Stakes

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Stakes

I might have to hunt one down and get some better stakes.

Better stakes is likely a thread unto itself.

L’oiseau mentioned replacing the stakes that came with a new tent and I was wondering what type of stakes folks favored for different applications.

I have replaced some (or, in the case of the ubiquitous Eureka J stakes, all) of the stakes that came with our tents, sometimes using a strategic mix for different areas of the tent body and fly.

I like the MSR Groundhog stakes to augument or replace what came with a tent. They are durable, hold well and pound into most ground that isn’t overly rock laden.

http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/te...stakes/product

The tarp and poles need something beefier. After using long plastic stakes (terrible) and rebar & metal plate sand stakes (hugely heavy and difficult to store) I found these surplus military stakes.



They are still heavy(ish), but they nestle compactly.



I added the yellow cord to make them easier to extract if pounded all the way in (and you can pound the bejesus out of them) and the square of reflective tape to help prevent stubbed toes when they are not fully dirt submerged.

If faced with the horror of car camping in a park with RV gravel pad sites the Coleman (or etc) nail spikes are a reliable last resort, although sometimes getting them back out of an RV compacted gravel pad is a challenge.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-10...takes/13848624

What do y’all favor in tent and tarp stakes?
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
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I haven't used stakes in years. I tie guylines to other trees, rocks, logs, etc... In the rare cases where a natural "stake" isn't where it should be, I push a stick into the ground. Worst case scenario, a few slices with my knife on a stick and a larger stick (or rock) as a hammer make a very good wooden stake. If I have my hatchet, it is even quicke to make one. Many say they don't want to bother with the time, etc... but like most things in the woods the more you do it the more efficient one gets. #stakefree
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Hi Mike, I use the despised yellow plastic tent pegs. They work very well in all respects: hold well, cheap, not rusting and light! The onliest thing about them they won't pound in worth beans. Hit a rock and they're history.

So what to do? From the time we did living history, I have a bunch of steel (historic) tent pegs. About 3/8" square and 10" long. On the top they have a bent "C" to catch the rope. I heated and bent the C out until it is more of a "L" on one and then got a small section of iron pipe to make a better grip on the end of the "L" part.
I hammered the pipe/grip on and wedged it tight. I suppose if a person were tough the extra grip wouldn't be needed, but that's not me.

The thing has a nice point on it and when I use it to make a hole I just press it down into the ground and twist my wrist. When you do hit a rock, you can try to find a way around it with the point. Most times you can but if the rock is too big I just move the hole over. After the hole is made the sides are still small enough to where the yellow plastic peg can get a grip and not willing slide out.

I painted the top of the hole poker thing white to be able to see it better. By the way I got the steel pegs from Four Dogs Stove Company.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
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Toronto
I carry stakes similar to MSR Groundhogs that I bought from the Hammock Forums store, and a few j stakes from MEC. I recently used the giant yellow Coghlans stakes because I couldn't bring metal stakes on a plane (wasn't that a movie?) and they are a pain in the butt. Of course, a tree is best. But unlike DuctTape, I don't carry a hatchet or even a big knife in the bush, (just a folding saw and a folding knife) so I rely on my stakes at times. The beauty of the v cross section stakes like the Groundhogs is the added surface area compared to a rounded nail type peg. More holding power. And for short term staking there is the over-under trick...I'll link to a video of that.
 
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Correction: I meant "Y-shaped cross section" above, not V shaped. Now check out the Video...Brandon from Warbonnet Outdoors explains how he stakes out his tarp. At about 4:15 he uses a short term method of staking out to a Groundhog stake without any knot...interesting...anyway, that style of stake is a great compromise of weight, durability, and size.
 
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Sep 27, 2013
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Colrain MA
We use those Wally World stakes at Mike's link on our tarp.Their a bit on the heavy side but I haven't bent one.
 
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Mar 19, 2014
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Manitoba
I find a few (5) sections of strong light cord have been a huge help for me when stuck on rocky ledges etc. Just run one from the corner of the tent to a chock stone or tree. Shorter loops if you just want to tie into loose rocks etc. Still take a few alum light stakes with but more as a backup.
 
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Warren, Manitoba
I'm sure some of you will freak, oh no, extra ounces to carry... but we cut up an old tarp for the rocks we put in the corners of the tent. The pieces ride in the interior pockets when we pack up. Set up, pull out the pieces, toss a rock on it in the corner, tent not going anywhere.

Most places we go there is no such thing as stake-able ground, just plain granite. We still tie out to rocks and trees/shrubs but the interior rocks are usually already at any site we go to.

As for stakes... those V shaped ones they claim are the latest and greatest, I hate em. They may go into the ground easier, but they are lacking in holding power. I prefer the alum wire type, but of course there are good and bad ones. The notch on the V type is too small to actually hold anything I feel.
 
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Boy - lotsa different opinions on stakes.

I have had the V sections pull out - they do lack hold... but I'm not looking to guy out a radio tower or anything, so bending stiffness, weight and package size are the most important aspects for me.

Might want to try a piton if you want some holding power in the rocks :p
 
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Mar 19, 2014
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I'm sure some of you will freak, oh no, extra ounces to carry... but we cut up an old tarp for the rocks we put in the corners of the tent. The pieces ride in the interior pockets when we pack up. Set up, pull out the pieces, toss a rock on it in the corner, tent not going anywhere.
Most places we go there is no such thing as stake-able ground, just plain granite. We still tie out to rocks and trees/shrubs but the interior rocks are usually already at any site we go to.
As for stakes... those V shaped ones they claim are the latest and greatest, I hate em. They may go into the ground easier, but they are lacking in holding power. I prefer the alum wire type, but of course there are good and bad ones. The notch on the V type is too small to actually hold anything I feel.

