they're tooled smartphone cases, multifunctional snowboards, bike-specific Swiss Army tools and bottle-opening wallets. The Survival Multi-Tool Shovel from AceCamp is advertised as a multi-tool on steroids thanks to a design that incorporates wilderness essentials like a hatchet, shovel, compass and bottle opener.
We first ran into AceCamp a year ago at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, where it was showing a plastic firestarter called the FlameStick. For this year's Summer Market, AceCamp is showing a larger line of survival hardware, which includes the Survival Multi-Tool Shovel.
The 11.4-oz (312-g) Survival shovel appears to be an average folding shovel, good for digging a wilderness toilet or firepit. What makes this one different from the rest of the folding shovels you find at outdoor superstores is its 11 additional functions. Look closely and you'll see that the shovel packs more than just the usual blade – on one side is a saw blade, and on the other, a hatchet blade. The shovel blade also has a hammer, nail puller, wrench and bottle opener.
Those functions are enough to push the AceCamp's shovel past nearly any other shovel in the function department, and that's just on the outside. Remove the compass cap on the bottom of the handle and a small knife blade, fishing line and hooks, and matches fall out. So this shovel not only digs you a fire pit, it cuts the wood, starts the fire, catches the fish to fry over that fire, and pops your beer while that fish sizzles. Cutting wood and fishing might be a little awkward with the shovel's hardware, but at least you can give it a go.
The Survival Multi-Tool Shovel retails for US$19.99. Considering that a keychain multi-tool costs a couple dollars more than that, and the nearest competitors like the $80 Zippo 4-in-1 Woodsman and $110 Crovel cost multiple times as much, it seems like a solid deal. Those competitors appear to have larger, superior hardware, but $20 isn't bad even for a simple folding shovel, so why not get a couple of extra uses out of it?