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High Visibilty Stake Idea
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Robert Miller
(procab) - F
High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/25/2006 13:13:29 MST Print View

A couple of weeks ago I lost two stakes when the wind caught my partially setup tarp and flung the stakes into low earth orbit. In order to enhance the stakes visibility I decided to try shrink tube on the stake.



Not bad for a first effort but then I went searching on the web and came up with GLOW IN THE DARK shrink tube! This would make a great filler product for BMW. Is there any interest for a group buy? Shrink tube is so easy to install even a person with 10 thumbs can do it.

Edited by procab on 03/25/2006 13:39:43 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/25/2006 14:49:25 MST Print View

That's a really great idea. If the shrink tube could also have high reflective properties then finding the stake in the dark with a light when the glow dies out would make it useful any time.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Re: High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/25/2006 16:20:16 MST Print View

Miguel you are a genius!

I'm going to recommend Ryan give you a raise!

I'm off to the store.

Edited by procab on 03/25/2006 16:20:46 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/25/2006 16:49:43 MST Print View

Erm... Robert, it was your idea, not mine. I was just remembering how I used reflective tape on my guylines and always getting frustrated with the tape getting in the way when trying to adjust the guylines. Your idea puts the tape in a more logical place, plus solves the problem of losing stakes in the dark. I can't tell you how often that has happened. And who wants to lose expensive titanium stakes?

Glow-in-the-dark and reflective stakes would also, it seems to me, help you locate your shelter in the dark, too. Some people might mistake it for fairy-rings or mysterious messages from aliens!

Edited by butuki on 03/25/2006 16:53:02 MST.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/26/2006 11:40:48 MST Print View

Robert-
Great idea. I bought some Osha Orange spray paint to put on my stakes but I like this idea because it won't flake off like paint. BTW, can you recommend a good place to get shrink tubing?

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/26/2006 18:04:02 MST Print View

Hey Robert-
Which diameter did you use for those stakes?

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: High Visibilty Stake Idea on 03/26/2006 19:40:38 MST Print View

I checked out the neon "glow in the dark" heat shrink link, but it says that the tubing begins to "recover" as the temp gets over 70 degrees F. That could be a drawback on a warm day, what with global warming and all.

-Mark

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
REFLECTIVE Stake Idea on 03/27/2006 21:32:08 MST Print View

The proverbial light went off in my head when Miguel mentioned using reflective tape on his guy lines. A high visibilty solution isn't good enough at night because of our eyes diminished ability to discriminate colors in low light situations. His reflective solution is far better.

So I ran down to the local auto parts store and picked up some conspicuity tape that costs about $2 for a piece 2" x 18". It weighs 8 grams (0.22g per sq/in) including the backer sheet on the adhesive. For less than a gram you can apply this to your complete set of stakes. 3M guarantees this tape for 7 years on the side of a cross country trailer that will be in the elements for 99.99% of the time.



The nail stake (top) has no problems.

On the 4mm stake (middle) the exposed end of the tape is trying to peel off. I'm going to try clear shrink tube over it tomorrow to prevent this. I'm unsure how this will affect reflectivity.

On the 3mm stake (bottom) the 3/8 x 3/8" flag appears to have adhered to the stake well. Time will tell if it is durable enough.

I was a little disappointed with my first field tests. I found the light reflected back toward the light source in a very narrow cone. This means you cannot search for a stake with your flashlight at waist level because the cone of reflectivity is well away from you eye. If you raise your flashlight up nearer eye level similar to a headlamp the tape reflects quite brightly. If you think about it this makes perfect sense.

Jason - I used 1/4" with a 2:1 shrink ratio. This is the standard stuff available at any electronics supply store. The stake is 4mm dia.

Mark - regarding recovery, after the tube is completely shrunk it is recovered. The supplier mentions this because tubes have shrunk in shipment in hotter weather. This is a bigger concern with the higher shrink ratios (3:1 and 4:1). They encourage people to purchase in cooler months if delivery is required.

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: REFLECTIVE Stake Idea on 03/28/2006 17:15:13 MST Print View

Robert,
Thanks for the info on what is meant by "recovered". My field is medicine so I'm a little out of my element.
-Mark

Edited by markhurd on 04/01/2006 21:29:14 MST.