Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

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peyote2004
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Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by peyote2004 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:54 am

I'll be flying to Reno, and am looking for something fairly light weight yet strong enough to secure my tent.

I've been reading different tent related threads, and saw some suggestions for stakes to use instead of rebar but the people who posted them seem to use tents that are smaller/shorter than mine. Having never experienced the playa, I would like your input.

This is my tent

Image

These are the stakes I'm considering ... These are all 12" long.
Do you think they'll be ok, or do you have any suggestions?
Coleman Metal 12.jpg
http://www.amazon.ca/Coleman-Metal-12-T ... ent+Stakes
or
Metal Tent Stakes 12.jpg
http://www.amazon.ca/Metal-Tent-Stakes- ... ent+Stakes
or
Aluminum Ultimate Tent Stake.jpg
http://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Mountain- ... akes+12%22
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by VultureChow » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:02 am

I'm a true believer in the aluminum military stakes. Super light weight and you can get them on eBay super cheap.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:50 am

If it were me, Peyote, I'd probably try the Coleman 12" right there. I currently use Coleman 10" for a tent slightly taller and almost as wide. They don't budge.

Camp with a vehicle south of you if possible, to reduce the wind impact.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Krokodyle » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:24 pm

If you're looking for stakes to use on the playa, I would not get either of those stakes shown in the first two pictures that you are considering. They're weaker than they look and if you pound them off-center at all, the top will bend and you're f*cked. For general use, like forest turf or similar, I'm sure they'd be fine, but otherwise I'd steer clear.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Savannah » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:38 pm

Krokodyle wrote:If you're looking for stakes to use on the playa, I would not get either of those stakes shown in the first two pictures that you are considering. They're weaker than they look and if you pound them off-center at all, the top will bend and you're f*cked. For general use, like forest turf or similar, I'm sure they'd be fine, but otherwise I'd steer clear.
Good God, you're absolutely right. The reviews are not so hot. :shock:

I amend my confidence. These are the 10" ones I use. I would totally try them on a nylon tent like Peyote's.


They're made differently than the 12" ones Peyote linked, which might be why they don't bend at all when I pound them in.

In the desert, the plastic part should not be used when extracting them w/ a wrecking bar, because they stay in so well. The plastic does serve a purpose though--helps keep the stake from getting lost, and gives the guy line something to grab.

In the forest, you can pull on the plastic for extraction just fine.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by FossaFerox » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:44 pm

From what I've heard and seen this year, you want at least 18" of bite for anything the wind could catch. If you're in a well secured shade structure which will prevent wind load those would be fine, maybe even overkill. If you're unsure, though, go the extra mile. Rebar is super cheap and can be hand cut/bent into the shape you need.

Story time on why I think this:

My group used two sizes of rebar which we bent into candycanes this year. We cut 3' and 2' sections bent to have a 6" hook, making them 2.5' and 1.5' in length. We used the 2.5' for the guidelines and angled tarp stakes on our shade structure and the 1.5' for our tents. Everything worked wonderfully until Sunday night.

Because of the storm warning, 5 people in my 13 member camp broke down everything including our structure while the rest slept in 4 of the tents. After the shade structure came down we realized that one of our members had been lazy when it came time to drive her rebar and didn't ask for help. The stakes on on her tent were only driven until the 6" crook touched down, meaning they were about a foot deep.

We noticed this, because a single gust pulled two stakes free on the windward side once the shade structure and other tents were pulled up.

To be clear, she was IN THE TENT with all her gear and the corners still pulled free. The whole tent was shifting/semi-collapsing. With her inside. Absolutely crazy.

For the record though, 3' was crazy overkill for most of it.

Next year my plan is 3' (2.5' true) for guidelines, 2.5' (2' true) for the tarps, and 2' (18" true) again for the tents. Almost all of our 2' pieces were reusable, but most of the 3' stuff bent as we drove it into the ground which made pulling it out a nightmare and meant it can't be reused.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by BBadger » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:41 pm

The first thing you should consider is building a shade structure and concentrate on staking that to the ground. I didn't even bother staking my tent down last time, because the tent was under a monkeyhut and well sheltered. Having my bag of stuff next to the tent was enough to keep it in place.

Still, I did buy some stakes just in case, but never even used them. They seemed to be decent and resistant to bending. Cheap too.

As for the monkeyhut, that used some large rebar stakes. Worked great, but were a pain to pound in because they were very thick.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by peyote2004 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:23 pm

I would love a monkey hut but I'm flying in and taking Burner Express so I'm not sure what I'll be able to do for a shade structure, as size and weight will be an issue.

I am going to be in Rent for a couple of days pre-burn so I'll have lots of time to pick up things, however I will be using taxis to get around, and don't want to get too carried away.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:17 pm

I like lag bolts and chain! 8)

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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by tatonka » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:21 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I like lag bolts and chain! 8)

Image

Image
taking Figjams advise this is what I did also , got them online for 1.00 a piece and bought a length of chain and cut them down ( i own a bolt cutter )
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:10 am

I would strongly recommend common 10-12" gutter nails for tent stakes to fly-in or for me myself, easy to hammer in and pull.

