Survival Shovel: "Multi-tool on steroids" delivers a dozen functions
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?
About the Author
Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
All articles by C.C. Weiss
More like someone stuck the grip of a survival knife to the end of a compact shovel than a multitool.
I'd be interesting in the durability. Have a buddy that's broken every collapsible shovel known to exist. But then we had red transmission fluid come out silver on his old Dodge. Can't beat it for the price.
I think this is great for campers who don't want or have space for a lot of individual items that are combined in this one tool.
When going camping its all about weight and on a tight weightbudget I would rather spend 400g on a good axe than a shovel/saw/compass-combo with questionable usability.
This isn't new. I have an old (kinda rusted) one of these from 15+ years ago. The blades aren't very sharp, so chopping and sawing is difficult. It DOESN'T fold however, which I consider a plus, since that does make it very strong for hammering, chopping etc. I bet I could just sharpen the blades...
Cheap folding shovels tend to break when you need them most. That makes them kind of expensive.
You're better off spending $40 on one that will hold together.
Gerber makes some good ones.
I can't believe they didn't mention that with the compass at the end of the shovel you could easily stick the shovel in the ground and use it as a sundial.
Where's the handle, is this for icecream?
At that price I'm tempted. I don't need it so it would just be insurance. I would prefer if it had a flint/striker instead of matches. I didn't buy the Biolite because they don't have it as I suggested to them in their development stage.
I just bought a solar cooker (5 lbs) from Solar Zenith. It was cheaper and better than I could build, hopefully. I haven't tested it yet.
Like Theo, I've had one of these for 10-15 years. The axe blade is useless because the shovel is very light, there's just no way to get enough force to cut anything meaningful. The saw could be okay if it was sharpened.
Everything else about the shovel is pretty neat. The items stored in the handle are cheap but will keep you from dying if you're lost in the woods for a day or two.
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning