I have been using alum. alloy pegs - at about 12gm each - and usually carry 8. Thats near enough 100gm. Titanium? I would be interested in any general comments. My main question is: why do they all seem to have a 'shepherds hook' head? As opposed to just a simple, angled v-shaped bend? I imagine there would be quite a bit of spring with the curved top. I am not averse to using a rock with some ground conditions and wonder how the curved top would take that? This is what I regularly find:
I can appreciate the cost-weight involved with t. but would like to hear any opinions on titanium - v's other - and particularly the head shape of the titanium pegs.
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
I belive that when sheeperds hook are used, the line pullig force auto- orients the stake so that it's in it's strongest position and at the same time, the pulloutline is less prone to slip off the stake. as for titanum, they are pricy for an object that for most of us, has a high loss rate.
I think we've all used shepherd's hook stakes at some time in our lives.
Do they work? Depends on the soil type: sand, no; forest soil where there won't be a lot of wind tugging at the tent, so-so; any wind, they pull loose pretty easily - and since wind is often accompanied by rain, re-staking your tent can be a pretty miserable experience. (Oh, and mud - not very well.)
I quit carrying shepherd's hooks as soon as stakes with a Y cross-section became available. For the soils I camp on (Ohio Valley forests), they hold great and are hard for the wind to wiggle loose. I haven't found enough difference between titanium, steel, and aluminum in use to matter; there is a small weight advantage to titanium and aluminum, but it's offset by higher cost. Right now, I'm using aluminum Y-stakes because that's what came with the tent and they haven't let me down yet.
As far as how a shepherd's hook holds hold up to a rock used as a hammer: depends on the size of the rock and the enthusiasm of the user.
Speaking of rock, if you hit a rock or a root while trying to place a shepherd's hook using any pressure (for example, pushing with the sole of your boot), they'll do a great job bending and a lousy job of straightening back out.
I suppose I've wasted money on worse things than shepherd's hooks...
I'm with Glenn. I quit carrying shepherd hook stakes quite some time ago -- I generally either use DAC v-stakes or Easton round stakes. I usually found that shepherd hook stakes were really only useful in packed (but not too hard) ground.
And yes, I've bent a few trying to get them into harder ground.
Shepherd's hook stakes are my preference for finding small gaps in very rocky ground. I never, ever pound them in but rather, will find a rock or piece of wood to protect my hand when pushing them (when needed). Ti are better than Al because for the same strength they are smaller diameter and easier to finagle into little gaps. They're much stronger and flex more than most Al alloys.
As noted they're poor for loose, sandy, soggy soils and can require improvised added anchors to hold.
I have enough pegs at this point that I can mix-and-match for the shelter and destination. If I haven't been before, this requires some guesswork and maybe taking a mix of styles.
Regardless of the style, I add bits of bright string to my pegs to make them harder to lose. Bare metal disappears VERY easily.
I tend to be more on earth than rock but can see how the 'pin' style of the ti stakes would be better in rock. Usually with sand or loose soil environments there are sticks or debris that can be buried with a guy line attached. I am 80% hard(ish) ground.
Totally with you on the (reflective) line tied to the stake head.
I prefer a combination of Ti Shephard hook stakes and MSR groundhog style stakes. Ti stakes go in to just about any ground but hold terribly in many soil types. The groundhogs are the opposite (tough to put in many soil types but hold great).
I rarely pound stakes into the ground, but the Ti stakes are clearly able to handle that type of beating better than most any other stake. Ti stakes are much stiffer than Al or steel stakes. I usually first try to drive in the stake with my hand. If I can't get it all the way in, I stand up and put the ball of my foot on the stake with my heal on the ground and slowly drive the stake into the ground using more body weight as necessary. Many people mangle stakes using my method (and I've mangled a few), but I've had good luck if I go slowly and control the force I apply to the axis of the stake. YMMV.
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