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stakes not steaks

This represents almost all of the stakes I've purchased or was included in whatever gear I've purchased and probably represents over $400 in material.

While I'm not a fan of the high cost of ZPacks' gear they have a reasonable price for their carbon fiber stakes. I previously owned 6 and I recently purchased another 12. I think one broke when I was using it for a heavy duty project; I'm not sure it was supposed to handle being struck by a 3 pound mallet.

One thing I learned recently is that when deploying a stake is should be flush with the ground at some angle (possibly 45deg) from the object being tied down. Deep because is moves the inflection point and gives a stronger hold. Therefore, as to not lose a stake it should have some tag so it can be retrieved and many do.

Flush to the ground but not apply to the long stakes but then you're trading pack volume and weight so you do not have bury the stake.
As a side note, I left a nail stake just slightly above ground in my backyard and I managed to step on it with a bare foot and even thought it was the head it still managed to puncture my foot.
Materials like Titanium are not advantageous other than possible weight... That nail I stepped on is now bent and I have another Toaks 'v' shaped that is also bent.

Typically I wear barefoot style shoes or when I'm practicing in the backyard I wear my crocks. Since the ground is about 2-3 inches of St Augustine grass/weed on top of a thin layer of debris and then many feet of thick coral that means a couple of things. [1] once the stake is in the ground moving it may not be an option so learn your knots. [2] if you cannot jiggle the stake into the ground you're gonna need a hammer of some kind. A stick etc will work if they are around, however, if not and you have you have to step on it to set the stake deeper you're going to want something with a bigger head. All of the stakes with small surface area punish my feet.

I'm sure there is a lot of good advice out there and I wish I had sought council of someone in the know. Most of these stakes are OK and some are crap and some you should be prepared to break or lose. My top two are:

  • Easton Mountain Products Single Nano Ultra-Light Aluminum Tent Stake
  • ZPacks carbon fiber
Lastly, there are specialty stakes. Pictured above there is a MSR Cyclone. It's long, Y shaped with a twist; and designed to work well in sand. My problems with it are [a] getting it into the sand with it's small head and [b] getting it out. The one time I could have used this stake I could have picked a better placement for the tent.


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