Getting stuck off-road is never any fun.
It’s inevitable though, so rather than think it’s not going to happen to you, prepare for it by having the right recovery gear along to get out and get going again.
A good shovel can come in really handy when you need to do a little digging to help the recovery effort for an off-road truck.
Check out these different kinds and choose the one that will be the most helpful!
The most basic of the basic, small camp shovels are great for digging loose material like sand and some mud but may not be durable enough for heavier stuff.
Most camping or mini garden shovels are about 24” in length and made of lightweight aluminum, making them easy to stow and carry around in your off-road truck or Jeep.
The cost is usually $20 or less.
Military Grade Foldable Shovel
Military-grade foldable shovels also known as entrenching or e-tools are another shorty shovel that are also very lightweight and fold down to a very small size that is essentially a bit larger than the spade itself.
This shovel is very convenient if you haven’t got space for a 2-foot shovel in your off-road truck.
Military-grade folding shovels are pretty strong once they are unfolded to their full length, which seems to vary between 18” and 24” depending on the shovel.
Made with steel blades and aluminum handles, they are hardier than the aluminum camp shovels which makes them more durable for heavier digging.
The cost ranges from $15 to $25.
Portable Shovel with Teeth
A steel shovel with teeth on the bottom of the blade is another option for off-road recovery gear.
Made of steel with sharp, pointed teeth on the edge of the blade that bite into different consistencies of solid, this type of shovel is tough.
Yet it’s not folding or telescoping, so you’ve got to have room in your off-road truck for about 40 inches of total storing space.
It is an effective digging tool for dirt and heavy mud if that’s where you tend to get stuck a lot.
The cost is about $100.
All-Terrain Recovery Kit with Shovel
All-terrain recovery kits for off-road trucks or Jeeps are useful as they come with multiple digging tools that can work on pretty much any type of ground.
These kits usually include one handle and multiple tools that install onto the handle with a lock pin, then come off for convenient storage.
The storage length to fit in an off-road truck or Jeep is about 30” and the kits typically include a shovel blade, sledgehammer, ax blade, and pickax.
The shovel blade is made of steel and strong enough to use for any type of digging.
The cost is about $140 for the kit.
Specialty Off-Road Recovery Shovel
One last type of shovel that might be helpful to include with recovery gear is a specialty off-road recovery shovel with a carbon steel blade for digging and scooping.
These shovels boast a full-length, metal handle of about 65” that is a lot easier on the back and collapse to around 40,” a perfect size for many off-road trucks or Jeeps.
It isn’t quite as compact as some of the others, but the ease of using it might be worth it for some.
The cost is about $100.
Which Recovery Shovel Will Work Best?
While each of these shovels does mostly the same thing, they do it in different ways when needing to dig out an off-road Jeep or truck.
Some of them like the camp shovel and folding shovel are preferred for scooping looser soil, while shovels with longer handles and more durable blades are better for thicker mud or harder dirt.
The other main difference is how light and compact each one is and how it will fit in your off-road truck with the rest of the gear.
Overall, any shovel to include with recovery gear is better than no shovel at all; however, the one that fits your needs and space best will be the most useful!