If you’ve ever done any significant trail building projects in the woods, there are a few things you’ll definitely be familiar with: Your tools breaking, your tools getting stolen no matter how well you hide them, and your tools being really awkward to carry on a bike. You may also be familiar with the frustration of using a small, foldable entrenching tool too: they’re okay for a bit of trail fixing here and there, but can only do so much with such a small blade. You need full size tools if you’re going to get anything built quickly or over a large area. UK rider Max Reynolds is attempting to solve all of these problems with the Natureshaper: A full size, modular trail building tool that uses connectors to attach different heads, handles, and change the length.
There are a lot of tools you can use for trail building and shaping, but the humble spade and mcleod are probably the two most powerful and important, and that’s what Max is concentrating on with this. Two different handles, a spade head, a trail tool head that’s basically like a triangular mcleod, and two shaft sections all pack down into a backpack, meaning you don’t have to worry about where to hide tools, or how to carry them.
The whole thing is made from steel, with the connectors galvanised so no worries about weather getting to them for a very long time (you might doubt a modular handle, but given the ranger I was out with at the weekend was using a shovel repaired with gaffer tape several years ago, I think these will be fine).