When I started this blog I had many ideas running around in my head about what topics I would write about. Over the course of time, many topics addressed were out of obvious necessity while others were more organic and often based on an experience or a new product on the market.
One topic that has received several entries is one that I honestly can say I never anticipated writing about once, let alone multiple times. Yet the topic keeps rearing its ugly head and no doubt someone is going to imply that I may need to seek counseling. That person would probably be right.
Unexpectedly, Rob "Qiwiz" Kelly (http://www.qiwiz.net/), a fellow BackpackingLight.com member, sourced some titanium and was able to shape it into a trowel. Titanium holds a great place in the world of lightweight backpacking and quite honestly is a technology that really needs to be more integrated into this industry. He offered the trowels to anyone with a couple dollars to spare and I was happy to have one.
The trowel was pretty unfinished, so I used my Dremel tool to smooth everything out, take away the straight edges and angles, and ultimately smooth the edges so it would be a trowel and not a weapon. I also purchased a rubbery dipping compound from my local hardware store which is used to put a grip on handtools as I was concerned about getting a nasty cut in the wilderness from the edges. After a few dips, I had a very nice and non-slippery handle that was plenty easy on the hands. Using a high speed drill, I punched a hole in it and added a reflective piece of Kelty Trip Tease. The trowel itself was the same size and shape of the famous Monbell Handy Scoop.
If you were wondering, the Monbell Handy Scoop weighs 39 grams and mine is 6.6 grams as a blank and 14 grams with the handle and cord. Consequently, a MSR Ground Hog stake weighs 15 grams, so needless to say I'm pretty intrigued with this little shovel. I've used it several times now and quite honestly it is really a great lightweight digging tool. It is plenty sufficient to get the job done and having something a little more substantial to dig cat holes with is a nice luxury.