This morning I got up early and planted a couple of fruit trees before it got to hot. Now the area in which we live is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the soil can be very rocky in places. One of the holes went pretty easy; the soil was good and still contained enough moisture to make digging easy. But the other one was hard and I needed a digging bar.
Now I spent a fair amount of time helping others with prepping and digging bars are something I don’t see too often. If you have rocky hardpan soil like mine you will need a good digging bar or two. They are great for moving rock, digging deep holes and if you live up north for breaking holes for ice fishing. They are also good for breaking up concrete, frozen ground, cutting tree roots and of course as a lever to move heavy objects. They are often used where space would not allow the use of a pickaxe.
I have two digging bars, a six-footer with a 2 inch cutting edge and a spike on the other end. In addition, I also have a four-foot bar with a rock wedge. Most of the time I use the smaller of the two bars. The big one is saved for the really hard stuff. One thing that I have noticed is that many people work a bar too hard. They pick up the bar and slam it into the ground with all their strength. Most of the time this is not needed, just lift the bar and let the bar drop; the weight of the bar will do the work.
Digging bars can be used to help you move heavy objects. With a good fulcrum, we have lifted or moved some surprisingly heavy objects. They are also good from helping to pull stumps
A few safety tips – digging bars can cause accidents, so it is important to practice basic safety measures. The most common accident happens when the bar slips, either from your hand or from the object that you are digging or removing. This often happens when you are prying on rocks. You can also be injured by straining your back, shoulders, or arms when using the bar to pry. When a rock or object that you are trying to dislodge breaks free, there is a danger of falling backwards or tumbling into another piece of equipment.
- Make sure you are using the proper tool for the job to avoid accidents
- If the object you are prying is heavy, ask another person to help you
- Before you begin digging, plant your feet squarely and establish a strong foothold
- Always be prepared for rocks and other materials that could quickly loosen
- Use gloves for a better grip and make sure they are free of water or grease
If you don’t have at least one good digging bar in your preps you need to get one. They have many uses.