But on the other hand i thought it such a shame that this lightweight, tough, rigid plastic was going to waste. I think i am right in saying it's made from the same material as car bumpers which is Polypropylene.
I had an idea that i could make a backpackers toilet trowel from it and maybe a few other things.
It was so simple i don’t know why i hadn’t thought of it earlier. Anyone can make a trowel. Yes anyone.
- First of all it’s cross section is an ideal curve.
- Its very strong with little deflection.
- The spine doesn’t bend due to a reinforcing flat section on the inside.
- Only tools needed are a tape measure, hacksaw, file and a drill with 8mm drill bit.
Instead of shaping a “recognisable” trowel handle i decided to cut a V shape that will penetrate the ground easier than the normal curved end.
Once the ground is broken up i use the scoop end to create the hole and repeat as required.
I found the broad end of the mudguard had a reinforcing bead of around 3mm thick running along its edge. I removed this with a file to create a sharper edge.
Then i drilled a hole in the trowel so that i could attach it to a small carabiner in my rucksack top pocket.
(The image below shows 2 holes. I drilled the one nearest the end first but found the middle area was best suited to my rucksack pocket and so drilled a second hole.)
Dimension 200mm long
Trowel curve and edge bead.
(Trowel resting against a tape measure to enable the edge and curve to be viewed).
Weight is 25grams. I could make it lighter by adding a series of holes but i’m happy with the 25 grams.
It would also make quite a handy tent stake for the snow, the holes used for guy line attachment.