Edited for clarity - Cold Steel entrenching shovel weights a little less than 2 lbs like the Spetznas version it's modeled from.
I thought I'd start a thread for people to tell us about their most useful or cherished items in their bug out kit or camping/survival gear. No guns please. That has it own threads.
This is my Cold Steel entrenching shovel. They're no longer in production. The thing about entrenching shovels is they've never made a good folding one. I've used the WWI and WWII and recent folding entrenching shovel and they're all crap. They never maintain rigidity.
Shovels are essential camping/survival gear and you'll find yourself using one many times a day so a good shovel is a must. A one piece shovel that is strong and sturdy and as light as possible. I choose the Cold Steel shovel because:
It is made from high carbon tool steel so it's the right level of strength and can be sharpened easily and to a fine hone.
It is modeled on the Russian Spetznas design so it is a formidable self defence weapon. There are four edges to the tool. The front two edges come in contact with rocks and debre when digging and should not be overly sharpened or the burr with chip. The two side edges however are sharpened with progressively finer grades of grit or stone until it it razor shape and can cut paper. It then becomes a double edged hatchet with blades of high carbon tool steel double riveted to a maple club.
And how does it it dig? As good as could be expected from a light trench shovel that can be strapped to your backpack. I use it for digging latrines and I also often make a "Dakota Fire" or "Fire pit". This is a really efficient fire and it makes very little light as its underground. You can fill in the holes when you've finished.
Any cool survival gear or tips? Stories?