A proper shovel

While equipping our Land Cruisers for a trip across the Simpson Desert, we picked up a cheap shovel at a military-surplus-cum-Chinese-camping-gear store in Sydney. Just how cheap became apparent the first night we tried to dig a fire pit. The shovel literally bounced off the ground—the blade simply bent and sprang back under any force at all. It was so bad all we could do was laugh.

That won’t happen with this one. 

We needed indestructible shovels for the Camel Trophy Skills Area at the Overland Expo, and a short web search convinced me that those from Wolverine Hand Tools fit the bill perfectly.

If you name a shovel “Wolverine” it had better be tough, since its namesake is known for chasing grizzly bears off their kills to have a snack. Indeed, this one (DH15DP) is solid, welded steel except for a rubber foot brace (which can be changed side to side). The blade has a sharp wedge tip and most definitely will not bounce off the ground. The 26-inch shaft is steel, and welded to the blade around the perimeter of the joint on both sides. It’s not the prettiest weld on earth—there’s spatter under the paint—but it’s not going to come loose. Likewise, the D handle is steel and welded. 

It’s obviously not the lightest shovel you can buy, but its utility will extend beyond digging fire pits. Prying lodged rocks from under the frame rails of a high-centered truck should be no trouble. And the 15-inch blade offers plenty of surface area for scooping sand out from under a buried vehicle to insert Max Trax (there’s also a 12-inch version). Well-recommended.

Look for them here.