My idea for a survival spade/shovel
You can buy a shovel from lasher – looks for what is known as a “ladies spade” with a square blade LASHER link —product 162—
This spade has a steel shaft made of the same steel as the spade blade, that is hollow and can be welded closed at the bottom. Weld this opening closed. or use “Pratley putty” to close the opening. ( easier than welding)
These spades are cheap going for about 10$ or R80 new
The shaft should then be shortened, by cutting it with an angle-grinder, to make it more portable and lighter. But not too much, your call how short you make it — go for comfort … i cut mine down to about 45 cm or one and half feet
(planning, before you cut the shaft, what you want to put inside the shaft, goes a long way)
The handle at the top can be removed by drilling out the rivets and re-attached with a push pin. this makes the shaft accessible for storage.
Drill holes of various sizes in the spade blade so that they can be used as dies to make arrows, serrate one edge if you want( although i wouldn’t – i would just sharpen it well),Sharpen one side of the spade blade for use as an Axe.
Repaint the welds etc cause these are not usually rust proof (preferably with high heat paint and a couple of glow in the dark dots so you can find it in the dark easily).
A camo pattern if you like, or go low key with plain black.
In the cavity put things like a small lighter, Torch, folding knife, handkerchief, pencil, paper, fishing kit, snares, plastic bags to carry water , water purification tablets, and other survival tools that would fit inside, sling shot bands , and fold up sling bow arrows, energy bars, extra ammo, 4 winds disposable shotgun, really anything.
The shaft should then be wrapped in para-cord to give you a few 100 feet of cord and a better grip.
Weave a Paracord sling so that this can be strapped to your back, one with a quick release carabiner at one end so you can get it off in a hurry if need be. you can even use a carabiner with a led torch or lock knife built in – these are easy to find, A sheath would be overkill IMHO but its up to you.
Some options as to what it can be used for :
-Fire starter in combination with the Flint.
-Sling Bow for hunting.(plastic handle cap makes a good slingshot)
-Makeshift Frying pan ( to purify a little water and cook food)
-Used to move coals in a fire.
-Dig a shelter –
-Dig your way out of a rock fall/building collapse
-Oar/paddle for rowing a raft
-Improvised climbing hook
-Walking aid if injured
Put it in the boot of your car and use in an emergency…