Great shovel for a great price
After years of using and carrying NATO tri-fold shovels on hiking trips I can safely say that this is one of the better compact shovels available for the price. At 28 ounces, it is definitely lighter than a tri-fold, which can top the scales at around 48 ounces. I cannot understand why anyone can be critical about the weight. If it were any lighter, it would be useless as a shovel for digging in anything other than snow, and product durability would suffer. The Gerber also folds to a much more manageable size, is easier to unfold, and is much more rigid when fully extended and tightened than the Mil-Spec units.
Overall, I am very pleased with the purchase and would recommend it. If you actually need a shovel and not some plastic garden trowel, and won't throw your back out carrying a mere 28 ounces, then this is the shovel for you. I would have given it 5 stars if it had a sharper cutting edge, and perhaps a serrated side for cutting roots.
not for backpacking
You gotta love the misleading description of this tool: "The lightweight Gerber Gorge folding ..."
Hello?! Hello??? Lightweight? This thing is ANYTHING but lightweight.
Now don't get me wrong, this is a well made and well designed shovel/hammer combo tool. Its two heads can be locked into different positions to suit your needs, be it digging a cat hole, or hammering down tent pegs. It folds into a somewhat manageable size, does come with a storage pouch, and uses decent/strong materials in its construction.
However, this thing is heavy. REAL heavy. So buy it for gardening and/or car camping, but don't do it for backpacking. Your back will thank you.
The search for that perfect lightweight backpacking shovel continues...
Heavy duty packable shovel
I took this shovel backpacking with me. I enjoy lightweight backpacking. This shovel is really heavy duty. Because of this it does feel heavy to hold and carry along. It can be a drag to carry this thing long distances. I don't mind too much especially since its so versatile. You can knock this thing around, smash things, drive stakes, and of course shovel with it really easily. It folds up compact and is easy to use. It comes with a thick nylong carrying case which is handy to have but you don't necessarily need it.
Pros: Heavy duty
Easy to use
Plenty of uses
Cons: Heavy for backpacking extended distances
This thing packs down small enough to fit in a waist pack or backpack, which makes it very portable. It's too heavy for most people to take backpacking, but for car camping when you need a hammer or a shovel, this little tool is awesome!
It's also great for rescuing your vehicle from soft sand in a pinch.
I've owned mine for two years; it has seen moderate use and still looks and works as though it's new.
works well for a shovel but
I bought this for camping and it works real well for small projects. The shovel is sturdy and held up to a little abuse with no problem. I am very happy with this shovel, The other part though. This is supposed to have a hammer built into it and it does but it is almost useless. The shovel gets in the way while you are useing the hammer so there is very little use for it.
Strong and Functional
Great tool that makes camping and setting camp easier. Works great in several scenarios, from protecting a shelter from rain water to digging a hole for a file, when it's windy and nasty. I like the fact that it folds to a fairly small size, which makes it easy to pack and carry. The hammer part works well too and it a nice extra. All in all, great tool and one I'm happy I bought.
for car camping this shovel is great.
this would be ackward for backpacking but for a day hike or car camping this shovel kicks butt! I use this shovel all the time when camping - digging holes, hammering down stakes, digging some trenches around the tent when the pounding rain shows its ugly side. gerber makes some of the best out door tools ever!!
Light and Handy
I was looking for a handy shovel for general camping. It pretty much works as expected. Not great for digging serious holes bot small holes its decent. I carry a rubber mallet with my camping kit so when I hit hard dirt I can just whack it a few times and it works fine.
straight handle would be better
Nicely compact and very strong. Only requet wouldbe to have the handle without the larger grip end. i.e. handle of continual size and so that the toilet roll can slide down on the handle, simple pleasures make a difference. Keeps it out of the dirt, wet snow, or from blowing away.
Not a bad little shovel for slit trench latrines, firepit and other easy around the camp site work! However, if you are planning to dig a foxhole, expect to be there awhile... a tad small for anything close to usable for real digging.