Sunday
Feb062011

Voile Mini Avalanche Shovel Review

Bombproof, tough-as-nails, indestructible, tank-built, are all words that describe the Voile Mini Avalanche shovel.

If you are going camping in the snow you absolutely need to have a shovel with you, and in my opinion, Voile's Mini Avalanche shovel is by far the best option for the lightweight camper. I can say this because for two years now my Voile shovel has been along with my survival knife the most solid piece of gear in my winter pack. And by far the hardest working too. 

The shovel telescopes out to around two feet in length and has a T shaped handle for getting leverage and grip on the top end. The handle and shaft pieces can be removed from the shovel piece making the two parts easier to stash away inside of or strapped to the pack. The handle and shaft pieces are tough and thick and won't bend. The shovel is as strong or stronger than any contractor grade shovel that is out there working everyday. There are also holes in either side of the shovel so it can be tied into as an emergency anchor or to tie down a tent or tarp line.

I've use the Voile Mini Avalanche shovel to smash through ice in the wild and also to scrape ice off of the pavement so I could move my car. The Mini Avalanche shovel has dug fire-pits, wind breaks, tent platforms, dug out my car; I've also made wind breaks, dug sleeping pits inside my tarp, holes for dropping the legs into while sitting down, and so many other chores I could spend all day listing them here.

My shovel has shown only minimal signs of wear in the form of scrapped off paint on the tip part of the shovel. Other then scrapped off paint the shovel hasn't bent or gotten any dents in it. As I said this is definitely one solid piece of gear. I personally believe no one should venture out into the snow without a snow shovel. The risks of not having the means to dig out snow can be the difference between a successful and comfortable trip or a trip that ends in disaster. I haven't even mentioned the risk of avalanche since I live in the southeastern U.S. where that risk is minimal, but out west in the U.S. and in other parts of the world a reliable avalanche shovel can mean the difference between life and death.

Go with the Voile, I can assure you it's one tough workhorse. If the Mini is to small for your taste Voile makes all sizes and weights of shovels to suit any winter camper.