Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » Tent Stake Holding Power: Comparative Evaluation of Various Designs and Lengths


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Harlan Bruce
(gbruce) - F

Locale: DFW MetroPlex
Make sure you have a cord loop on the y stakes... on 10/15/2008 08:56:46 MDT Print View

...a friend cut herself pretty badly attempting to pull a y stake. The machined top end has sharp edges. Use a cord loop.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 10/15/2008 08:59:06 MDT Print View

Will, how about just a small bit of brightly colored tape wrapped on the head of your stakes, just enought to mark them? I don't think that would add much weight to it. If it's good and sticky, it shouldn't come off.

I recently found a set of 4 Ti stakes the other weekend in my campsite. I'm guessing that person fell into the 'where are they?' mode.

Would nail polish work???

Edited by leadfoot on 10/15/2008 09:01:56 MDT.

Mark Allen
(mallen943) - F
Re: Re: Responses to Tent Stake Questions on 10/15/2008 09:03:01 MDT Print View

Here is the link to the Big Sky Y-not stakes. They are listed at 5.5in.

http://bigskyproducts.com/Big_Sky_Montana_2P_shelter.aspx

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 09:10:39 MDT Print View

Jay, Campmor sells the Go lites as well, but the weight states .6 oz per stake. Seems heavier than the ones tested.

My stakes are lighter. : )

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 10/15/2008 09:57:55 MDT Print View

i used "plasti-dip" on my stakes. very tough stuff. used to coat tool handles.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 10:02:21 MDT Print View

Good article- gets you thinking!

I may have missed it- how were the stakes put into the ground? By hand, started by hand and finished by stepping on them or hammer driven --- various combinations?

One upside of the Ti hook skewer stakes, if the holding power is enough, is they can be hand placed most places and will tend to deflect around small buried rocks/pebbles/sticks allowing easier placement.

Terry G
(delvxe) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Responses to Tent Stake Questions on 10/15/2008 10:57:52 MDT Print View

Y stakes are under accessories:

http://bigskyproducts.com/accessories.aspx

pretty good price, too.

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 11:15:23 MDT Print View

> One upside of the Ti hook skewer stakes, if the holding power is enough, is they can be hand placed most places and will tend to deflect around small buried rocks/pebbles/sticks allowing easier placement

I think this feature creates more problem that it solves because you have to be so much more careful to avoid bending the stake section that's not in yet. I usually find it easier to hand place Ys or (thicker) nails just because they won't bend, apart from the fact that you have it easier to use other means of pounding them in but it's happened to me many times that when I had spare stakes and I could choose among them it was easier to place the Y or, particularly, the nail even if only by hand. Also because either of these is usually fine even if not completely in while the hook skewer is best when completely in.

That's actually the whole thing about my using more the Y or nail stakes than the hook skewers that I mentioned before. They're heavier but I'm usually done so much quicker and I'm sure they'll stay put.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 11:32:49 MDT Print View

Fantastic report! Great research! Thanks!

I have pretty much settled on 6" ti nails and 6" ti V-stakes due to the following: they don't bend and can be pounded in with a rock and they have "pull strings" attached to make removal easy and blood-free. uhum.

I have used both 6" and 9" aluminum nails which I really liked at first but, occasionally the epoxyed heads pop off when pounding or when trying to extract them. So, they lose points for that. And they will bend in extremely hard ground.

I have GoLite Y's and Big Agnes X's both 6" variety but the Golites have significantly larger fins. I've always believed these type stakes would hold as good or better than anything else, but, my hands are a bloody mess after extracting a set of them. Just not worth the pain.

Note however, if I know I going to be camping on beach sand, I will use the 9" aluminum nails.

Edited by mad777 on 10/15/2008 11:35:13 MDT.

Keith Hultman
(helios) - F

Locale: Missouri
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 11:35:16 MDT Print View

Nicely done Will. Since you mentioned that there was some variance of holding power for each stake, I wonder if you could add in some error bars on the graph? Or even just post up the highest and lowest measurement for each stake. That would make it more convincing if the differences seen in the graph are more than the spread of measurements for each type of stake.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power: Comparative Evaluation of Various Designs and Lengths on 10/15/2008 11:48:14 MDT Print View

Were there any tests done with stakes set at different angle
rather than 90 degrees to the pull?

Any old timer who made their own stakes from wood knows that
greater holding power comes when the stakes are more in line
with the pull.

