REI Sanitation Trowel

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REI Sanitation Trowel: A mandatory backpacking item.

Mar 12, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Lightweight, perfect for backpackers.

Cons:Itís small size makes it useful for only a limited number of situations.

The Bottom Line: A small trowel for digging hole in the ground or basic gardening.


This is a simple plastic trowel. Its intended purpose is to dig hole for human waste in the backcountry.

Why do you want one?
I bought this for backpacking because I was sick of taking my folding military surplus shovel. This trowel is plastic so it is lightweight and very strong. Perfect for backpacking.
If you think this is sick to carry around an object like this in your pack then you really are visualizing a bit too much. The only thing this trowel is going to touch is sand/dirt. You only use it to make a hole and to cover the hole.

Keep in mind that this is for small holes. If you want a deep hole, trench, or you need to douse a burning, leaking stove with sand then you definitely want the larger folding shovel.

Materials
It is a slightly flexible plastic. It is not really strong so don’t go putting it in the bottom of your pack then start throwing the pack around. But for people unlike me, durability shouldn’t be an issue.

Features
-There is a hole on the top of the handle so you can hang it.
-On both sides of the blade are markings in inches. They go up to 5 inches.

Ergonomics and ease of use.
As you might guess this is not ergonomically designed. It is just your basic trowel mold. While not uncomfortable it certainly does not mold to the hand.

Who is this for?
It is ideal for backpackers due to the lightweight and small size.

Cleaning
There is usually nothing to clean but if you do need to clean something then just get a damp cloth and wipe it down. Or better yet just wipe it against your pants.

Durability
I’ve had this for over 4 years and the plastic has not started to break. The only damage I can see is at the business end. It has a number of scratches and marks. The plastic is not very strong and if the soil was hard enough I would see this breaking if carelessly used.

Weight and dimensions
Weight: 2 ounces
Length of arm: 5 inches
Length of blade: 5.75 inches
Width of the handle: 1 inch
Width of back of the blade: 2.5 inches
Total length: 10.75 inches
Capacity: cups of dirt max.

Summary
This is just a simple trowel designed mainly for backpackers. The primary usage is to dig holes for human waste in the outback. It is inexpensive but so it the design. For it’s designed purpose it is perfect but certainly nothing special beyond that.

Other Backpacking toys.
MSR Dragonfly Backpacking Stove
Coughlans salt and pepper shaker
Maglite solitaire
Coleman cutting board


Recommend this product? Yes

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