Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog
Display Avatars Sort By:
Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog on 11/09/2011 00:50:10 MST Print View

So Ive been going through a search of the perfect stake for the soil where I live. I went online and purchased a variety of them including the MSR Groundhog from REI at $2/stake+shipping (no hiking store where I live). Then today I went into the generic Sports Authority and surprisingly I found something cheaper and better in my opinion. Coghlans is normally a cheap hiking gear company that I overlook without even thinking about it. Yet, on this trip I looked up to find a set of four 9" Coghlans stakes for $4 (half the price of MSR and 1 1/2" extra length. I bought them, went home, and on my scale MSR Groundhog weighs 0.49oz and the Coghlans weighs in at 0.59oz, a difference of 0.1oz, but you get an extra 1 1/2 inches and don't have to worry about shipping! Attached are some photos for comparison. Maybe this is known to most, but for me I was quite excited.


Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Wow on 11/09/2011 00:56:19 MST Print View

Great find! Thanks for sharing that. They look like they could very well be made on the same production line.

What type of soil are these stakes useful in?

Are there any articles around detailing different stakes vs. soils?

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
Some bad reviews on 11/09/2011 01:11:34 MST Print View

I almost bought these because they look like and are meant to be a cheaper version of Ground Hogs. But there are two reviews on Amazon that stopped me. The reviewers sound like they know what they're talking about.

The Coghlan's must be made from weaker aluminum. My guess, anyway.


Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Re: Wow on 11/09/2011 01:18:19 MST Print View

Agree! They are built almost identically except the extra length in the Coghlans.

I have been looking for stakes that work well in extremely soft wet muddy soil.

So for my purposes the longer stake provides a better hold then the normal 6 1/2"-7" stakes commonly available. I also purchased some SMC 9" snow stakes, but are very heavy at 1oz. Carrying 8 of those is just ridiculous on total shelter weight although they do work incredibly well. I will be looking forward to testing the Coghlans out soon.

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Re: Some bad reviews on 11/09/2011 01:36:22 MST Print View


The four on the right are groundhogs. Happened the first night I used them. It happened in similar rocky tough soil (was camping in an area I normally don't camp) as the review on Amazon. Just from feel, I think they are made from the same aluminum and would assume if I staked the Coghlan's in the same place as I did the groundhogs they would bend as well. Could be wrong, just groundhogs aren't invincible

Edited by Micronorton on 11/09/2011 01:37:53 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Some bad reviews on 11/09/2011 05:08:42 MST Print View

After some internet searching I have found that the MSR Groundhogs seem to be made of 7075-T6 aluminum.

The Coghlans Ultralight Tent Stakes from what I have found online seem to be made from 6061 aluminum.

Party On,


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
aluminum on 11/09/2011 07:54:55 MST Print View

^ if that's true looks like the MSR's should be quite a bit stronger according to this


Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Great Find on 11/09/2011 10:01:29 MST Print View

That's a great find for a bargain item. Several other products out there are now in Walmart, etc... under different brand names and lower prices than the same stuff at REI and other high end stores. This is a great one to we need more stakes for patrol tents!

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Aluminum Y stake comparison on 11/09/2011 10:22:45 MST Print View


Information sourced from the internet.



Ultralight tent stakes are by definiton "ultralight" equipment. As we have heard it said in many other threads ultralight gear in general may require us to exercise some extra care on the trail.

Tent stakes are after all not pitons.

"...if that's true looks like the MSR's should be quite a bit stronger..."

Chase's picture shows that even what is supposedly the stronger of the two stakes in question can be bent when used in rocky and tough soil.

Know your equipment's capabilities and limitations. In really rocky conditions consider using the rocks in place of your stakes or on top of your stakes. What about tieing the stake in the middle on the end of your guyline. Weight it down with a large rock instead of bending your stakes by trying to drive them into soil that is too hard or rocky?

Does anyone actually carry a stake mallet? What is being used to "pound" these stakes into the ground? Are the rocks themselves being used as a hammer?

My own personal choice of stakes are the 6.5" Vargo Shepherds Hook Ti Stakes. I insert them by hand and if needed the heel of my hiking shoe. If I even think they are going to bend I adapt my tie off point using the above described methods. I have even tied off to trees in the past.

