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Anyone who drives off-road needs an overlanding shovel. From digging your rig out of a snowbank to leveling out a section of road, a durable shovel will, at the very least, make your life a lot easier.

Sure, you could go to the hardware store and grab a cheap shovel. But what happens when that handle breaks when you’re miles from the nearest town, with a tricky section of trail to finish before you’re back to the pavement?

In that situation, you need something rugged. Something that will handle every job you throw at it, and then some.

Our shovel for overlanding is the Krazy Beaver Shovel; it’ll last for years, even with heavy use.

Why do you need a shovel for overlanding?

There are so many reasons to have a shovel with you while overlanding. From digging a cathole to putting out a fire, a shovel can accomplish many necessary camp tasks. But the biggest reason to own an off-road shovel is for recovery.

Shovels are the simplest way to free your rig from getting stuck in snow, mud, or sand. Eventually, if you’re driving tough enough roads, traction boards, jacks, ropes, and winches are necessary. But if you’re new to overlanding, and you’re driving Forest Service roads in all conditions, the number one tool you’ll need for self-rescue is an overland shovel.

And self-rescue is key in the backcountry. While it’s important to be able to call for help when you need to, being able to get yourself out of a sticky situation is the number one priority.

When you get a wheel stuck in a snowbank or get high centered on a rutted, muddy road, your overlanding shovel is the tool to turn to. Often all it takes is a few minutes stuck shoveling, and you’re on your way.

What to look for in a shovel for overlanding


Overland shovels are made out of all sorts of materials, from wood to aluminum to steel to fiberglass. Wood will be less durable than other options, although wood shovels are often cheaper. Stainless steel is the most durable of all these options, although it is heavy. Aluminum and fiberglass are lighter options but can be less durable.


The shape of your blade and handle matters when choosing a shovel for overlanding. A spade-shaped blade is better for overlanding compared to a square blade. Having a sharp point (or multiple, like the Krazy Beaver Shovel) can help cut through tough dirt or roots.

The handle shape depends on your preference. There are all sorts of shapes of handles, some of which allow you to get more leverage.

The Krazy Beaver Shovel features a “D” grip that includes a spot to hide small objects like lighters, matches, batteries, or fishing hooks.


The length of your overland shovel influences how much leverage you can get. Longer = more leverage. However, a shorter shovel is easy to stow away and carry. Some shovels for overlanding include a folding design, which is useful for storage but can make the shovel less durable at the hinge.

The best overlanding shovel

The best overlanding shovel is the one you have with you. But if you’re here, you’re probably shopping for a new shovel for overlanding. And if you’re looking for something new, you might as well get the best. Our recommendation is the Krazy Beaver Shovel.

The Krazy Beaver Shovel is the most rugged and durable overlanding shovel on the market.

Designed by a former member of Albequerque’s police department and search and rescue unit, the Krazy Beaver Shovel was created to meet the needs of anyone who uses professional rescue gear. From search and rescue departments to overlanders, anyone who takes the road less traveled (and sometimes gets stuck there) can benefit from the reliability of the Krazy Beaver Shovel.

The first thing that stands out about the Krazy Beaver Shovel is its unique shape. The heavy-duty 13 gauge heat-treated tempered steel is twice as thick as a normal residential shovel. And the steelhead has nine reinforced teeth.

Those teeth can cut through ice, clay, roots, and dirt. The handle of the Krazy Beaver Shovel is made out of lightweight but strong fiberglass, which helps to balance out the heavy-duty steel blade.

Take off the D grip at the end of the handle to reveal a hiding spot for small necessities. The
D grip is made of solid polymer with no soft rubber on the handle. Soft rubber breaks down quickly, so this adds durability. Plus, the D grip is attached with tab lock pins that are easy to remove while wearing gloves and find when you inevitably drop them in the mud.

The Krazy Beaver Shovel is our pick for the best overlanding shovel. It has lots of useful features you didn’t even know you needed, it’s durably made, plus it looks pretty sweet on the back of your rig.

How to mount your overlanding shovel

JEH Outdoors rig with Krazy Beaver Shovel, mount, and guard

Once you have an overlanding shovel, the next question becomes how you store it and take it with you. Well, first you can buy a shovel guard to keep the hefty teeth stowed away until you need them. Then, you can just toss it in the back of your truck, or purchase a mount that attaches to a HiLift jack or any flat surface.

Mounting your shovel keeps it out of the way until you need it, but you’ll never forget it at home. Purchasing a mount designed for your shovel is the most secure way to mount your Krazy Beaver Shovel.


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