Nov 8, 2011 at 11:50 pm #1281725
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.
ChaseNov 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm #1799956
Bradley DanylukBPL Member
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?Nov 9, 2011 at 12:11 am #1799959
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.
JeffNov 9, 2011 at 12:18 am #1799960
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.Nov 9, 2011 at 12:36 am #1799962
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 invincibleNov 9, 2011 at 4:08 am #1799969
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Texas
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.
NewtonNov 9, 2011 at 6:54 am #1799997
Mike MBPL Member
@mtwardenLocale: MontanaNov 9, 2011 at 9:01 am #1800039
Erik BasilBPL Member
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 see…as we need more stakes for patrol tents!Nov 9, 2011 at 9:22 am #1800046
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Texas
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.
NewtonNov 9, 2011 at 10:25 am #1800076
Dave MarcusBPL Member
@djrez4Locale: Rocky Mountains
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.Nov 9, 2011 at 10:57 am #1800087
Todd WilliamsBPL Member
@ctwilliaLocale: Depends on the weekend
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 CoghlansNov 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm #1800145
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
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" http://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Accessory/J-StakeReplacementStakeNov 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm #1800169
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.Nov 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm #1800192
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.
JeffNov 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm #1800195
Ken T.BPL Member
I agree. I'm crackin' a cold one right now.Feb 2, 2014 at 6:28 am #2068881
…Feb 2, 2014 at 6:45 am #2068884
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 bendFeb 2, 2014 at 6:48 am #2068886
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
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).Feb 2, 2014 at 6:49 am #2068889
at least with Shepard Hooks, you can bend them backFeb 2, 2014 at 7:51 am #2068902
Greg MihalikBPL Member
I took Coghlans and Groundhogs on the same trip.
The Coghlans died, Groundhogs are still in use.
YMMV.Feb 2, 2014 at 7:55 am #2068904
Erik BasilBPL Member
The Coghlans stakes are a great deal and a far better stake, both in terms of durability and shape, than the very light, soft aluminum noodles that came with the ten ALPS Mountaineering tents my Scout troop uses for camping and backpacking (Zephyr 3's). We "re-staked" each tent with the Coghlans product, ditched the "stake bags" and had only a minimal weight penalty over the admittedly-light but soft-as-a-noodle OEM stakes. We bought 88 of them.
Since that time, we have had the opportunity to use the stakes, in grassy soil, in a variety of High Sierra soil and in mostly DG, hard dry soil. My boys have used them, I have used them and other adult leaders have used them. We like the length and the color.
These are good stakes, but they are soft. They are softer than MSR Groundhogs and they are WAY softer than the little stakes Big Agnes includes with their tents. They're easy to bend with a whack of a rock or mallet and we've bent a number of them without being overzealous or "dumb" while setting the stake. I've straightened a number of them, using my bench vise and a hammer. This is easy, as they're soft, but the repaired stakes aren't as rigid as they were originally since there is often a kink or "divot" at the former fold-points.Feb 2, 2014 at 8:05 am #2068905
I think if you wanted to test stakes to see how durable they are, you'de give them to a bunch of Boy Scouts : )
Same with tents, packs, sleeping bags,…Feb 2, 2014 at 10:17 am #2068953
Joe LynchBPL Member
@rushfanLocale: Northern California
So true. My boys destroy gear no matter how much we try to guide them to take care of it.
We bought 4 alps tents last year and so far the stakes have held up. I'm going to consider the coughlans though if we have problems. Thanks for resurrecting this thread.Feb 2, 2014 at 10:52 am #2068970
I have both and prefer the ground hogs I'm sure the couglans have better holding power but they bend much easier but they are fine in soft soilFeb 2, 2014 at 11:32 am #2068982
Brian CrainBPL Member
@brcrainLocale: So Cal
I have both and resupplied our Scout Troops tent and tarp stakes with the coughlans… believe I bought 10 4-packs for ~$2.50 per 4 pack, about the cost of 1 groundhog at Walmart. They are a bit softer but I've bent both brands before. Def a cheaper alternative and cheap enough to keep a bin of spares stocked in the garage.
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