"it looks like a piece of gear that I could potentially lose along the way. "
Every time you lose it, your punishment is to drink a bottle of champagne for the replacement cork. That will teach you a lesson!
I like the MYOG idea, and it's MUG when the shock cord is used to tie up the stakes.
depends on the stake and soil, a rock will scratch up the stake, and the shoe may bend the stake if not careful. I have better dexterity with my hands than boot.
it wouldn't work with the shepherd stakes, though.
I'm thinking it can also be used as a desperado pebble slingshot :)
Nice job on the gadget idea.