- Aug 8, 2017 at 5:52 pm #3483863
I’d like to get some mini tent stakes for staking large groundsheets and my soon-to-be-constructed bathtub-style two-person bivy sack (w/netting top). Hardly any stresses are involved here.
I’ve seen the Terra Nova 1g skewers, and they look perfect, but I’m too cheap to spend $25 or so on some itty-bitty stakes.
Anyone know of a cheaper alternative, or should I just bite the bullet and pay through the nose?Aug 8, 2017 at 6:03 pm #3483865
Richie SBPL Member
The terra nova skewers are not really worth it. They have almost no holding strength and get lost very easily.Aug 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm #3483869
Visit local welder, buy a few lengths of hard 2.4 mm aluminium welding wire. Paint ends bright yellow (or they WILL get lost).
CheersAug 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm #3483873
Ken T.BPL Member
Hacksaw some Shepard stakes to your custom specs.Aug 8, 2017 at 6:46 pm #3483875
I have the 1g Terra Novas and consider them good for pinning the corners of my floorless inner net but that’s about it. They are pretty flimsy, you can easily flex them with your fingers.
After I got them I realized I could have easily made something similar and ended up doing so out of wire coat hangers. I’ve seen two thicknesses of your plain ol’ wire hangers, I used the thinner kind and cut skewers, bent them, and painted the heads. They are a little longer than the Terra Novas, much stiffer, and weigh 13g for 4 of them compared to the 5g (not 4) that 4 of the Terra Novas weigh on my scale.
Terra Nova also makes a 2g skewer, that might have more holding power, but I still wouldn’t trust it for a shelter with wind.Aug 8, 2017 at 6:54 pm #3483876
Franco DarioliBPL Member
If the 1g stakes are no good, are the 2g version twice as good ?Aug 8, 2017 at 9:46 pm #3483899
weigh 13g for 4 of them compared to the 5g (not 4) that 4 of the Terra Novas
Oh, the horror of using STEEL tent stakes! Oh the excess weight!
Um … an extra 8 g that is.
Meanwhile, filling up your 0.5 L water bottle just added 500 g to your pack.
CheersAug 9, 2017 at 3:24 am #3483942
Jim CBPL Member
@jimothyLocale: Georgia, USA
I compensate by drinking 8 ml of water immediately after filling up.Aug 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm #3484037
Rene RavenelBPL Member
With a net top, I assume you’ll be under a tarp? You could instead guy out to the tarp stakes. Zpacks’ lightest Dyneema cord is .93 g/yd. Kevlar thread is available in a spectrum of strengths and weights. Tent stakes aren’t good for much more than 60 lbs. holding strength. Kevlar thread rated to 64 lbs weighs 0.22 g/yd. 30lb test weighs .09 g/yd. If your tarp stakes are about 2 yards from your bivy corners, you could be looking at 1g.
Size/strength chart towards the bottom here:
Click on a size to purchase. $15 – $20 for 100+yd spool.
Of course, then you’re tying knots in thread :)Aug 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm #3484043
Found some 8g Al stakes from China, about 40 cents each, will try cutting them down, basically Roger’s idea but starting with real stakes (and I got them from Ebay while sitting at my desk!). If I cut them in half or so then <16g for four.
If they don’t work out then I’ll see whether I can run lines out to the tarp stakes, kind of a long run but almost no weight, as Rene points out. I have 1000 yd spool of extremely light but fairly strong braided fishline or something like it I use for all kinds of things (stuff sack closure, low stress tie-outs, whatever).Aug 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm #3484064
A caution about cutting them in half. I find that anything under 4″ is almost useless if there is any load as the top few inches of soil are too loose to hold. So don’t cut more than one in half before you do some testing. :)
CheersAug 9, 2017 at 7:09 pm #3484084
For perspective, l-r: Terra Nova 1g skewer, household toothpick, typical ti shepherd’s hook stake, MSR Groundhog. You can see it’s as thin, or slightly thinner, than the toothpick.
And here are the four TN 1g skewers next to the four stakes I made from — yes, Roger, STEEL — coat hangers. Noticeably thicker.
Aug 9, 2017 at 7:18 pm #3484087
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by J R.
Paint ends before you lose them in dry grass.
