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#149879 - 05/03/11 03:03 PM Which stakes?
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I recently ordered the kit for the quest bilgy tent. I am now looking for stakes for it. 4 for the corners, 2 for the lines that go to the trecking poles, and 2 for the center of the sides. I assume the two holding the trecking poles probably have the most tension and may need a stronger stake than the others, but I really dont know since I haven't made the tent yet to set it up. I will be using it in Tennesse, where the ground tends to be pretty rocky. Any suggestions on what stakes I should look at?

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#149881 - 05/03/11 03:41 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: james__12345]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 514
Loc: Virginia
This is really an affordability vs use question. Any stake that will go in the ground should work.

I've liked the Easton stakes that came with my TarpTent.

However, if budget is an issue you can:
1) buy nail stakes or the big yellow ones at many stores
2) whittle them from a variety of sticks.

The Easton stakes have gone in easily by hand and are easily removeable. The bent nail style stakes that commonly come with many tents are heavier, but they work the same way.

Steadman

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#149888 - 05/03/11 04:45 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: james__12345]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I've used a combo of MSR groundhogs and MSR needle stakes - the needle stakes work better for piercing very hard ground, the groundhogs hold real well in loose dirt and take a lot of punishment. Some are curved but none have broken. I have Easton mini stakes (blue) that came with the tarptent, but one of those snapped in two and I've had to sub in one of the MSR stakes.

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#149892 - 05/03/11 05:49 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: lori]
Kent W Offline
member

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 607
Loc: IL.
For my diy tent and hammock I use Vargo Titanium Stakes. Cheapest I found was on ebay brand new 6 pack!

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#149897 - 05/03/11 06:14 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: Kent W]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I also use the Vargo ti shepherd crook stakes. Either get the kind with fluorescent orange tops on them or paint them yourself (you'll have to repaint at least annually). I used to lose one every trip! A rock or two may be needed for reinforcement when it's extra windy or (as often happens) you can't get the stake all the way in (if it isn't a rock, it's a root, and stakes won't go through either).

The problem with the Easton aluminum stakes is that the tops tend to pop off. I haven't found that they hold any better than the shepherd crook stakes, either.


Edited by OregonMouse (05/03/11 06:15 PM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149898 - 05/03/11 07:23 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: OregonMouse]
Paulo Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 158
Loc: Normally Pacific Northwest
Has anyone tried the carbon fiber/aluminum ones from Titanium goat?
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#149923 - 05/04/11 05:55 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: OregonMouse]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I have one main question about the shepherd crook stakes. If they aren't going in well how bad are the tops to bend? I would be concerned they would tend to kink up at the bends in the top of they're not pushing in well, where as a straight designed stake wouldn't have that type of stress point to it.

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#149924 - 05/04/11 06:12 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: james__12345]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The only time I've had Ti stakes bend is if I try to hammer them through a rock (no stake will hold up to that!) or push them in by standing on them. Nearly always, if the stake won't go in, it's because it has hit a rock or a root, and nothing you do will get it in any farther.

You just have to keep moving the stake around until it goes in. If it doesn't, that's when you find a nice big rock to put on the guyline directly in front of the stake.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149927 - 05/04/11 08:59 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: OregonMouse]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I have no experience with titanium, so I didnt know the strength. Sounds like I may go with those. The seem like they would go in easier, and they seem like they would be easier to get ahold of to pull out and stuff too. I'll probably give them a shot.

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#149929 - 05/04/11 10:26 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: james__12345]
k smith Offline
member

Registered: 07/21/09
Posts: 29
Loc: ca

another vote for the msr needle stakes

they are tough and can handle hard ground well without bending pretty light too

k smith


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#149931 - 05/04/11 10:44 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: james__12345]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Being the cheapskate that I am, I've only used the cheap ones I've got with cheap tents, or that I've found at campsites over the years.

I figure the thing about stakes is, the cheap aluminum ones will hold pretty darn good if you can get them into the ground at a good angle. And if there's a rock in the way, you still can't get a titanium one in either, so what's the point in spending more on them? Can they really hold any better? And I'm pretty sure the titanium stakes would weigh more too, don't they?

I have a bunch of those big aluminum nails used to hang gutters. They're probably even cheaper than cheap tent stakes. I'd use those if I didn't already have a surplus that I've scrounged.
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#149932 - 05/05/11 12:10 AM Re: Which stakes? [Re: billstephenson]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Because titanium is so hard, the ti stakes can be thinner than the aluminum ones. Thus, they are slightly lighter. I've observed that many people who go with ti stakes are using 10-12 stakes for their tarp set up. At that number of stakes, the slight weight difference adds up. At the 2 to 4 stakes I carry for a hammock set up not so much.
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#149933 - 05/05/11 01:28 AM Re: Which stakes? [Re: thecook]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
It really depends on your soil. I have the Ti stakes but rarely use them except in rocky places with a rock placed on top of them, otherwise I refer to them as chipmonk stakes (reference to the stakes they put the groud to tie a dog to) smile

I have the round Easton aluminum stakes that I've used for 30 years and for the most part these are the originals - obviously they do stand up to being used in a variety of terrain, ad they hold better than a chipmonk stake.
Jim
anybody using 12 stakes needs to rethink things... smile
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#149934 - 05/05/11 04:46 AM Re: Which stakes? [Re: Jimshaw]
frenchie Offline
member

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 461
Loc: Lyon, France
It really depends on the ground you will find.
Usually, I take a combination of Ti shepherd hooks and V shaped ones. That means a few extras. When possible I use the V stakes for main tension points.
I've never had a round/shepherd hook break, even aluminium ones, but some are pretty corkscrewed. I've had Ti V stakes snap at the holes, never an aluminium one. But they are a PITA to straighten!