Party On,


Dave Marcus
(Djrez4) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Some bad reviews on 11/09/2011 11:25:22 MST Print View

Wow, Chase. What'd you use to push the Groundhogs into the dirt?

I've been using the same set for almost a decade in all sorts of conditions, including rocky soil where I had to pound the stakes in with my boot or a rock and I have never come close to bending a Groundhog.

Todd Williams
(ctwillia) - MLife

Locale: Depends on the weekend
Re: Re: Re: Some bad reviews on 11/09/2011 11:57:09 MST Print View

I use and sell both.

I tried the Coghlans to have a longer stake at a lighter weight. I love both and have not had any problems with either.

However, my buddy bent some of the Coghlans stakes in frozen ground when pounding it with a rock. I was next to him and mine are fine- I pound them in regularly- no issues.

For me, the Coghlans are fine. They are cheaper, lighter, longer, and I havent had trouble so far from rocks or frozen ground. They don't pull out or through the dirt.

Crazy to see a bent groundhog- wouldnt think that would happen under 'normal' use.

Both rock- IMO save your money and go with Coghlans

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog on 11/09/2011 14:53:57 MST Print View

I think there are too many variables to say that one or the other won't work. IMHO, getting six stakes pounded into mountain soil trouble free on the first try is just dumb luck. As far as bending them, I'll chalk a lot of damage up to user error and who is wielding the rock or chunk of wood, the accuracy of the strike, and having a feel for when you have hit a rock under the surface. You can bend any stake if you run into a rock and just keep pounding.

I would put my money on the tougher alloy in general. I still have some titanium stakes in my collection, but the Groundhogs are a good balance of cost/weight/strength/holding power and my first choice. My real misgiving with the ti wire stakes isn't so much with getting them pounded in, but having them *stay* there. My guesstimation is that surface area counts for holding power.

I got some DAC "Vee" stakes with a tarp I bought the other day and they look good. I noticed that they are the same stake that Hilleberg packages with their lighter tents. The ones I have are 6-3/8"(16cm) and 0.45oz/12.9g, 7075-T6 alloy. I've seen them marketed by Kelty, Eureka, North Face and others in both 6.25" and 7" lengths. Big Anges calls them a "j stake"

Chase Norton
(Micronorton) - F
Re: Re: Re: Some bad reviews on 11/09/2011 16:34:08 MST Print View

Used the sole of my shoe to push them in.

We could go back and forth on this subject and by numbers and logic the groundhog should be stronger, but I will report back after I try out the coghlans this weekend.

Jeff J
(j.j.81) - F

Locale: Oregon
Pic on 11/09/2011 17:52:40 MST Print View


Since no one has said anything, I gotta. Your comparison picture with the bent Ground Hog:awesome. Nevermind the stakes; I'm digging (ha) the Guinness next to the dirty cookset. The composition speaks to me.

Also makes me a bit thirsty.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Pic on 11/09/2011 18:02:31 MST Print View

I agree. I'm crackin' a cold one right now.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 02/02/2014 07:28:20 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 06/24/2015 13:34:09 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog on 02/02/2014 07:45:32 MST Print View

I found a "Coghlan Groundhog" (or something, it didn't say MSR on it).

I tried stomping it to bend it in half so it would fit in my trash better, but I couldn't bend it

So now I carry it around

That thing does not bend when pounded into the ground, unlike my shepardhooks which are difficult to not bend

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog on 02/02/2014 07:48:05 MST Print View

I've seen these so bent that they could barely go back into the ground. The Groundhogs (6" version) were beat up too from being used side-by-side through the same conditions, but they had not lost their structural integrity. Only the head was in rough shape (apparently, they used a shovel to remove them).

Keep in mind, these weren't my stakes, so I didnt witness how careless my friend was with them. Apparently they had a tough time if getting them into the frozen ground and then out again later. But the Coughlan's stakes were basically at the point of needing to be retired when I saw them (and had to use them).

Edited by GlacierRambler on 02/02/2014 07:52:01 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog on 02/02/2014 07:49:16 MST Print View

at least with Shepard Hooks, you can bend them back

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Coghlans vs MSR Groundhog on 02/02/2014 08:51:38 MST Print View

I took Coghlans and Groundhogs on the same trip.

The Coghlans died, Groundhogs are still in use.