4.30.2014

Gear providers currently aiming their business at cat holes

As someone who thought the cat-hole trowel market was already crowded, I was surprised to see Mike Cecot-Scherer's Deuce of Spades Kickstarter campaign. Mike introduces himself in his pitch video and declares ". . . I think the world needs another potty trowel."

Fair enough, but that prompted me to take a quick look at the many other trowels that are available to the backcountry pooper. I found that most were either heavy and cheap or light and pricey, but there were some other options.

Heavy & Cheap

The cat-hole trowels you'll find at REI  (e.g., GSI, Sea to Summit, U-Dig-It) weigh at least 3 oz. and cost from $5 to $20.

Light & Pricey

At the other end of the spectrum, you can find titanium trowels that weigh 0.5 oz. and cost from $30 to $40. See QiWiz and Suluk46.

Other Options

At 1.4 oz. and $12, Montbell's stainless steel trowel is mid-weight and moderately priced. 

The Deuce of Spades is aluminum and weighs 0.6 oz. It cost $15 during the Kickstarter campaign (now closed) and is expected to cost from $22 to $25 when it hits the market. 

Still the Best Deal Going

I used to dig with rocks and sticks but found that the quality of my cat holes suffered if the ground was hard and the rocks scarce.

I eventually learned from other hikers to use the REI snow stake as a trowel as well as a stake. It weighs 1 oz. and costs $2. Yes. Only 1 oz. Only $2. It's 9.6" long, an inch wide, and its curve fits comfortably in the hand when digging.

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REI snow stake














My favorite cat-hole trowel is not a cat-hole trowel at all.

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