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#149935 - 05/05/11 10:16 AM Re: Which stakes? [Re: frenchie]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I got some Ti V-stakes a few years ago and they promptly bent at the holes! Not all titanium is durable.

The Ti shepherd hook stakes weigh about 1/4 ounce each, so are a significant weight saving over aluminum if you use more than a few.

I bought a couple of MSR Groundhog stakes (3/4 oz. each) to use for the front and rear guylines, which get the most tension on my tent (Gossamer Gear Squall Classic). They do hold better than the Ti shepherd hook stakes, but only in situations in which you can get them all the way in. In the typical rock- and root-infested tent sites I inevitably seem to pick, I still have to use a nice heavy rock for reinforcement. I therefore decided to leave the Groundhogs at home.

While (with rock reinforcement) I've found the shepherd hook stakes to hold up fine in winds, they do pull out if your dog or grandkid trips over the guy ropes while running at full speed, which is probably a good idea! laugh


Edited by OregonMouse (05/05/11 10:19 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149943 - 05/05/11 12:30 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
The strongest stake in the world is no good if it pops out of the ground. I also broke the Easton stake that came with my TarpTent the second time I used it. I now use a mix of old stakes that came with several old tents (MSR and Mountain Hardwaree)that are now in tent heaven after many years of hard use. Bottom line is that I rely on rocks to back up the two critical end stakes. Be sure to have enough tent cord to use rocks if stakes do not work. And the rocks have to be fairly big to work so be sure the extra tent cord is long enough. Many times I have actually set up my tent on the top of a flat rock slab using nothing but rocks. I would spend the extra to get the florescent tent cord to avoid tripping.

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#149945 - 05/05/11 12:48 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I've had the best luck with MSR needle stakes and groundhog stakes; they're not perfect (never have found a stake that was), but they're the best I've used so far.

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#149946 - 05/05/11 01:44 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: james__12345]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
MSR Groundhogs are the most versatile all-around stake IMO. Not the cheapest, not the lightest but they can take a beating and will hold well under most conditions. Sure, I would prefer to carry uber-lite titanium needles but they are just dead weight if they can't do the job.
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If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#149950 - 05/05/11 06:05 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: Trailrunner]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
My favorite are the groundhogs as well. I guess they don't have a patent on them any more. REI makes a copy, as well as colghan, or another cheap company.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#149951 - 05/05/11 06:43 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: finallyME]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree with W_D about reflective guylines. Not only do they save a lot of tripping at night, but they reflect light from a long distance away. One time when I got thoroughly disoriented trying to find water in the dark, the reflective guylines shining back at my headlamp from 200 feet away were what got me safely back to the tent. That 15* night wasn't a very good time to be stranded away from the warm sleeping bag! Kelty Triptease and Gossamer Gear EZ2 are equally reflective and appear to be the same diameter (although I've only eyeballed them). Kelty's brown (vs. GG's red) is less conspicuous in the daytime.

I would agree about the Groundhogs except that they don't go in any farther than any other stake when they hit a rock or root. If they're only 1/3 to 1/2 way in, they are no more effective than the Ti needle stakes. In fact, it's a lot easier to find a place to get the the needle stakes farther into the ground when the soil under your site is rocky and/or rooty. The only site I've ever had that wasn't full of rocks and roots was on the beach, where I had to use rocks and logs anyway. Maybe I just pick the wrong places to camp?
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#149955 - 05/05/11 10:05 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: OregonMouse]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I would agree about the Groundhogs except that they don't go in any farther than any other stake when they hit a rock or root. If they're only 1/3 to 1/2 way in, they are no more effective than the Ti needle stakes.
That isn't quite accurate because surface area is what determines holding power assuming the same depth and length, which would effect the torque upon the stake. Y stakes will always have more surface area than spikes and most V's.

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#149980 - 05/06/11 10:01 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: wandering_daisy]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3973
Loc: Bend, Oregon
WD
I'm sure youve pitched in rocky places where no stake could go in and the tent corners were tied out to distant rocks. A piton might help... smile

I guess everybody has a collection of found/orphaned tent stakes. As far as the old ones go I like the 1/4" diameter aluminum shepards crook.

So anyway I often mix the stakes up a bit so depending on terrain I might have a couple that are really good.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#149989 - 05/07/11 07:40 AM Re: Which stakes? [Re: Jimshaw]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
I do the same as Jim; bring an assortment of stakes. Though I rarely use any, I find it easier to tie off to trees and saplings or in winter a buried log with branch sticking up.
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#150139 - 05/10/11 01:15 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: OregonMouse]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
The only time I haven't been able to put in the y stakes was when car camping. Basically, if I can't push it in with my hand, then I use a steel stake and a hammer, or find another spot. Almost all of the places I have camped have had really loose soil. You need a lot of stake area to hold down a tarp in loose soil. Of course, I generally only use 4 stakes, so each is holding a lot of force. I have never had a problem getting the y stakes all the way in. I am sure that other places are different.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#150371 - 05/15/11 11:45 PM Re: Which stakes? [Re: finallyME]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I went with 8 of the titanium shepherd hook stakes. They're 6 grams each. I dont have my tent near done yet, so it will be a while before I can test them. I figure even if I have to get better stakes for the two for the poles it cant hurt to have a couple extras for the rest of the tent.

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