Among things like a knife, a compass, a tent, a pack, and other kit – if you’re going to camp or be in the bush for a few days, an E-Tool might be a good idea. You can dig latrines and fire pits, bury entrails from game, or many other less than savory things that need to be done around camp. And without something to move the dirt, it’s not very easy.
Enter the SOG E-Tool, which stands for entrenching. This lightweight piece of kit comes with it’s own canvas case, and folds up to an area smaller than a record. The shovel head itself is 1095 Carbon Steel, and is encased with a glass reinforced nylon handle everywhere. While I find the lock on the head to turn this from a shovel to a pick a tad bit flimsy feeling – it hasn’t busted up yet. The handle collapses and telescopes, allowing you to take up a minimum amount of space either in or on your pack, but fully extended is 26 inches, and closes is nearly 1/3 of that at 10.2 inches. Overal, it weighs 24.8 ounces and within the handle is a hidden saw blade that unscrews and attaches to the other end to make the shovel itself into a limb saw.
All those features aside, the tool doesn’t feel that robust, but has dug a couple holes for me. I intend on taking a back country hunting trip in the fall, and will test this out in the field when I really need to dig a latrine or garbage hole. I like to fact it collapses as well as it does and fits into a small case you can MOLLE strap to a pack, but the saw doesn’t feel that solid in the hand. It’s servicable, but I’d much rather use hatchet or machete to take limbs down to size.
Pros, what we like: Compact, innovative, services multiple roles and packs away.
Cons, what we don’t like: Doesn’t feel as rugged as other SOG Products.