In the early part of 2014, I came across the Deuce of Spades on Kickstarter. Now, I will admit, on most of my hikes I usually end up near a privy (they’re all along the AT), but there has also been a number of times in which I found myself poppin’ a squat next to a fallen tree… As well, in these moments, I have had great success in finding a nearby stick to dig the appropriate sized hole to do my business in… So, I haven’t really “needed” a potty trowel, but when I came across these, at only 0.6 oz, and only $15 (Kickstarter price), I thought why not…
The project was successfully funded, and as promised, the trowels were delivered… early actually! When it arrived, I found it to indeed be only 0.6 oz, so I happily added it to my pack. Now, I will also admit, since adding it to my pack, it has seen very little use, but I have been fine keeping it in my pack. In use, it does its job, however, its thin profile can be a little rough on the hands in really rocky, or rooted ground. But to be fair, in this type of ground, even using a stick, or a stake (which many ULer’s prefer to do) can be just as rough. In my opinion, the only way to get around this is to carry a larger, heavier, more contoured trowel… For me though, this isn’t an option… I am fine with carrying an item that only gets used on occasion and weighs half an oz as opposed to one that weighs many times more…
After the Kickstarter project was over and he had fulfilled his orders, Mike went on to continue selling these on his own site. But, as any good manufacturer, Mike continued to look for ways to improve upon his gear. Throughout the Kickstarter project, he went from “Shape A’ all the way “Shape K” (IIRC), which is what was delivered. Now, on his site, he has continued to push on and has just released the Deuce of Spades, “Shape N”. (For a complete run down on all the design changes, click HERE.)
Mike recently sent me one of these updated trowels in each color, and as far as I can tell, the handles are a little wider, rounded at the end, and the shape of the hole in the handle went from being a boxed oval shape, to an oval star shape. I can’t say just yet if these changes will improve comfort while using, but it is good to see that he is continuing to push his design to try and make it even better.
However, as one can imagine, I do not need one of every color. I have already given a few away to some other friends (one of which is about to set out for his first thru hike along the AT… Go Hiking Shoes!) and have decided to keep the yellow one for myself. So, I am going to give the other 3 away here on my blog. (I am not sure which colors they will be just yet.)
So, if you are interested in winning one of these, leave a comment below (here on my blog) with your most “interesting” backcountry “bathroom” story… Next weekend, the kids and I will read through the stories and they will pick 3 winners (so please keep it clean…. well, you know what I mean!) I will post the winners by next Sunday night (March 8).
(Also, due to shipping fees, this give away is limited to those in the CONUS.)
But, if you can’t wait that long, or just want to show Mike some love, you can head over to his site The Tent Lab and pick one up for yourself now!
So, on with the potty stories… 🙂
Disclaimer: I paid for my original Deuce of Spades, however, these that I am using for the give away were sent to me free of charge, to do with as I please. I am not affiliated with Mike, or The Tent Lab. These thoughts above are of my own opinion, which I formed after carrying/using my own Deuce of Spades Trowel for a little over the last half of a year.