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A small shovel is good to carry in your pack or with a handle strapped on the outside. But in hard ground a shovel is of little use unless you have a crow bar(Aust). A mattock on the other hand can be used for garden work & pole construction, you simply dig a trench for the poles instead of a hole.

Obviously we have all the normal sized tools required for living off grid, but this is an image of an undersized mattock head. This can be carried without a handle, or it can be carried by someone with its handle for use as a weapon if required. With the right sized handle it could even be used on the trail as a walking stick like the European "shepherd's axe"

An undersized shovel head, a good alternative to carrying the full sized version on the trail.