Same for tests Chounard did with ice screws.

Barbs may indeed be a better way.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 12:09:54 MDT Print View

"I've always believed these type stakes would hold as good or better than anything else, but, my hands are a bloody mess after extracting a set of them. Just not worth the pain."

I've got a set of the Golite Y stakes. They are super easy to pull out. Just grab another Y stake and holding it perpendicular to the stake you want to pull out place it in the notches at the top of the stake and use it as a handle to pull up. It's actually easier to pull up than other stakes where generally you are using one or two fingers to pull up. Here you are using your entire hand. The only trick is that you need to get the first stake out, but a stick, pen or other similar item works good for that.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
PERSACTLY!! on 10/15/2008 12:14:39 MDT Print View

Exactly what I've been sayin' on this site. My MSR "Groundhog" Y stakes are the best holding stakes I've found.

Yeah, 8 years ago I wuz making my own arrow shaft stakes from the back ends of discarded aluminum arrows. I'd remove the broadhead inserts & re-glue them in the shortened shaft then add an angled aluminum screen door holder tab & screw. Serendipitously the screen door tab's screw was exactly the same thread as the arrow head insert!!
Longer (8") arrow shaft stakes worked best BUT not as well as MSR's "Groundhog" stakes. Plus, as Will R. mentioned, the Y stakes are TOUGH. My homemade stakes, not so much - but they were the lightest at that time.

Eric

darren stephens
(darren5576) - F

Locale: Down Under
Y stakes on 10/15/2008 13:09:40 MDT Print View

G'Day
I use y stakes and love them . They were originally wilderness equipment but i have noticed the Aussie hiking shops now sell a generic brand. You can smash them in with a rock, and they still hold good when its soft. Another feture i have found is when you are camping on theose wooden platforms in some national parks you can drive them between the gaps in the wood. If the gaps too wide you just pack them with a stick.
I do own some titanium wire stakes but dont use them very much
Darren

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Painting Titanium Stakes on 10/15/2008 14:56:06 MDT Print View

Hi Will

> The problem I have is the paint doesn't stay on very well. Does anyone have a technique to paint titanium (and aluminum) stakes so the paint sticks really well?

Yep - epoxy primer. Hardware store.

Cheers

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 14:56:10 MDT Print View

For the past 4 years I've been using 6.25" Ti Shepherd Hook stakes. They came painted in a bright orange that makes them easier to find. I've used them in every type of soil, except sand, and they've worked very well. If I'm trying to set them in rocky soil I sometimes have to move them around and try different angles to get past rocks they won't go between/around. I most always use a "hammer" rock to pound them in and have never had one bend, break or pop out.
To ensure they don't twist in the ground, and allow the guy line to pop off, I drive them flush with the ground. I use a rock on top of the stake if the soil is soft.
6.25" Ti Shepherd Hook Tent Stake
6.25" Ti Shepherd Stake - 6.6 grams each.

Edited by redleader on 10/15/2008 14:57:43 MDT.

Kathleen Whalen-Burns
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
New tent stakes on 10/15/2008 15:04:39 MDT Print View

I'm thinking of getting these.Cool tent stakes

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 16:13:26 MDT Print View

Hi Denis

Look identical to the BPL ones.
Yep, I hammer them into rocky ground with a rock too. And like you, I 'have never had one bend, break or pop out' either. Bit useless in sand by themselves though ... :-)

I increased the visibility of the wires by painting black rings on the orange paint with an oil-based model paint from a hobby shop.

Cheers

Peter Surna
(PedroArvy) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne
More on stakes on 10/15/2008 16:15:17 MDT Print View

Will said:

Petras, the main reason we are concerned about holding power is WIND. Sorry I didn't mention that in the article. It would be interesting to measure the actual pull on a tent stake from a strong wind gust. The bottom line is no one wants tent stakes to pull out in a severe storm, and we are looking for the lightest stakes that will do the job.


Good point. So you really need to measure the force extered by various tents on the stakes. Can a tent exert 24 pounds of force?

Things would get complex as the force is being applied dynamically, this would substantially weaken the stake. I guess that also needs to be taken into account.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Tent Stake Holding Power on 10/15/2008 16:20:34 MDT Print View

Kathleen,
I think you have just made this whole report useless! Everyone will now want those flamingo stakes! :-)