5 Reasons You NEED A Survival Shovel

5 Reasons You NEED A Survival Shovel

Written by Thomas Nielsen
May 1, 2023

A survival shovel is much more than your average shovel. Designed to provide a whole host of benefits, modern survival shovels have a wide range of tools and features and they form an integral part of survival gear. Whether you’re preparing for an off-road adventure, you’re traveling into the wild, or you’re a fan of camping or extreme survival missions, it’s essential to make sure you’ve got a multi tool survival shovel with you. 

In this informative guide, we’ll discuss the reasons why survival shovels are important and offer tips to help you find the best survival shovel. 

Why is a survival shovel important? 5 reasons to buy a survival shovel

There are myriad benefits to carrying a survival shovel with you for camping trips, off-roading, overlanding and adventures in the great outdoors. We’ve put together a list of 5 reasons why a survival shovel is an important survival tool. These include:

1. Freeing a stuck vehicle

If you’re driving off-road, or you come up against extreme weather conditions, you may get stuck. A survival shovel or tactical shovel is a brilliant tool to have in your carrying bag. With multi tool shovels, you can complete a range of tasks, including digging holes, shoveling snow and moving sand to free the wheels of a vehicle and escape from harsh environments, dunes and muddy fields. 

Tactical shovels are multi tool gadgets, which offer far more than a standard shovel. If your shovel has serrated edges, a sharpened point or an ice axe, for example, you can use it to free your vehicle, dig holes, cut materials and branches and clear bushland. It’s also advisable to carry a safety hammer, a nail puller, a shovel board and an emergency whistle with you. 

2. Staying warm/ Cooking

Fire starter

One of the main challenges facing survivalists and people who enjoy camping in cold conditions and extreme environments is staying warm. Using a survival shovel with a durable shovel head, you can dig fire pits quickly and easily. Fire pits provide access to intense heat and they can be used for warmth as well as to cook food. You can use a survival shovel to dig fire pits for communal use or create a hidden fire pit or hole if you don’t want to draw attention to your presence. 

If temperatures plunge, or you find yourself out in the cold unexpectedly, for example, your vehicle breaks down or there’s a storm and you can’t continue on your journey, having access to a fire could literally save your life. 

The best survival shovels have additional features to make a fire. In some cases, you can remove the shovel handle to locate a fire starter. This means you can rub the flint against the shovel’s edge to generate sparks and you don’t need a lighter or matches.

3. Self defense and Food Gathering

You never know when you may need to call on your survival skills and employ self defense techniques. Camping, off-roading, survival missions and overlanding can throw up unexpected obstacles and events. You may need to grab your survival tools and bug out bag to fend off an animal or a predator. It’s wise to carry a rescue knife, a survival axe and an emergency whistle as well as a high carbon steel survival shovel. If you sense danger, or you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can act quickly in self defense. 

4. Camping

The Rhino USA survival shovel is ideal for camping and survival missions due to its versatility and adaptability. With this survival shovel, you can dig fire pits, use the serrated edge for cutting and food preparation and clear branches to make an even space to pitch your tent. 

5. Digging holes

There are multiple reasons why you may need to dig a hole when off-roading, camping or adventuring off-grid. With a multi-use survival shovel, you can dig holes for a latrine using an entrenching tool, dig dirt, sand and mud to clear spaces for vehicles or routes on-foot and shovel snow.

Survival shovel for digging holes

How to find the right survival shovel

If you’re looking for the best survival shovels, here are some top tips:

  • Read survival shovel reviews
  • Look for well-known brands that have an excellent reputation
  • Compare survival shovels before you buy
  • Look for features and decide what you want from your multi tool survival shovel, camping shovel or a military shovel like a Iunio folding shovel. Consider the shovel head, materials and added tools. 
  • Buy a shovel that has a lifetime warranty: a lifetime warranty will provide peace of mind.
  • Consider your requirements: where do you usually camp, drive or travel and what will you be using your shovel for? Are you looking for a basic survival shovel, an emergency shovel, a foldable shovel, a military shovel, a camping shovel, a lightweight shovel, or a shovel with all the tools imaginable? Opt for durable materials for extreme conditions such as military grade carbon steel.
  • Analyze tools, think about how long the shovel measures and the handle length, consider portability and set a budget. If you’re looking for a small shovel, opt for folding shovels or a compact shovel with a short handle length. 

What is the best survival shovel?

We strongly recommend the Rhino USA Ultimate survival shovel with pick over other shovels. A heavy duty carbon steel military style entrenching tool that comes with a lifetime warranty, this is the best survival shovel out there. Features include:

  • Powder coated carbon steel
  • Tough pick ax
  • Survival whistle
  • Fish scaler/knife
  • Serrated edges and saw teeth
  • Collapsible
  • Suitable for off-roading, camping, digging and surviving in sand, snow, ice and mud
  • Lifetime warranty

Featured Product: Rhino USA Ultimate Survival Shovel

There are several advantages to carrying a survival shovel with you if you’re going camping, you are a survivalist, or you’re planning an off-road adventure. Survival shovels are multi tool gadgets, which enable you to tackle a huge range of tasks. A carbon steel survival shovel can be used to make fire pits, catch fish, release stuck vehicles, adopt self defense techniques, clear brush and bushland, dig holes in the ground and provide additional support while hiking and climbing. 

Make sure to check out Rhino USA for the ultimate survival shovel and the highest quality off-roading and recovery gear!

tow strap vs recovery strap


What are the key features to look for when choosing a survival shovel?

When choosing a survival shovel, it's important to look for features such as durability, portability, versatility, and additional tools such as saws or fire-starters. It's also important to consider the specific tasks you may need the shovel for, such as digging, chopping, or cutting, and choose a model with the appropriate features.

Can a survival shovel be used for self-defense?

While a survival shovel can be used for self-defense in emergency situations, it's important to note that it is not a designed weapon and may not be as effective as other self-defense tools. It's always best to prioritize avoiding dangerous situations and carrying appropriate self-defense tools, such as pepper spray or a personal alarm, in addition to a survival shovel.