15 Uses For the SportsTek Survival Shovel

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Jul 1, 2019 (Orig - Oct 16, 2015)

 

 

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When it comes to multi-function survival shovels, my experience up until now has been two-fold: crappy and crappier.  Those I have tested bend while digging the simplest of holes and they have blades that become dull after just a single use.  Honestly, they have not been worth the money I paid and therefore I have never reviewed such an item for fear you might buy one.

Like I said, that is until now.  Today I am thrilled to introduce you to the SportsTek Multifunctional Survival Shovel.  This sturdy little shovel is a gem.  It is lightweight yet well built, and the four edges of the carbon steel blade are sharp not only right out of the box but they stay that way after multiple uses.  The fact that the it performs nine functions in addition to shoveling is a bonus because after all, we purchase a shovel primarily to shovel, right?

15 Uses for the SportsTek Survival Shovel | Backdoor Survival

The nice folks at SportsTek have set one of their fantastic multi-function shovels aside in a giveaway for one lucky Backdoor Survival reader!  More about that later, because first, I want to suggest some of the ways you can use a survival shovel.

15 Ways to Use the SportsTek Survival Shovel

You might be asking yourself why you need a survival shovel.  To be honest, after having fails in the past, I was asking myself that very same thing.  Do I really need one of these?

The answer is yes, given that you have a piece of gear that will stand up to the job.  Here is a brief  list of 15 things you can do with a decent survival shovel.

  1. When you vehicle runs off the road or get stuck in muck, shovel dirt under the tires to get going again
  2. If your indoor sanitation facilities go kaput, dig yourself a pit toilet or latrine
  3. Control a campfire by building trenches outside of the ring of fire
  4. Dig edible roots while foraging for food
  5. Likewise, enjoy free food as you dig clams, geoducks, and oysters at the beach
  6. Use as an all-purpose garden shovel and hoe
  7. Dig a hole to store your hidden cache and then later, retrieve your items
  8. Kill snakes and varmints
  9. Build a trench around your shelter during under adverse conditions
  10. Dig a fox hole for hiding and keeping warm at night
  11. Build in-ground traps to snare predators
  12. Chop branches and wood for building fires or for use in a rocket stove
  13. Folded at 90 degrees, use as a pick axe to break through snow and ice on your porch or driveway
  14. Use the handle to serve as a makeshift TP holder (I just had to include this one!)
  15. Use as a personal weapon for self-defense when chasing bad-guys or zombies

Okay, I Get It.  What are the Specs?

Here are the ten functions that are built into the SportsTek Multi-Function Survival Shovel.  Some of them may surprise you.

1. Shovel
2.  Fire Starter with Magnesium Flint (located inside shaft)
3.  Emergency Hammer
4.  Saw
5.  Wire Cutter
6.  Hoe
7.  Automobile Escape Hammer
8.  Axe and Chopper
9.  Measuring Tool and Hex Tool
10.  Hidden Waterproof Storage (located in the handle and perfect for storing cotton balls soaked in Vaseline or other tinder)

SportsTek Shovel TP Holder | Backdoor Survival

The blade itself (“the business end”) is made of strong, carbon steel whereas the handle is crafted from strong aluminum.  I tried to bend it but it would not budge.  In addition, the handle/shaft is wrapped in some sort of foam, allowing for an easy grip, even in damp or wet condition.

The weight is 1.56 pounds, making it convenient to carry either attached to your belt or pack.  Adding to its versatility, the SportsTek shovel folds and locks at 30 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees.  You change its orientation by turning the handle and making adjustments with an O-ring.

The only negative I found was that the overall length is only 18.75 inches and a bit short.  You have to bend down close to the ground to use the shovel effectively.  My guess is that it was designed that way to maximize portability so perhaps that is not a bad thing.

I could go on but in my usual style, I leave it up to you to check out the specs beyond the basics that I found useful in my own testing.  Here is a link: SportsTek Xplorer 10 in1 Survival Shovel.

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for.  A SportsTek Multi-function Survival Shovel  has been reserved for one lucky reader.  To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  You can sign in with your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.

The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

It has been awhile since I have held a gear giveaway so launching “giveaway season” with such a fine piece of gear is especially rewarding.  This is by far the best multi-function shovel I have ever used.  Mostly I like that it doesn’t bend no matter how much abuse it gets and also that those all important blades at the business end stay sharp.

I hope you will enter the giveaway and take a chance at winning one for free!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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 Below you will find the items related to today’s article plus other personal favorites.

