Home Camping Tips Do I need a trowel for camping? trowel vs shovel for camping

Do I need a trowel for camping? trowel vs shovel for camping

by Rayhan

When camping, it is crucial to have the right tools to enjoy your time outdoors and be prepared for anything. One question that often arises is whether or not you need a trowel for camping.

There is no definitive answer to this question since it depends on a number of factors, such as the type of camping you are doing, the size of your group, and the area where you will be camping. However, a trowel can be a more helpful tool than a shovel.

This article will explore the various uses of a trowel while camping and help you decide if you need one for your next trip. And will give you a vague idea about trowel vs. shovel for camping.

Why Bring a Trowel for Camping?

There are a few reasons why you might want to bring a trowel for camping with you.

  1. First, a trowel can help dig small holes. This can be useful for various purposes, such as building a fire pit or digging a latrine.
  1. Second, you can use a trowel to help clear away debris from your campsite. This can include leaves, sticks, and rocks. Having a trowel can make keeping your camp clean and tidy easier.
  2. Third, a trowel can be used as a tool for self-defense. If you are camping in an area with dangerous animals, having a trowel can help you defend yourself.
  3. Fourth, a trowel is not only helpful for gardening but can also come in handy if you need to build a shelter. A trowel can help create a makeshift home with a quick dig of the foundation.

Types of Trowels

There are a few different types of trowels that you can choose from. The kind of trowel you need will depend on the tasks you plan on using it for.

Corner Trowel: A corner trowel is a small, triangular-shaped trowel typically used for small tasks, such as planting flowers or clearing debris.

Finishing Trowel: It is typically used for smoothing surfaces.

Margin trowel: it has a flat-nosed shape and is used for tasks such as applying grout or mortar.

Are There Any Alternatives to Using a Trowel While Camping?

The most common alternative to a trowel is a shovel. A shovel can be handy for many things while camping. Here are just a few ways that you can use a shovel:

Digging a latrine: If there are no bathrooms where you are camping, then you will need to dig a latrine. This is where you will go to the bathroom. Choose a spot at least 200 feet from any water source to dig a latrine.

Building a fire pit: A fire pit can be used for cooking, warming yourself up, or providing light at night.

Digging a trench: A trench can be used to help drain water away from your campsite. This is especially important if it rains while you are camping. To dig a trench, choose a spot downhill from your campsite. Then, using your shovel, dig a trench about six inches deep and two feet wide.

Key Differences between Trowel vs Shovel


The average trowel is about 12 inches long and 6 inches wide. The typical shovel is about twice as long and sometimes more comprehensive. So, a trowel is better if you have a small gardening area or need to do precise work. A shovel is better suited for the task if you have a larger gardening area or need to move more dirt at once.

Shape of blade

A trowel has a pointed blade, which makes it great for digging in tight spaces or around delicate plants. A shovel has a more scooped blade, which is better for moving large amounts of material (like mulch or soil).


Trowels are typically made of metal, which makes them quite durable. Shovels can be made of metal or plastic. Plastic shovels are often cheaper but don’t last as long as metal ones.


A trowel is excellent for planting bulbs, digging trenches, or weeding. A shovel is better for moving large amounts of dirt, mulch, or sand.

Necessary Factors Regarding Choosing a Trowel and Shovel

Choosing the right trowel or shovel for your needs depends on several factors. Here are a few things to consider when choosing:

The size of your gardening area: If you have a small gardening area, a trowel is probably all you need. A shovel might be better suited for the task if you have a large gardening area or need to move a lot of dirt at once.

The soil type: A trowel might be the best option if you work with sandy soil. A shovel might be better if you work with heavier clay soil.

Your budget: Trowels are typically less expensive than shovels. However, if you plan on doing a lot of gardening, or need to move large amounts of dirt, then a shovel might be worth the investment.

Experience level: If you are new to gardening, a trowel might be the best option. Trowels are smaller and easier to handle than shovels. If you have more experience or need to move large amounts of dirt, then a shovel is probably the better option.

What Are Some Other Tools That Are Helpful for Camping?

In addition to a trowel or shovel, there are a few other tools that can be helpful for camping. Here are a few of the most popular:

Multi-tool: A multi-tool is a small, handheld tool with various features, such as a knife, saw, screwdriver, and pliers. Multi-tools can be extremely helpful for camping because they allow you to have multiple tools in one compact package.

Flashlight: A flashlight can be helpful for camping because it allows you to see in the dark. It can also be used to signal for help if you get lost.

Hatchet/Axe: A hatchet or axe may be useful for camping since it can be used to chop wood. It may also be used as a weapon against animals.

Portable Generator: In an emergency, having access to a portable generator can be useful for camping since it allows you to run important equipment.

First-aid kit: A first-aid kit is an essential tool for camping because it can be used to treat minor injuries. The first-aid kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.


If you plan on doing any serious camping, then you will need a trowel. A trowel is essential for digging holes for latrines, rubbish pits, and tent pegs. It is also helpful for preparing food and general cleaning up around the campsite.

A shovel may be helpful for some of these tasks, but it is not as efficient or effective as a trowel. If you are only planning on doing light camping, you may get away with using a shovel instead of a trowel. However, for any serious camping trips, make sure to pack a trowel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, shoveling can be considered a form of exercise. It is a great way to increase your heart rate and burn calories. Also, shoveling can help build muscle strength in your arms and legs.

A few potential disadvantages of using a trowel include:

1) it can be challenging to use if you have large hands.

2) the blade can become dull with extended use.

3) it is not as effective as a shovel for moving large amounts of dirt

It is best to store your trowel in a dry, safe place when not in use. A tool shed or garage would be ideal. Make sure to clean the trowel before storing it away to prevent rusting.


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