Shovels can come in all different sizes.
I recommend a folding shovel, it's not too heavy and it's compact.
Uses for a shovel
Dakota fire hole: A Dakota fire hole is used when you wish to make a fire, but don’t want other people to see the flames or smoke of your fire. Using a survival shovel, you can easily make a Dakota fire hole in 5 steps: dig a hole for the fire, dig an air hole, connect the holes at the base, build your fire, and mark your camp to easily find it later.
Free a stuck vehicle: If you get stuck with your vehicle, whether in the sand, mud or snow, use a survival shovel to clear the tires and axels, and free your stuck vehicle to continue your journey.
Cut branches: Some survival shovels feature a serrated edge. This may come in handy when you need to cut branches during a hike or use these branches for firewood.
Clear brush: No need to use a machete while hiking or walking in the woods or an overgrown hiking trail. Simply fold the shovel tool at 90 degrees and swing away to clear brush off of your way.
Clearing your pitch for your tent or tarp.
Outdoor toilet: That’s right. Most of the times, there are not a lot of options for an organized toilet break during hiking, backpacking or other trips. That is why using the survival shovel, you can quickly and easily dig a latrine hole and at the end cover it up.
Clear the ground for a fire: Of course you would need to clear the ground and digging down to make your fire pit.
Break ice: You’ll find an ice axe in different shovels to break ice if necessary.
Search and rescue: If someone is getting caught in a sticky mud or a snow avalanche, you can use the shovel to quickly dig and free that person.
Self-defence: You never know who you will encounter on your journey, so a survival shovel can be used as a self-defence tool as well, especially against wild animals and predators.