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  • GSI Outdoors - Cathole Trowel -

GSI Outdoors Cathole Trowel

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8 Reviews


Everybody does it, so do it right and with less effort.

Despite the dry or frozen soil, the GSI Cathole Trowel ensures that you can deposit your own brand of fertilizer into the Earth’s natural garden. Digging a personal latrine is more than a cosmetic camping practice because, when buried, your waste is quickly decomposed and absorbed as nutrients instead of running into the local watershed.
  • Thanks to its ten inches of leverage, serrated blade, and easy molded grip, this trowel digs holes way faster than a flimsy stick
  • Graduated blade and Leave No Trace use guidelines molded onto the back help teach or remind you where to go about your business
  • The entire trowel is made from repurposed GSI Outdoor Lexan products
  • One percent of all sales go to support the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
  • Item #GSI0173

Tech Specs

Blade Material
lexan (polycarbonate)
Shaft Material
lexan (polycarbonate)
Extendable Shaft
Assembled Length
10.3 in
Packable Length
10.3 in
Claimed Weight
3 oz
Recommended Use
latrines, waste burrial
Manufacturer Warranty

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

light and durable

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So I've seen many an attempt at making a trowel an exciting piece of kit, but what you end up with is a trowel. It doesn't need to telescope or fold up, and certainly doesn't need to be aircraft grade titanium. The GSI Outdoors Cathole Trowel is as innovative as a trowel ever needs to be. The polycarb construction is dense and durable if this trowel cant dig easily through it you're digging in the wrong place. Leaving waste in softer soils is generally more eco friendly, as your clay based soils and the like tend to retain moisture and contaminants. The trowel surface itself is graduated so you know just how deep your digging, I thought that was a handy little addition to the piece. Weighing in a 3 ounces it is half an ounce lighter than Sea to Summit's aluminum pocket trowel.


  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I used it once and only once. It snapped in half on the first attempt to dig. Prob my bad for not finding softer ground, but it still shouldn't be that easy to break.

it will dig a hole

    This is a nice little durable shovel. This shovel does not have the best scooping action but it is very strong material and has pretty sharp edges so it digs very well. Nice to get the bathroom hole dug. It is also fairly light weight and will be nice for backpacking.

    If only Elvis had this trowel..

      I have always just pushed a big rock over, shat in the indent and then just pushed the rock back on top of it. Worked for me.

      I also enjoyed the ever so easy pull down your pants and grab a branch lean back technique.

      The dig a hole and hope to hit the pit is new territory for me. I am a regular kind of guy, so squeezing the cheese is a 2x daily thing. Better than being Elvis and having 25lbs of compacted clay like fecal backup packed in there. I heard he had a heart attack on the pot while trying to expel that giant brick of peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches.

      Hide it from your tent mate. nothing worse than getting some others excrement on your tool.

      It sure is better than your hand!

        whether you need to dig a hole for personal use or clean up after your dog, this thing does the Job. It's a lot better than your hand and it only adds 3oz onto your pack. If you always find yourself on forest roads or miles from a toilet on the trail you should have this or something similar with you. Stash it in the car or in your pack but whatever you do don't head out in the BC without it.

        A constructive bit of advice....

          Hard to review a shovel, but I do have a bit of constructive advice for GSI (if you ever read these reviews) as you guys look at updating your products. The shovel I currently use (I won't mention the name because I don't want to drive traffic away from this website- and it is NOT made by any outdoor-type product maker) is long enough to hold a roll of TP on its handle- making it a convenient item to keep lying around at a campsite. Love GSI products, and if they could use recycled materials to manufacture a trowel with this type design, I would happily buy one from them!

          A constructive bit of advice....