During the February snowstorm, Miss D. and I found ourselves unable to clear snow from our driveway because we couldn't find the right tools. We had no snow shovel, and no full-size spade or shovel - only small gardening trowels, and a couple of entrenching tools. It's not that we didn't have better tools, but they were stored elsewhere for the winter. We didn't expect to need them in North Texas weather, where snow and ice are seldom an issue. A fat lot of good that was to us when we needed them! (Yes, I've rectified that. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.)
A recent article at American Partisan, titled "Axes, Shovels, Hoes and Picks: The Pioneer's Kit Revisited", reminded me again of the need for a basic selection of such tools, not just on off-road vehicles or at home for bad weather, but for everyday needs, particularly in an emergency.
Another tool you may own one, or two of, is the E-Tool and a handy pick or a half-pick. You may even own a short crow bar. Crowbars make great digging tools in the right soil. All three are wildly useful, and half the weight of their full size counterparts. But there is another variety of tools that also peaks my interest, raises a brow, and tweaks an ear like a good roman legionnaire. That is the full sized tools like a kick shovel; or a full size shovel. Possibly even the longer “Diggers” length shovels.
Using full size tools compared to the pack sized tools is night and day in terms of efficiency and comfort.
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It doesn’t hurt to have these tools handy. Imagine not having a garden hoe when everyone is starving to death and planting those emergency seeds they bought. Or a weeding tool? Do you have a gardener’s pick? That’s the fastest way to remove weeds in my experience.
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You should build a pioneers kit for your vehicle, get some quality home garden tools, and you should build a pioneers pack.
There's more at the link.
Trouble is, when one reads customer reviews of typical products of that kind, there are many complaints that they simply can't take the strain. Handles crack, blades bend, metal is so thin as to be flimsy, and all that sort of thing. It seems a far cry from the tools I grew up with in South Africa. My father's outdoor tools were beast-tough. They're probably still in use by somebody, somewhere in that country. They were made as strongly as possible, and built to last. Do such products still exist today?
I thought I'd throw this open to you, dear readers. In the category of essential outdoor tools, what brands and models do you recommend from your own experience as being strong and tough enough to be truly useful over the long term? You can add other items such as snow shovels, pick-axes, digging forks, etc. as well, at your discretion. Please tell us where to buy them, and their price. Give us a link to the Internet product page if you can. I'm sure I'm not the only person who would benefit from such information.