Extensively tested and reviewed by Cairngorm Treks throughout late summer to early winter 2018/19 in the Cairngorms, surrounding mountainous regions,and low-level woodlands.

Never have we been so excited about a trowel, especially one with a main job that is waste management. We all know how much of an issue human waste has become, especially whilst trekking in familiar areas. We also know that the most effective way to deal with waste is to carry it out afterwards. This method is something not many will want to do and carrying around plastic bags could end up with the same issue we find with the odd irresponsible dog walker with a dangling stench hung from a tree branch. So, a complete and simple solution for all is to bury. Unfortunately, with much of the ground in the Cairngorms even this can be made hard work with tough or rooted ground being the biggest issue, especially for the common plastic trowel. So, have TheTentLab provided a solution that all of us can use with no excuse? We think so.

The Deuce comes in 3 different sizes numbered between 1-3. We received #2 which is 166mm in length, perfect for hillwalking and weighs in at a mere 17grams. This is a super lightweight trowel keeping away any worries that you need to carry around a hefty brute of a trowel to break through tougher ground. Another worry may be that The Deuce, appearing so light and thin, will lead to a product that might break easily. It's full aluminum body with a 'U' shaped curve makes this a very strong wee beast.

Unlike a regular trowel it uses both the head and the handle to tackle varying ground types. Teeth along the head of The Deuce allow for easy digging even among small roots, whilst the handle has a contoured edge can be used in a sawing action to dig a hole in tougher ground. The handle is also around the perfect depth for depositing your waste, so this is a good guideline to work from. TheTentLab state that The Deuce rewards those who take the time to learn its ins and outs. We couldn't agree more, although if you're familiar with using a regular trowel then you’ll find this a very quick process to master. It would be wise to visit TheTentLab’s own site to get an idea of how to properly utilise The Deuce which includes appropriate hand placement and digging advise.

If you feel The Deuce is not performing to its fullest you can sharpen the teeth whilst out in the hills. Just find a piece of fine coarse rock and with a gentle rubbing action you can have it back to its best.

There's not much more to say about The Deuce of Spades other than it’s simple and works! It comes in a variation of colours, especially important if using within a group - a bright coloured trowel can be placed in designated area within camp, visible enough for anyone to find. There is a small hole on the handle for a carabiner to attach to the outside of a pack. The aluminum outer is also very easy to clean.

If you are unsure about toilet etiquette in the outdoors. UK hillwalking have a great article on this subject.


Our Verdict

Human waste is becoming increasingly more of an issue whilst out in the hills, especially along the more popular routes. A great solution to help combat this problem is The Deuce #2 UL Trowel - simple in design, light, strong, and easy to use, it ticks all the boxes for us. TheTentLab have created a revolutionary trowel, suited for almost all ground types so there's simply no excuse in not being able to dispose of our waste responsibly. It's not the perfect solution as carrying out is still the best answer but surely something this easy is a much-preferred option to suit the majority. Remember to check out TheTentLab website to get the best from The Deuce.

Cairngorm Treks is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...