CheersAug 9, 2017 at 8:03 pm #3484092
I did, photo was from before the paint jobAug 9, 2017 at 8:50 pm #3484097
Aha!Aug 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm #3484114
Lawson KlineBPL Member
I made myself some titanium staples for my tyvek ground cloth. They weigh about 3 grams each and are about 1.75″ long. I used .125″ diameter rod for mine, but I would imagine you could use any diameter rod you could get your hands on. Steel coat hangers, brass rod, aluminum rod, etc, etc should work fine. The V shape holds pretty good for how small they are. Here is a photo with a quarter showing you a size comparison. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks LawsonAug 10, 2017 at 6:44 am #3484137
Lawson…staples are an interesting idea, never thought about it. I assume they generally hold well, but what about Roger’s comment about the top few inches of soil often being fairly loose? Maybe it doesn’t matter if you’re just holding down a flat ground cloth.
In my case I’m considering having (removable) short rods at each corner of the bathtub-style 2-P bivy, so the stakes will be used to tension the bathtub walls to keep them vertical. The rod sleeves should weigh next to nothing so if I give up on the rods it’s no big deal.Aug 10, 2017 at 6:57 am #3484138
Staples are an interesting idea, Lawson. Nice and compact plus you get twice the surface area for short penetration.Aug 10, 2017 at 7:43 am #3484145
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I’ve never needed stakes stakes for a groundsheet. However when we camp in our travel trailer we use a 7′ X 16′ mat under our awning. Each corner has a grommet and we use an 8″ nail stake with a washer (the stake might be longer, I’d have to measure it). Keeps the mat secure even during desert wind. You might want to check long nails at the hardware store and some matching diameter fender washer. Not a 1g solution, but it works and the washers make a big difference.Aug 10, 2017 at 8:43 am #3484155
Lawson KlineBPL Member
Hi Elliot. Yes these ones are pretty short but they do work decent in some soil types. The harder clay type ones. But yes, the longer the better. Length might not matter in the bedroom, but it usually does in the Backcountry haha.
That said the original idea for these was to make a lightweight stake that would go in easy but hold insanely good for it’s weight. The idea behind the V is that you push the ends together making a U and then put it in the ground this way. Once in the ground the rods are trying to spring open but they can’t. So they are pushing away from one another creating an unbelievable amount of holding power. Its a product I plan to release in the very near future. Just in longer lengths… 4″, 6″, 8″..
I end up with a lot of small drops when cutting rod for my tent stakes, so I thought why not make some extra short ones for my ground cloth as that thing just needs to keep from blowing away. They worked good BUT not as good as the longer set I made. They were about 3″ long. (I couldn’t find them last night) I think their weight was about 5-6 grams. The longer ones hold much better as it’s easier to pinch the U with them. I’d say they hold 3-4x better and will work in ALOT more soil types.
I just wanted to show you the concept in case it could work for you as they are very easy to make. The more spring the metal has the better, but I would say any metal will work. Heck a straight U works good too.
I hope this helps.
Matt. Thanks!Aug 11, 2017 at 2:05 am #3484320
Rene RavenelBPL Member
After some digging around, it sounds like Kevlar may not be what you want for my suggestion. Apparently it doesn’t like being tied in knots, or exposure to UV.
Spectra sounds like the way to go, and braided fishing line is a good source, but they don’t list the weight, just strength.Aug 11, 2017 at 2:28 am #3484322
And none of it likes any heat at all.
CheersNov 19, 2017 at 6:07 pm #3502909
FYI: As Andy Skurka notes, most stakes are made in China or at least the ones you buy in the US are indistinguishable from Chinese stakes, except for the price. And the price difference can be huge! Check out Ebay.
I got some Al groundhog stakes that look identical to MSR stakes for about one quarter the price. I found some 6g Ti stakes for a lot less than from the usual manufacturers (although I think I saw the same ones on Amazon for near the same price, no brand specified). And I got Al needle stakes seemingly identical to MSR stakes for one fifth the price.
I probably will go with the 6g Ti stakes for bivy, as they can also be used for the lower stress tarp tie-outs I often don’t rig unless it’s windy.Nov 19, 2017 at 6:48 pm #3502912
Greg MihalikBPL Member
Late to the game here but –
Your local bike shop might have Ti spokes you could cut, heat, and bend.
Be cautious with knock-off Y-stakes. The type of aluminum is the key to happiness. 7075 is what you want. 6065 will bend.Nov 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm #3502917
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Maybe JR did this with the stakes he shows in the photos above, but I like to dip the top of my tent stakes in Plasti-Dip. It puts on a thicker coat than paint does, makes them easier to spot and pads the stake a bit for pushing them in by hand:
The open container eventually sets up (even though I try to seal it up – I should probably transfer it to a tighter container), so I save up a bunch of projects and dip lots of things at once.
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