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I live in Truckee, a mountain town on the north side of Lake Tahoe, California, and we love the big winters that deepen the snowpack and fill the watershed every year. Those of us who spend winters here are all praying for snow all the time.
And that’s why I own the True Temper 18-Inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover shovel. It alleviates the back-bending work required to clear the driveway of 6 feet of snow every other morning. So I don’t get sore and dysfunctional just three days into a five-month shoveling marathon.
An ideal combination of size, weight, ergonomics, and materials makes this the right shovel to clear off steps, sidewalks, patios, or decks.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $28.
I’m 5-foot-8, and the Mountain Mover is slightly too short for me, maybe by an inch. So I modify it using the BackEZ Handle, which allows me to straighten out and stand completely vertical while I work.
Another nice feature of the Mountain Mover is that the scoop is made of polycarbonate. A lot of snow shovels are metal. But with so much snow on the ground, it’s easy to destroy the wooden deck stairs (which I can’t see under the snow and ice) or inadvertently dig up the asphalt. I can’t do a lot of damage with the edge of the Mountain Mover, so I also use it to scrape snow off the car.
I’ve previously been tempted to just buy whatever cheap shovel is at the hardware store (I have three identical ones) or to make do with whatever is in the garage—because it’s just a shovel, right? I’ve used tiny avalanche shovels, regular old dirt-digging shovels, and even one of those round sleds like a scoop. It all works out fine, sort of?
But aside from the practical advantage of how quickly and easily a good shovel will move a lot of snow, I’ve begun to think of it as part of a greater holistic system that lets me get through repetitive, daily tasks that take a toll on the body.
In all other aspects of my life, I’ve been motivated to get the right tools to make sure I don’t put unnecessary wear on my joints or muscles. Those tools include my standing desk, adjustable chair, ergonomic mouse, the standing mats in my kitchen, and the counter height of my butcher block table. This aspect is no different, and that’s why the Mountain Mover is such a great shovel. I do my best to take care of myself, and this shovel definitely helps in a small way.