Leave No Trace - Cathole Trowels?



So here's an interesting and somewhat "delicate" topic of conversation, cathole trowels. If you practice Leave No Trace (and you should) then your familiar with digging your "hole" in order to take care of business and covering it back up. But what do you use to dig your hole, if anything?

I know people who simply use the heel of their boot or a branch as a crude scraping tool so they don't have to carry a specialized tool for the job. I carry a large aluminum tent snow stake that gets the job done but isn't that great at digging holes in stony or rooted soils. I'd like something a little better, but without sacrificing more weight.

There are a lot of hole digging tools and trowels available that are specifically targeted at the lightweight backpacking community and I'm considering one or two of them - or possibly just making my own. On the backpacking forums I've seen people improvise trowels out of all sorts of things including metal shoe horns and even flat titanium sheet metal.

So I'm curious, what do you use to get the job done when you have to go? And what has your experience been with your weapon of choice?

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