Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Garant Snow Shovel Review/The Importance of a Snow Shovel

Well, I thought winter was at an end, and officially, we are now few days into spring, but we just got a fresh round of snow, which prompted this post.

In many areas, snow is a reality of winter camping. It is something that has to be accounted for and managed during an outing. Setting up camp directly over several feet of snow is not advisable, and is right down impossible if you will be heating the area with a fire. Life can be made much, much easier by a good snow shovel. Of course, a standard snow shovel would not be a realistic thing to carry on your back for any significant distance. With some looking around however, alternatives can be found.

The shovel you see here is the Garant Kid’s Shovel. I am yet to be able to find a Garant axe in the US, but their shovels seem to be everywhere. I bought this one for $13.00 at a local hardware store. The shovel is 33.75 inches long and weighs 1.9lb.

The shovel is well constructed. The plastic is of good quality, the handle has cutouts, which reduces weight, and most importantly, the shovel is a size which can be realistically carried while backpacking. Even though this is a relatively small show shovel, and I would not want to shovel out a driveway with it, it makes camping in the snow significantly more pleasant. The additional weight is something to consider. There are probably lighter snow shovels out there, but I am yet to find a method of clearing out a camp site in the snow that even comes close to comparing with using a small shovel such as this one.


  1. While you can get high end shovels at backpacking stores I find the price is too high for the amount of use I'd get out of them.

    The best deals are to be found at hardware and family department stores. The one above is good in that it is one piece, nothing to lose; but there are also models that have a take-apart handle and you can carry both parts of the handle or just the part that has the grip. A similar model to the take-apart one is one with a twist lock handle. I'd stay away from using any metal military E-tools as the blades are small and the metal weight is not needed for snow.

  2. I don't think I will purchase one, that way it may snow this winter!!!

  3. Hi,

    Looks good but I had an experience you may want to hear about.

    I wouldnt use another plastic snow shovel after it shattered trying to dig my bag out of an avalance. Luckily I had my ice axe and recovered the bag. For light and fluffy snow plastic is fine but in an emergency aluminium can be used on hard compacted snow for snow holes or to rescue a buried companion.

    in fact when I did mountaineering training the guide told me that if he went climbing with somone with a plastic shovel he would swap his metal one with them at the start of the journey.

    Why? because if there was an avalance and he was buried he wanted the person digging him out to have a metal shoval and not a plastic one lol.

  4. That's a good point Abo. A strong aluminum shovel gives you more options, if you can find one that is the right size/weight. In the above picture, I had to bust through the top frozen part of the snow with the poll of my axe before I can stark digging.