- Dec 2, 2019 at 3:14 am #3621138Mark WetheringtonBPL Member
@markwethDec 2, 2019 at 5:52 am #3621159Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
In brief – these stakes are too short to work well. Maybe Nemo should make a 9 inch version. And the self-locking notches seem much closer to gimmick than useful for lightweight backpackers.
Thanks for testing using Will’s methods so we can compare.
— RexDec 2, 2019 at 6:01 am #3621160Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Yep, this is essentially a 4.5-inch long stake. We know from winter camping in soft snow that a long and skinny stake like a trekking pole will always outperform a short fat deadman buried in shallow snow.
Here we’ve got a skinny stake that can’t go very deep…
Good first try Nemo but make it at least 8 inches in length.
I do like the *idea* of notches for no-knot tying, but there are ways to implement this that would be easier to adjust … oh wait – LineLocs!Dec 2, 2019 at 8:26 am #3621167
The phrase ‘expensively stupid light’ comes to mind.
I much prefer ClamCleats CL266 over LineLocs for my guy ropes, as they seem to be a lot more reliable.
CheersDec 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm #3621175matthew kModerator
Those look a lot like Dutch’s stakes, which he’s been making for a few years. His are 6” long. I’ve never tried them… I’ll stick with my Groundhogs and occasionally hollow Eastons.Dec 2, 2019 at 8:31 pm #3621231
Notched stakes (Nemo or Dutch) in a storm – a very good way to get into a disaster imho.
CheersDec 3, 2019 at 1:59 am #3621269Brian WBPL Member
I’ll stick with my MSR Groundhogs. They’re not the lightest, but they work well. And I can pound them into the desert ground with a rock and not worry about them.Dec 3, 2019 at 8:09 am #3621291SIMULACRABPL Member
Mathew beat me to it. Was going to say they look like Dutchware gear. In all the conditions I’ve been in, save for a couple, the Lawson UL 6.5″ 7g has always been good to me. 9 times out of 10 I’m above treeline in lots of wind. Forest duff can sometimes be problematic. Everybody seems to have their favorite stake though. Different conditions, etc.
edit: I literally had to look up ClamCleat as I’ve never heard of that before. And realized that’s the same type line locking system I use. Never knew the name.Dec 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm #3621355Rene RavenelBPL Member
I noticed Mark mentioned he thought these went in easier than anything else, and that these are the first stake I’ve seen w/ a full length taper.
Consider that the best holding power is a Y-stake with the flat side towards the tent. Maybe a further optimization might be a Y or T stake with a continuous taper. You need the most grip on the dirt at the top where it’s loosest.
In other news, I just found this article pointing out that 7″ aluminum gutter nails are a viable option. At a claimed 0.4oz and a little over $1/ea, they seem like a great budget option. One product listed a diameter of 5/16″. No idea what the alloy or strength/stiffness is. Some products look like the edge of the head could put a bit of wear on the guy line pending angles.Dec 3, 2019 at 8:34 pm #3621366
The cheapest tent pegs I ever got came from a bit of discarded fencing wire I found in France one time. (I had lost my bag of pegs – don’t ask.) I bent the wire until it broke into a number of bits all over 200 mm (8″) long, rounded the ends off on a rock and put hooks on one end. They worked just as well as any Ti peg.
Total cost: $0
CheersDec 4, 2019 at 11:36 pm #3621558
In other news, I just found this article pointing out that 7″ aluminum gutter nails are a viable option. At a claimed 0.4oz and a little over $1/ea, they seem like a great budget option.
Author here. Yep, a great budget item. Being a hardware store item, the prices and weights will vary. I’ve seen them under a buck here in town for example. Call it +/- on the weight and price.
Add some equally inexpensive and effective bank line to make a loop, and you have an effective, inexpensive, and light solution.
I tend to use MSR mini-groundhogs as my personal go-to stake, but I’ve used the gutter nails many times over years esp when loaning out gear or rigging up a tarp.Dec 5, 2019 at 12:16 am #3621563James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Paul, I agree on the Gutter Spikes. But, 5 shepherd’s Hooks for an ounce is very hard to beat.Dec 5, 2019 at 5:11 am #3621603
I find shepherd hooks to be ineffective for most of my backpacking and gave up on them many years ago. YMMV.Dec 5, 2019 at 6:40 am #3621608
That may reflect the sort of soil you camp on?
CheersDec 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm #3621622Erica RBPL Member
I’ve never had a problem with the titanium shepherds hooks. Surprisingly, even in sand. I like that they are so thin they can fit between buried rocks on hard ground. You can pound them with a rock if necessary.
i wouldn’t try them on snow.Dec 5, 2019 at 4:12 pm #3621629
I think Will R said it best about hooks:
“ However, they are harder to insert and cannot be pounded in very easily. Their holding power is significantly increased by placing a rock on top of the stake and guyline.”
When I thru-hiked major trails and more concerned about the Lightest. Gear. Possible. rather than effective system overall. I used to use the hooks. But I find they are often one-trick ponies best for more well-used areas. And, yes, I had to stack rocks. Oddly enough, my overall base pack weight is lower than when I thru-hiked the major trails even if heavier stakes. ;)
Going back to Will R, and the recent update, I find this take on the mini-ground hogs fit my overall backpacking in off-the-beaten-path areas with mixed terrain. (I am typing 40 minutes from mountains at 12k+ feet, the high desert is literally out my front door, and I often camp near riparian areas):
2019 Update: The Best Stake for the Weight
Dec 5, 2019 at 8:28 pm #3621667
- As of November 2019, it’s still the MSR Groundhog Mini. Y-channel = strong holding power, aluminum = light, and Y-channel = durable (resists bending).
Flip side: I have bags of Y-section stakes which have been sent to me for various reasons. But I still BUY Ti wire stakes at my own expense, and that’s what I use in the field. That tells me something about how useful and effective both sorts are for me.
CheersDec 6, 2019 at 4:58 am #3621729James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Same here, Roger. Even double staking one corner leaves them about 0.4oz for a strong guyline. I have had a tarp rip before the stakes pulled out. I guess it depends on the terrain.Dec 6, 2019 at 6:17 am #3621732
I can only go on my own experiences.
Some of our country is ‘rocky’ – a crumbly sort of mudstone. I can hammer a Ti wire into that stuff with a rock (except that the rock usually broke along the way), but I have zero chance of getting Y-stake to go in at all. And the cheaper Y-stakes with sharp corners – shudder.
On the other hand, in alpine grasslands, the vegetation makes a sufficiently tangled mass below the surface of the soil that Ti wires hold wonderfully.
Sand, on river banks, is different. There, I just collect some dead sticks and shove them in. Rocks on top maybe.
Now, how well they would go in deep Sierra duff, I do not know. That could be a problem, but I doubt that short Y-stakes would be much better. Long ones – sure.
Commercially, Ti wires seem to be >$4 each, while packs of Al Y-stakes from ebay are often the same price for a pack of 6 or 10. That probably counts for some differences.
I am biased. YMMV
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