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THE Future of the Backcountry Potty Trowel Has Arrived

The DirtSaw® Deuce® (patent pending!)

Anyone who’s followed our designs since our start in 2014, knows we think way too much about how to make our Deuce of Spades™ trowels dig poop-holes faster, easier and more efficiently. The main feature upgrade for 2023 is a doozy. We call it the DirtSaw™. It’s PATENT PENDING and a total rethink of how to use a small hand tool to make a hole in the ground. You will use this tool upside down, sideways, half-sideways, and right-side up while prying, poking, sawing, rotating, snagging, clipping, slicing and scooping. We don't put bumpers on the handle or make them longer because it would interfere with many of these digging modes.

DirtSaw #2 infographic 1024

For the love of Pete just take me to the
order page!

Size #1 - NOT AVAILABLE IN DirtSaw® (yet) - .45 oz (less than the weight of 2 1/2 teaspoons of water) - for fanatical weight fanatics only: those who eagerly learn the ins and outs of their gear to get the most out if it. Regularly using our Advances Techniques (graphic below) is mandatory for this trowel. 2.4" wide by 6.5" long. The non-DirtSaw® version is on sale for $14.95 DirtSaw® version coming next year.

.60 oz (barely over the weight of ONE tablespoon of water - 1.1 to be exact) - for normal weight fanatics (most backpackers), our most popular trowel. A nice balance between crazy-lightweight and overall toughness. The #2 is an evolved version of the Deuce of Spades. Advanced Techniques recommended in difficult ground. 2.5" wide by 6.8" long. DirtSaw #2: $20.95. The old version is on sale for $15.95

.97 oz (less than 2 tablespoons of water) - A full-sized, beast of a trowel for users who regularly encounter difficult ground. Thicker material makes the #3 twice as strong as our #2 and more comfortable in the hand. 2.7" wide by 7.7" long. DirtSaw #3: $22.95. The old version is on sale for $16.95

Simple? Looks are deceiving. A ton of thought and experience has gone into every detail.

The NEW Patent Pending DirtSaw® Deuce® urges you to rethink what a “trowel” is and how to use it.  The DirtSaw® feature is an evolutionary design change with revolutionary implications. It’s so much faster and easier to dig a poop-hole that it begs the question: can it even be called a 'trowel' any more if you use it "the usual way" less than 1/3rd of the time? The DirtSaw® literally saws the ground with teeth that are specifically designed for dirt – they’re wide and smooth – so they agitate and cut dirt like a serrated knife but they don't snag on roots or threaten to cut your hand. Even better: DirtSaw® teeth work best when they’re rounded with use.

Upside down is how you’ll use the Deuce® about a third of the time: first use it handle down to probe the top 3” for rocks or roots that might spoil your hole; probing like this is a fantastic time-saving feature of the Deuce®. Next, use it this way to saw the outline of the top of the hole (yes, this was the inspiration for the DirtSaw® on the other end). Deeper in the hole, use it the same way to break up hard dirt and pry out rocks. With The Deuce® the workflow of making your poop-hole is one of continually changing grip as you saw, pry and scoop your way to a true 6” to 8” deep hole.

Two deep notches on the front edge protect recessed teeth that you can sharpen (even with a nail file) to slice tenacious roots. They’re protected so they can stay sharp and they’re far enough away from the front edge that they don’t threaten your hand when using the Deuce® upside down.

Ray-bends are another new evolution this year. They make the Deuce® 65% stronger against bending in the middle and almost 3X stronger at the hole (and the elliptical hole shape is stronger too). Ray bends are also pretty cool looking and, lastly, they make it much harder to copy *ahem*. Oddly enough, one of the Deuce’s oldest features – its short handle – is a major enabler of the DirtSaw® and other functions. It not only allows user to exert more force by pushing on the shoulders and top of the trowel at the same time (using it the regular way), it has vastly better dexterity in deeper holes than longer handled trowels. It’s what lets you actually use the DirtSaw® feature deep in your hole where longer tools succumb to ever-narrowing hole syndrome. 

• Made in the US and S. Korea of aerospace grade, US-produced 7075-T6 aluminum that meets MIL spec AMS4045 (the alloy alone does not guarantee high strength). It's the go-to aluminum for satellites and aircraft because high strength aluminum makes high strength products This grade of aluminum is available only in highly industrialized countries with technology and quality driven supply chains – it is not available in China (except to Chinese aerospace companies).

Lifetime warranty - bend or break one and we'll replace it for just the cost of postage (no matter where you bought it) - here's the link if you break one.

