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Great idea for lightweight trowel
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Ethan Kunard
(ekunard) - F
Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/07/2009 22:57:24 MDT Print View

Shoe Horn/ Potty Trowl

I thought of a great idea for a lightweight and inexpensive trowel. A shoe horn. I haven't weighed it, but it can't weigh more than an ounce or two. Best of all, it only cost $.49 at a local shoe store.

Edited by ekunard on 05/07/2009 23:05:21 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/07/2009 23:12:44 MDT Print View

the gigantic 1 oz aluminum tent stake by REI works far better as a trowel and serves dual purpose as a spare tent stake. stake

Edited by marti124 on 05/08/2009 23:27:26 MDT.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Sticks/Rocks on 05/08/2009 14:57:12 MDT Print View

Sticks and rocks don't weigh anything. That is unless you put them in your pack after using them to did a cat hole.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
sticks and rocks on 05/08/2009 15:04:40 MDT Print View

That's what I use. And my heel. Sometimes I have to hold it until I can find soft enough soil, but it's never been too big of an issue.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/08/2009 16:59:30 MDT Print View

Roleigh has the multiple use idea at work here. That is what I use now. Mine is made in the UK from soft aluminium, so care needs to be taken not to bend it, but useful for the weight. ( lighter and smaller than the orange trowel it replaced...)

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
trowel on 05/08/2009 17:13:24 MDT Print View

Good idea. Often time s the boot or pole just don't get through roots to get to the appropriate depth.

Edited by rambler on 06/24/2009 11:09:23 MDT.

Ian White
(DeuceRegular) - F

Locale: Southern Jefferson
lightweight trowel on 05/08/2009 23:22:56 MDT Print View

I find that sometimes in the backcountry the urge to go sneaks up on me. I usually lift a rock and edit the space if needed till it is the proper depth. But I still like to bring a trowel in case I can't find the right rock or soft ground. When in a rush it is easy to excuse the use of an inadequate hole, and that's why I like to be prepared.

The tent stake and shoe horn sound like great ideas. I will have to practice diggin holes in the backyard.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Sneaking up on 05/09/2009 20:04:36 MDT Print View

When the urge to go sneaks up, I've found that you can dig the hole after the fact.

Holes??? on 05/10/2009 00:58:35 MDT Print View

I live in a perfectly good house, so its bad enough that on the coldest night of the year I sleep in my tarptent. If I go digging holes all over the yard with a shoehorn.............well do you know how much psychiatric fees cost! (neighbors don't talk to me anymore. They shake their heads and pull their kids inside)

Adam Behr
(justsomeguy) - MLife
Re: Re: Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/10/2009 01:26:02 MDT Print View

Roleigh's "gigantic 1 oz aluminum tent stake by REI" is exactly what I use as well, for exactly the same reasons.

Edited by justsomeguy on 05/10/2009 01:27:12 MDT.

Michael Mangold
(mkmangold) - F
Potty Trowel on 05/11/2009 17:35:23 MDT Print View

My "lightweight gigantic aluminum stake" bent after just a few uses (and after French Whipping it, too!) so I'm going to try the shoe horn. For multi-use purposes, maybe I'll also try it as... a shoe horn!

James Gealy
(surnailz) - F

Locale: White Mountains
Re: Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/11/2009 21:26:02 MDT Print View

I like the idea of a shoehorn. I may have to try it. I know my orange trowel is needed up here just cause of the roots. Tried with the heel (of my boot even) and it just doesn't get the job done. Honestly, for the ease of putting a hole in the ground it's hard to argue with some sort of digging device. Interestingly enough the rangers up here were spot checking people a while back to see if they actually had trowels on them along with their camping permits.


Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/12/2009 00:17:04 MDT Print View

"the rangers up here were spot checking people a while back to see if they actually had trowels"

I wonder what they would say if you told them you planned to use one of your tent pegs.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/13/2009 17:51:00 MDT Print View

This is my lightweight trowel. 11.1 grams.

SUL Ti Multi-tool
SUL Titanium Spoon-potty trowel-snow stake, multi-tool

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: Re: Great idea for lightweight trowel on 05/13/2009 18:22:31 MDT Print View

You make that?

Michael Mangold
(mkmangold) - F
Ti Shoehorn/Potty Trowel on 05/13/2009 20:06:26 MDT Print View

Wow Denis: and you can use it as a shoehorn, too! Do you sell those? I don't have the equipment to machine my own.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Ti Shoehorn/Potty Trowel on 05/13/2009 23:30:03 MDT Print View

Shoehorn. Of course, I should have thought of that. Anybody got more uses for this handy tool?

Re making it: If I remember, I got the Ti from Thruhiker. That, a lot of pipe clamps, a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe, tin snips, and a file. Oh, and the blood sweat and tears. I use a Harbor Freight punch to put holes in most all my Ti.

Difficulty, on a scale of 1-5 = 3.5. I've got a pattern, if anybody wants to make one.

Dylan Skola
(phageghost) - F

Locale: Southern California
Ti Trowel instructions on 05/15/2009 12:44:27 MDT Print View

This was inspired by the inimitable Bill Fornshell a while back I believe. Looked good but I never got around to doing it myself (time, money, laziness). I'm still using my Montbell trowel. I would worry that the shoehorn might be too soft, if it's aluminum. I wonder if anyone makes a titanium shoehorn for the lightweight businessman?

Here is the semi-original thread for those who missed it.

And Jason Klass's write-up on his site.

Edited by phageghost on 05/15/2009 12:45:46 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Snow stake too on 05/18/2009 00:35:53 MDT Print View

Like Franco I use a snow stake as well. It's a rugged SMC brand stake that I had to hammer to get the tip a bit flatter for digging. Works well as a front guyline stake in soggy soil if rain or wind comes up.


Jens Aarnaes
(Finnmark) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Lightweight trowel on 06/04/2009 09:41:18 MDT Print View

I know my home made trowel is not the lightest but it does work well. It is made from 1.5" aluminum angle "iron" and weighs 1.8 ozAluminum angle iron shovel

Since the photo was taken - and based on ideas from this site - I have drilled a hole in the handle so this shovel can be used as a stake (in soft ground).