I like this idea! The tarp peices would protect against cuts and it is a very simple thing to do.

I have used a full trad rack of rock climbing gear to secure a tent/gear and canoe during one stormy adventure. Used a couple cams to anchor a canoe on a waterfront climb too! :cool:
 
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Jul 11, 2014
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There's never a shortage of rocks and trees, but soil can be in short supply. I'm happiest with the J type stakes that came with my MSR Hubba Hubba. I rarely hammer any in, just a determined push by hand or with the heel of my boot. Otherwise, as others have mentioned, I fasten to rocks and trees. I use spare wool socks filled with a rock or two as weights where necessary. Lotsa rocks, socks and trees.
The stake evolution witnessed in my tenting world started with the big blunt yellow cartoon stakes for a big heavy canvas family tent we set up in our yard. Large Y type stakes that followed were an improvement. These could be pounded in no problem. Finally, the smaller wire stakes that came with smaller tents were a Godsend for camping on thinner soils. My present J type seem the best, and most highly evolved. No doubt another new and improved stake will come along to wow me.
 
Joined
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Rochester, NY
Just so no one misinterprets my post, I have yet to need to make a stake as a stick works fine when a natural tie off doesn't exist.

Like others, I have used techniques from rock-climbing to secure lines to cracks in rocks as well. Once one doesn't have stakes it is amazing how resourceful one can become. I often return from trips with stakes due to finding them at campsites. This is especially true in the spring after the snow melts. Another benefit of being stakeless is one less thing to worry about losing. YMMV
 
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MSR Groundhogs usually , where we are beach camping we take some of those steel sand stakes for the tent and to tie both ends of the canoe. Sometimes there are no trees and coral rock is sharp to handle. I don't think I would ever use rocks in the tent though I've used them to use as external tie downs for guy lines where there is no soil; just bare rock. We like to run at least four guy lines from the upper corners of the tent for bad weather. It's unfortunate that only mountaineering tents seem to have this feature The tents today seem to hold their shape better with tension diagonally at all four corners
 
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In addition to the Nobendium stakes that I use for my tent, I use 10-inch long hardened aluminum spikes for tarp lines. I also cross-stake where extra holding power is needed.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
I use some light weight aluminium stakes I picked up at Dick's. Looking at these pictures you can see they bend pretty easy when they hit a rock. I use the flat side of my ax to pound them in, and there always seems to be a rock at at least one corner.
Here are my stakes today before my next trip,



Then into the vice for some straightening,


A little tightening,


And my stakes are good for the next trip,


I have used them even when bent, they hold just enough to keep the tent and fly just where I need them. Probably not the best, but they are very light and when tripping where there is granite or rocky terrain, they have been dependable in holding my tent in place.
I never use pegs for the tarp, I have always found enough places to tie off to, trees, rocks, roots.
 
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Vermont
I carry different stakes for tarp and tent depending on the trip. But for most trips I carry a good supply of short 9 inch (for tent) and long 12 inch (for tarp) easton aluminium stakes made from tubular aluminium - similar to the material used for arrows. The 8 inch are nice and easy to find. the 12 inch are terrific on the tundra or sandy soil and they are very hard to find. Here is a link to an ebay offering for the 12 inch. These are terrific for soft conditions. But the 9 inch work in all but the hardest and most rocky conditions. They are light and very rugged.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/14-Easton-Te...p2054897.l5675

But I agree in many situations in the trees you often can get by with no stakes - or just a few. If you don't have trees though it is an entirely different situation and you usually have wind and you need a way to fix things to the ground. Big rocks are helpful.
 
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rpg51, those Easton stakes are the ones I was referring to. As you say, they're light and rugged. I did break one once, but I was amazed at how much abuse it took before it finally gave up.
 
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The tents today seem to hold their shape better with tension diagonally at all four corners

That has been my experience with most of the tents I currently use, and especially with a parawing tarp. I try to stake out each tent body/fly corner in line with the diagonally opposite corner, like an imaginary X passing through the tent.

That is one place where a well designed tent footprint comes in handy. Once the footprint is oriented and “X” staked down the body and fly follow easily. Plus I like a footprint/groundcloth that doesn’t blow away when I’m putting up or taking down the tent.

When using a parawing tarp this X is critical. A ‘wing will set up best with two guy lines at each corner, provided each corner guy is in line with the edge of the wing. It is hard to explain, but envision the wing as <>, with the corner guys aligned ><><

Camped on a granite slab I have tied off the tent corners to rocks, but given the choice I’d much prefer to have the corners on the tent body/fly held in place downward rather than sideways, if only to help prevent wind and wind driven rain from getting under the tent.

I never considered putting rocks in the tent, but if camped on bare rock with no chance of sinking a corner stake I’ll keep it in mind. I have accumulated several small dittybag stuff sacks that would work nicely to hold the rocks, and weighing down the corners would seem advantageous.

My hat is off to those of you who cut or whittle your own tent stakes at each site. I am way too lazy for that, and I am never completely comfortable in camp until the tent is up and stocked with sleeping pad, bag and etc for the night, so taking the time to fashion my own stakes each night would only prolong my ill ease. Trying to do so in rain or darkness would likely elicit some bad words regarding absent tent stakes.
 
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