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Thread: Trowels

  1. #1
    Registered User Guyler's Avatar
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    Default Trowels

    Saw this on Massdrop, http://dro.ps/b/oVUYALQ

    Looks decent, cheap and light. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Save wt and money use trekking pole, stick or rock....


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  3. #3

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    Deuce of Spades is cheaper (what I carry)
    I am an Ultralighter by the way, but still feel the very small weight penalty is worth it.
    These trowels are much more effective than using a stick/rock/trekking pole.
    With a weight of 0.5 oz it barely makes a difference!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Save wt and money use trekking pole, stick or rock....


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    Can you seriously dig a 6 to 8 inch hole in the Georeigis mountains with s trekking pole, rock, or stick? It's even tough to do with a tool designed for task. When it's cold it gets really difficult. But I don't speak from much experience.

  5. #5
    Registered User Guyler's Avatar
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    Oh man, for some reason I thought Duce of Spades was $30, but you're right $22 on Amazon with prime.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Save wt and money use trekking pole, stick or rock....
    I'd like to know where these people go camping that suggest just using a stick or rock (or others claim to just use the heal of their boot).

    Most places that I've been camping (primarily GSMNP and JMT), you're supposed to dig a cat hole at least 6" deep. I have a fairly sturdy trowel (Sea to Summit Alloy Trowel... used to be called the iPood!). I have often had difficulty (and it some cases found it impossible) to dig the required 6" deep cat hole in due to rocks (JMT) or roots (GSMNP).

    So if I'm having problems with a sturdy trowel, I don't see how someone could expect to always be able to dig a legal cat hole using just a trekking pole, stick, rock, or heal of their boot.

    Because of the rocks and roots I've encountered while digging a cat hole, I've often found that a little extra force is needed to get the task accomplished. That would be my one concern about a thin trowel like this... is there enough of a handle to get a good grip when a little extra force is required? That's at least one thing I like about the Sea to Summit trowel... it has a tube for a handle.

    Keep in mind that if you look at Sea to Summit trowels, they make two... the one of metal like I have, and one that weights less made of nylon. The nylon version usually gets panned because it just can't handle the abuse that is often required in digging a cat hole. Same thing can be said about those cheap orange plastic trowels you often see. I tried using one of those on my 1st ever camping trip about 20 years ago and found it totally useless and have been using my STS ever since.

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    Skurka is an advocate of the heel method. It might work in areas covered with years worth of pine needle duff, but not so much in soil with tree roots and stones. I carry the Deuce of Spades and it works well, in situation of really tough digging, I will put on my Mechanics gloves since the edges are thin.

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    I also carry the Deuce of Spades and I recommend it for terrain in GA/NC/TN.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  9. #9

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    I managed to wear away the tip of a pole, just hiking, managed to tear the sole of my boots, just hiking. I'm not going to abuse expensive hiking gear for the sake of .6 of an ounce.

    Most sticks found on the ground, are on the ground because they're dead, dry and brittle.

    I found the Deuce of Spades worked well. Cut through small roots, was able to get around larger roots and rocks, efficiently moved sandy soil. One edge was sharp when I bought it, I smoothed it out with a knife sharpening stone prior to the hike.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    Skurka is an advocate of the heel method. It might work in areas covered with years worth of pine needle duff, but not so much in soil with tree roots and stones. I carry the Deuce of Spades and it works well, in situation of really tough digging, I will put on my Mechanics gloves since the edges are thin.
    its also hell on the knees.

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    :banana

    With patience I "got by" using the 'dig with a stick or a rock' method for about forty years. But, even while otherwise lightening my pack load substantially, I now enthusiastically carry one of Qwiz's "Big Dig" six tenths of an ounce titanium trowels. Digging and cutting through roots is much easier using that small wonder. (Disclosure-- Other than being a customer of his, and also a fellow White Blaze member, I have no connection to Qwiz.)

    http://www.qiwiz.net/trowels.html
    Last edited by Siestita; 11-17-2016 at 13:50.

  12. #12

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    I have the smallest QiWiz trowel. Weighs absolutely nothing and can slice through soil in a jiffy.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Siestita View Post
    With patience I "got by" using the 'dig with a stick or a rock' method for about forty years. But, even while otherwise lightening my pack load substantially, I now enthusiastically carry one of Qwiz's "Big Dig" six tenths of an ounce titanium trowels. Digging and cutting through roots is much easier using that small wonder. (Disclosure-- Other than being a customer of his, and also a fellow White Blaze member, I have no connection to Qwiz.)

    http://www.qiwiz.net/trowels.html
    Quote Originally Posted by capehiker View Post
    I have the smallest QiWiz trowel. Weighs absolutely nothing and can slice through soil in a jiffy.

    The thinner the trowel, the better it digs, as long as it is STRONG. Just sayin' . . .
    Gotta love the trowel luv.
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at QiWiz.net

    The lightest cathole trowels, wood burning stoves, windscreens, spatulas,
    cooking options, titanium and aluminum pots, and buck saws on the planet



  14. #14
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    I use QiWiz's Big Dig trowel. Very light. I too have some deep reservations about using your heal or a stick to dig a cat hole.
    2013 AT Thru-hike: 3/21 to 8/19
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    I guess I've never measured the 6" per say but have never had trouble finding duff on the ground that sufficient covers all contents well and fairly deep. I also make a point to go well off trail usually near or inside a rotting tree as so well away from others....on JMT simply covering with a large rock or finding a good deep ground squirrel hole was never an issue...... Yea I packed out most TP....


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  16. #16

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    Add me to the list of Duce of Spades user. I also can't see how you can dig a proper cat hole with your boot heel, tent stake or a rock. I've tried those methods in Pa and failed, heck it's tuff using the trowel at times.

  17. #17

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    Add me to Qiwiz ti user. I have the small one.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Save wt and money use trekking pole, stick or rock....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I felt that way for years, but this year I switched to a $3 REI snow stake and have to admit it is a heck of a lot easier to dig with than it is to use my hiking pole.

    https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...FU5WDQodxFYDyA
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    I guess I've never measured the 6" per say but have never had trouble finding duff on the ground that sufficient covers all contents well and fairly deep. I also make a point to go well off trail usually near or inside a rotting tree as so well away from others....on JMT simply covering with a large rock or finding a good deep ground squirrel hole was never an issue...... Yea I packed out most TP....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The local environs does make a huge difference, NW rainforest to SW desert to mid America sub alpine all have different characteristics. Bottom line is get off the main trail somewhere unlikely to be a traffic lane away from water. If you don't get the recommended depth, cover with a branch, rock or whatever. Whether it takes 30 days or 30 weeks becomes irrelevant if it doesn't pollute a water source or become an eyesore.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Can you seriously dig a 6 to 8 inch hole in the Georeigis mountains with s trekking pole, rock, or stick? It's even tough to do with a tool designed for task. When it's cold it gets really difficult. But I don't speak from much experience.
    I dug many a 8" cathole in Georgia using my trekking pole, including the middle of a few rhododendron thickets. That said it was definitely a bit of work to get it done, and I've recently converted to bringing a better implement with me.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

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