SportsTek Xplorer 10in1 Survival Shovel:  This is best in its class with close to 29 five-star reviews.  Its durability and strength, coupled with its light weight portability have earned my praise.

SportsTek Lightwear 4-in-1 LED Headlamp:  If you are in the market for a headlamp that is well-built, comfortable, and adaptable to a wide range of situations, this is the one you want to get.  It has both a full beam and 50% setting plus a strobe.  Visibility is fantastic.  Highly recommended!  See my review:  Don’t Be Caught in the Dark! The SportsTek Headlamp

Panasonic eneloop AA New 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries:  These days, I try to use eneloops as much as possible.  They hold a charge forever – or so it seems – and work well in flashlights and small electronics.   They charge up fine in my Maximal Power battery charger (see below).

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box.

Maximal Power battery charger from Amazon

Yes it really works, even under solar power.  Read about in this article: How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

4 Inch Premium Glow Sticks – Assorted: These 4” glow sticks are fantastic!  Each stick glows for 8-12 hours, and comes with a pre-attached hook and lanyard.  They are well priced and hold up well when packed around in a pocket or handbag.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This sturdy solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.

SunJack Waterproof LightStick: The versatile SunJack Lightstick is impressive for its compact form factor and extremely durable, waterproof casing.  In addition to providing portable lighting, it will charge 3 USB devices on a single charge.

SunJack CampLight USB Bulb:  This 4 Watt USB LED light is bright and ultra portable at just over 3.5 ounces. It is highly durable – shatter, shock, and vibration resistant. Will fully illuminate a tent at night. Power it from any standard USB source – compatible with all USB wall plugs, USB batteries, and laptops.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

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Best Food Types, Storage Methods and Exactly What to Buy

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Updated Jul 1, 2019
Published Oct 16, 2015

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73 Responses to “15 Uses For the SportsTek Survival Shovel”

  1. I like use #15, but let’s hope you don’t have to put it to the test.

    Reply
  2. It’s great site with alot of Info that will help not only in a Survival situation but , Hacks/tips for everyday life ..

    Reply
  3. Could maybe be used as a defensive weapon, hit em’ up side the head till you can grab your gun!!
    Jo

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  4. Your website is redirecting me to a website called Zendesk you got a problem somewhere

    Reply
    • I can’t duplicate the problem.. Does this happen from just one computer or device? Let me know if you can. I am wondering if this is something at your end.

  5. I love your blogs and website. So useful. I would love to win this multi-purpose shovel.

    Reply
  6. Since you can use it angled, I would also use it to scoop up dog poop!

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  7. Very useful to use to dig a Solar Still to obtain water in
    extreme situations where there is none.

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  8. I was going to add it can be an awesome weapon

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  9. Quite a bit more versatile than my old e-tool.

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  10. I was going to add it can be an awesome weapon!!!

    Reply
  11. I’m seeing this tool to be lite weight and small to be able to put in your BOB.
    Another use….Put food on the flat part to hold over your campfire to cook on. With a metal handle, you need not worry about your wooden handle catching fire.

    Reply
  12. My wife has been looking at our local stores for a survival shovel. For some reason, no seems to have them in our area and the big box store on the corner with a large camping section said they didn’t stock them anymore. Looks like I may have just found one for her. Thanks again Gaye!

    Reply
  13. Looks so practical and easy to store and carry etc..

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  14. I would use it to dig a Dakota fire hole.

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  15. I have to second the person who said Dakota fire pit. That is the first thing I will dig in a bugout situation. A small shovel might actually be better for that than a long one. I’m thrilled to see a shovel reviewed on Backdoor Survival. I would love to win this. I no longer have a prepping budget as we have made getting out of debt our highest priority for awhile.

    Reply
  16. This looks like it would make a nice addition to my bug out bag!

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  17. Tie a length of paracord to it and throw over a tree limb to haul your food out of the way of bears.

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  18. Cool ideas and AWESOME site! Love it! 🙂

    Reply
  19. Grappling Hook

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  20. You give so much useful and practical info.

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  21. My first thought was maybe this will fig those roots out of my garden

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  22. A small shovel like this would be great for making a Dakota fire hole for cooking over.

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  23. There are reports that in WWII GI shovels were used for self defense in hand to hand combat.

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    • During basic training, one guy in my barracks attacked another with one. He went to the brig, while the victim got bookoo stitches and was medically discharged.

  24. If the edges are as sharp as they seem to be (or can be made sharp enough) it could be used as a sort of drawknife for making wood furniture or other survival needs.

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  25. I’d love to have one in my car trunk for digging out of snow & ice.

