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Overlanding is a blast and offers something enjoyable for nearly everyone who loves the outdoors—especially the backcountry. The combination of camping, four-wheeling, and freedom, with a capable vehicle and the gear you need, makes for memorable adventures.
Overlanding also accommodates many other outdoor pursuits, such as skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, trail running, climbing, mountaineering, hiking, geocaching, photography, videography, and more. Whatever gets you going, you can make it a part of your overlanding adventure.
Some overlanding enthusiasts stick to mild, comfortable trails, while others prefer to get into hairy situations that test their skills. Either way, it’s wise to assemble your kit with some basics—the tools and items that you simply must have on any adventure. Basics like extra food and water, a comprehensive first-aid kit, and tools for vehicle repair and recovery are mandatory.
One tool that’s easy to overlook until you need it is an appropriate shovel. The old Army-surplus folding shovel used to be a staple for campers and overlanders, but newer versions are worth looking at. The DMOS Collective Stealth Shovel is versatile enough to keep in your vehicle at all times, as well as small enough to fit in your pack.
The Stealth was created for building jumps for skiers and boarders, but it’s a great tool to keep in your rig or in your pack for creating tent sites and such. It also makes dousing your campfire easier, whether you’re using snow or soil to make sure that flame is stone-cold dead. Some people use it at home to keep the sidewalk and driveway clear, too, as the blade is large enough for everyday use without being unwieldy.
A tool like this is going to get some hard use, so it better be built well of durable materials. The Stealth Shovel is made in Portland, Oregon, of 3mm 6061 aluminum for the blade. The cutting edge of the blade is aggressively serrated so it more readily digs into snow, sand, and dirt. The telescoping shaft uses 2mm thick aluminum tubing that adjusts to 35”, 47”, and 57” lengths to suit the user and the task. Stainless steel spring pins hold the shaft sections at the length you choose.
The handle breaks down to fit neatly into the blade, and you can get a mount kit to secure the shovel to your rack. There’s also a storage bag to keep your gear tidy in your rig. When collapsed, the whole contraption measures 18 x 9 x 2.25 inches. The shaft, when fully extended, measures 57 inches, and total weight is three pounds and five ounces.
Unlike some tools in your kit, you may use a shovel on every adventure for everything from building jumps to clearing campsites, so I think it makes sense to get a solid and smart unit. The Stealth Shovel from DMOS fits the bill.