• The DirtSaw® Deuce® #2 is the ultralight trowel formerly known as The Deuce of Spades™
• TUMBLED so all edges are smooth and deburred (This requires a strong material so it doesn't get crumpled or beat up in the tumbler. If you see a product with reviews complaining about sharp edges - ding ding! It's not tumbled probably because it's made of weak material.)
• makes a single good extra tent stake
but is even better for burying sticks and rocks as deadman-type anchors
• digs down and carves unusually well because of its thinness
• large scoop makes
mockery of tent stakes or trekking poles for digging
• cuts right through small roots
• elegant, minimalist design
short handle lets you push on the blade's shoulders AND the handle top at the same time
• overall short length provides excellent dexterity for digging at the bottom of your hole
you can fly with them in your carry-on
• eco-friendly – they're designed to need no packaging and they're 100% recyclable anyplace that takes aluminum
• lots of great colors
• it makes a very good boot- or
• handy for bear canister screws and the like
• yup, you can open a bottle of beer with it
• seriously perfect sandcastle sculpting tool
• at least one woman has used one as a standing-pee device - you go girl!

• Old Version MSRP #1: $18.95, #2: $19.95, #3: $22.95 but on sale now for $14.95, $15.95 & $16.95
• NEW DirtSaw® Version MSRP
#1: $19.95, #2: $20.95, #3: $23.95

• Some made in the US
35 x 10 pixel blank• formed in Denver, Colorado by Arrow Sheet Metal (ISO 9001 certified)
35 x 10 pixel blank• anodized by Pioneer Metal Finishing in Tualatin Oregon
35 x 10 pixel blank• engraved in Denver, Colorado by Sterling Edge
• Some made in Korea by our good friends at DAC (our fantastic tent pole supplier)

Use the Deuce's length to gauge hole depth. A full-depth poop-hole should be 6-8" deep (one Deuce deep).

Deuce in Use 800 wide

TWO WAY DIGGING! Use it Upside Down in hard dirt - Yes, really

Technique & Introduction Video

ProudPartner_FullColor with margins 50percent

Point six ounces – .6 ounces - that’s crazy light! What else weighs about that?

OK, it's crazy-light. What's the tradeoff?

The answer to that is very simple: some handle comfort. The Deuce® is light because it's thin. Because it's thin, the edges are less comfortable to hold. As I was designing The Deuce®, I played with different thicknesses, trying to find the best balance between strength, lightness and comfort. I believe I've succeeded in finding that just-right balance. The simple fact that a latrine trowel is carried for hours and hours and is used for just a few minutes a day makes it only logical that lightness and strength have the highest priority. With thousands of Deuces® sold, I can honestly say that I've gotten the balance right. The vast majority of users are blown away by how light and effective they are.

A Confession:
I, like my father and his father before him, was one of those “turn over a rock” types in the backcountry. My defense: I ONLY pooped in remote sites nowhere near trails or camps and NEVER left any outward trace of my activity. But I've changed my ways for several reasons:

One, it's getting really crowded out there and genuinely remote places are fewer and father between.

Two, I saw a study that shows pretty conclusively that putting a rock over buried poop is exactly the wrong thing to do because for prompt decomposition to happen, water needs to be able to percolate down to the poop from the surface. Poop under a rock is also likely to "bloom" TP and be there long enough to be discovered by another user. Gross.

Three, common consideration for trail maintenance crews. Heavily used trails – AT, PCT, CDT, John Muir Trail – are getting hammered with poop. And the maintenance crews are literally getting the shitty end of the, um, rock, time and time again. I mean, YUK! What a horrible thing for volunteers to have to deal with.

Four: digging a cathode that's ACTUALLY 6-8" deep is REALLY hard and seriously inconvenient without a trowel. As I think back, that was probably why I was rolling over rocks in the first place. Now that I've thought about it for a few years, (I didn't used to think about it at all, really), I've come to the sad realization that folks who don't use trowels are probably fooling themselves that they're digging deep enough holes. It's not that it's impossible to make a proper hole using sticks, tent stakes or trekking poles, it's that it takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort (in all but the softest soil). The experience of making a proper hole without a trowel is what drives people to want a trowel in the first place. Here's another take on this subject. The other thing a trowel can do for you is gauge how deep the hole is. Ours are from 6.5" to 8" long so it's really easy to tell when your hole is deep enough.

The Deuce® is my
Leave No Trace contribution to the backcountry poop situation: it's a sweet little piece of ultralight gear. THE coolest, THE most designy, and THE most effective potty trowel in the world — one that you can be proud to whip out in mixed company — so carrying and using it will be easy, fast and even a little fun.

Deuce #1 Blue 80x250Deuce #1 Orange 80x250
Deuce #2 Fire 84x261Deuce #2 Ice 84x261D#2 Purple 84x261Deuce #2 Lime 84x261Deuce #2 Orange 84x261Deuce #2 Sky 84x261D#2 Green 9513 84x261D#2 Gold 84x261D#2 Black 84x261
D#3 Fire 88x293D#3 SKY 88x293D#3 Lime 88x293D#3 Purple 88x293D#3 Green 88x293D#3 Gold 88x293D#3 Orange 88x293D#3 US Black 88x293

Deuce Advanced Techniques 2020 medium

I feel like there needs to be a “Two Headed Deuce” dance video in here but darned if it doesn’t continue to elude me.