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  26. Looks like that shovel would make a pretty good improvised weapon, in a pinch.

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  27. The length is fine. Entrenching tools (what we called them in the Army) need to be short for carrying on a belt. The ones we used in the Army were tri-fold to achieve the short length.

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  28. Perhaps you can use the shovel part as a semi-flat surface to use to either prepare food on or even eat off of.

    Reply
  29. Since it is carbon steel and has a sharp edge you might be able to cut down a smaller tree. You could use the small tree for a shelter ridgepole or ?.

    Reply
  30. I guess I could also use it for scraping mud off of my boots.

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  31. Think I may have found this year’s Christmas gifts.

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  32. I can’t think of anything not already mentioned. But, this looks like a great idea for Christmas.

    Reply
  33. I love learning how to survive the wilds.

    Reply
  34. Been meaning to add a folding shovel to my preps, somehow it just keeps sliding to the bottom of the list. This one looks sturdy and useful.

    Reply
  35. Use it in place of a pry bar to open crates.

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  36. Dig up dirt for a garden. Thanks for the chance to win one – it looks like a great tool to have.

    Reply
  37. I like the idea of fending off or killing critters and snakes.

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  38. You could use it as a defensive tool, using the side of the blade as a makeshift ax, and knocking down fruit just out of reach from trees. Thanks.

    Reply
  39. Optimism ! Thanks for the giveaway !

    Reply
  40. Because I’m back in snow country I would keep it with my kitty litter in the trunk in case I’m stuck.

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  41. This would have come in handy when I had a wood chip mess a while back. Didn’t really need a heavy duty shovel but didn’t have a light weight one like this so it seemed like more work than it really was. Like how you can really multi-task with this one.

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  42. As a mirror/reflector/communicator

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  43. Love your site. Your articles are always well researched and well written. I am especially fond of your essential oil recipes. Anyway you could put them all in an ebook format? The survival shovel is one of the last things we need for our preps. Like you, we haven’t found one we actually like or think we could rely on. Really hoping to win this one. Thank you!

    Reply
    • I hope to compile a little eBook with my personal EO recipes soon. The problem is that I have lots of little eBooks I want to do but as always, articles that get posted on the website come first. So much to do, so little time. I am sure you have heard that before 🙂

    • I would LOVE an ebook with recipes to make your own blends for things. So many websites will say “this oil is great with…” and it goes on to list 5 or 10 other oils but it gets so confusing. How many drop of each will make a good blend for this situation/ailment? It would be a starting point for the uninitiated and then we could learn to tweak things on our own. Everyone and their brother is promoting one company or another but I haven’t really come across recipies just lists of things that the oils are good for and there is so much overlap. I am a busy working mom and when I get a chance to try to learn more/look things up – boy, it just makes your head spin!

  44. It looks like one could polish the blade to have a reflector

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  45. Digging up weeds in the garden. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  46. Spider killer. 😀

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  47. What a neat tool!

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  48. I think that the list of uses for this shovel pretty much covered it. I could also use it as a sled to tow my dog over ice or snow.

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  49. Could be used to dig for fish bait!

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  50. Use as a defensive weapon

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  51. this thing is too small to use on snakes. I want to keep some distance. IMHO

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  52. This is a comment.

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  53. Would love to have this for my BOB!

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  54. You could set it in the ground and run a fishing line to it with a bell so you could “multi-task”

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  55. I want one! A must have I think.

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  56. Looks like it could work to strip bark from a tree.

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  57. Thinking I need one in the car for winter, the signs point to lots of snow.

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  58. The list looked pretty comprehensive si I have nothing else to add.

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  59. I own a similar shovel that’s not nearly as good as this one. In addition to some of the uses mentioned above, I’ve used it to “build” a fence in hard sand with old tires. This not-so-lovely structure was in a desert camping spot, and I think the task would have been much easier with this SportsTek shovel.

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  60. This shovel looks good. Just hope the carbon steel doesn’t rust

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  61. You had some pretty creative uses…how about cutting saplings/branches to build a shelter…

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  62. Looks good…

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  63. Pry bar to lift up logs off of the ground or out of mud.

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  64. If REALLY desperate for something to eat, use it to dig up some grubs, then cook them over a fire in the blade of the shovel.

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  65. Everything I thought of has already been suggested. I do like the idea of killing/disabling varmints with it.

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  66. Neat and handy tool to have around.

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  67. I think you’ve pretty well covered it!

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  68. Nice tool, would love to win!

    Reply
  69. This would be a great tool for current needs along with possible troubled times ahead.

    Reply

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