When someone is talking about gutter cleaning and they mention that you need to use a gutter scoop they could mean one of two things. First, they might be referring to a tool made especially for cleaning gutters that is actually called a gutter scoop. Alternatively, they could be talking about any implement used to scoop debris out of your gutter system. If you do not want to or do not have time to go buy a gutter scoop from your local hardware store or local home improvement warehouse, then you might consider several gutter scoop alternatives.
First, you can make a pretty serviceable tool from an empty milk or juice container. You can reference my previous post for information on how to do this. You can also use any kind of powder scoop. You just want to make sure that the scoop has the right width. Gutter scoops are made in sizes that correspond to common gutter sizes so that the scoop is exactly the right size to fit into the gutter and scoop out all of the debris without having to do multiple passes. If you substitute other kinds of scoop then you will have to measure your gutters and the scoop to make sure it will fit and that you can collect a majority of the debris with one scooping action in each section.
Garden trowels are another alternative. The only problem with this kind of tool is that they usually do not have high sides like a gutter scoop and most of the things you dislodge with your scooping action will fall off the trowel before you can get it to the trash bag or collecting container you are using. This will slow you down considerably because you will have to pick up the same material over and over again. Secondly, you run the risk of dropping things off the trowel after you have left the gutter and dripping wet leaves and dirt down the side of you house.
If none of the tools you find in your home or shed seem to be quite right, then you can always use your hands. If you decide to clean out your gutters by hand then there are a few safety considerations. You do not want to touch the gutter debris with your bare hands so you must wear gloves. Any nitrile or latex glove will do. You just want to make sure that you will not come in direct contact with the possible bacteria or mold that might be growing in your gutters. Make sure the gloves extend past your wrist and when you put them on, try to pull them over your long sleeved shirt so that no skin is exposed.