Hot dipped galvanized are not attacked by playa corrosison. Steel ones rust in one event, but that does not affect their utility. About $1 each and recyclable on exit.

Home Despot or the like will have.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by peyote2004 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:46 am

Thanks for the replies ... you've given me much to think about.

I like the idea of using something other than the brand tent stakes you can buy in a store. I hate paying more for something just because it has a Brand name attached to it; when a regular item for another purpose can get the job done cheaper.

FigJam .... How long are the lag bolts? I'm guessing you would pound it all the way in, except an inch or so? I don't have bolt cutters but My brother-in-law likely does.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:52 am

Mine are 3/8"x14", but they're holding a 12'x40' shade.

http://www.wholesalebolts.com/hexheadlagscrews.aspx

I don't pound or pry anything.

I screw them in with a big drill with a socket on it, but you could use a ratchet and socket.

I screw them flush with the ground. 8)
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Savannah » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:19 pm

Peyote, when you pound them completely flush there's slightly less of a tripping hazard (except for guy lines, which you should still mark or illuminate) but you have to have a specific strategy for getting them back out again.

So Figjam--do you reverse the mechanism on your drill and simply unscrew those? :) They actually look a lot like my stakes (which are really just nails) only a little longer.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:40 pm

Yep!

Just screw um in and screw um out.

No pounding or prying.

Doesn't mean you can't still carry your crow bar just to look badass! 8)
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by tatonka » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:14 pm

I got the 14 inch 3/8 lag bolts , bought a inverter and brought the drill but brought wrong socket :(
So I just hammered them in , and took vise grips and had to screw them out about 6 inch before i could pull them out.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:23 pm

Guy lines. Why can't we have some gal lines for a change?
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by unjonharley » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:26 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Guy lines. Why can't we have some gal lines for a change?
Cuz they are always running off with some guyline

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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:21 pm

Where's (unnamed - but you all know who) to tell us there are options such as having some Swiss firm custom machine a set of titanium tent stakes?
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by illy dilly » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:28 pm

I like these ones
Image

And it looks like amazon is doing a 10 pack for $8. Probably cause its winter. But, my local army/navy surplus sells em 5 for $4, so maybe check near you too.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by FossaFerox » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Yuma supply bargain warehouse sells the same stakes 10 for $5, but I wouldn't trust those to hold a tent in the absence of a surrounding shade structure. Those fuckers pull out real nice. We used them to anchor the footings of our shade structure since all we cared about was preventing them from twisting or sliding; we had guidelines tied to the tops of every perimeter fitting to deal with vertical stress and prevent kite like shenanigans.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by illy dilly » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:54 pm

Was your shade structure a dome tent?
Dome tents tend to be pretty wind resistant. Though, less resistant if the windows are open.

For what its worth, my tent is very very similar to the one the OP shows. Difference is that it two side areas. I was able to find a picture, with rain fly on though.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by FossaFerox » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:18 pm

Our shade structure was a wind resistant fortress. We still staked it down with rebar. We even had one of our tents pull free from its poorly staked rebar (not driven all the way in) after we broke our shade structure down because the rain fly still catches the wind like a sail.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by AntiM » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:12 am

VultureChow wrote:I'm a true believer in the aluminum military stakes. Super light weight and you can get them on eBay super cheap.
Image
We use rebar for our big shade, but use these military ones for lighter jobs such as holding down my art project and signs. In a pinch, like the year half our rebar was stolen at the regional, they can hold a carport down.
We don't stake out tents as the shade structure is sufficient protection. No rain fly on the tents, acts as a dust scoop. We just use the blanket clamped over the top technique, which also cuts our ambient light and provides a bit of insulation which levels the temp changes.

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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by NikkiG » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:02 am

As per your suggestions , I used the 12" Green Military stakes last year and I found them to be super sturdy. They helped to make my burn enjoyable. THANKS A MILLION! BTW, My tent stake holes were too small, so I bought big metal rings similar to key rings to put the stakes through. They only cost me 50 cents a piece at the hardware store. Just slide the stake loops onto the key ring...VOILA! http://www.ondepot.com/v/KeyRings300.jpg
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Elorrum » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:30 am

For flying in, the aluminum military ones look good, or hit a hardware store before you head to the playa. I get a few more 10 or 12" galvanized nails ea. year, with galvanized washers to give the heads more grabbing range (less than a dollar.) I use a mix of these and 1/2" 2ft. rebar pieces. I don't bend the rebar. My first year, I thought I should bend them, and put one end in a vice and got a very subtle arc, and the fun of bouncing a 3lb hammer all around in what I ended up declaring too dangerous and useless for a last minute project... poor results, let's say. There are lots of links on how to "candy cane" or make staples out of rebar, but I've never figured how they hammer that rounded end easily. I do like my rebar pounding aid for straight pieces. A piece of threaded black iron pipe, with a black iron pipe cap. Last year, I could only find this before or after I needed to use it. It's going to get spray painted bright yellow and put in a yellow bag with the hammer this year.
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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by fernley1 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:10 am

Good idea Elorrum, I will make one this year.

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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by geoffgn » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:53 pm

Yumas has this 15" rebar with a welded loop for $1.50 ea
http://www.ysbw.com/Canopy-Accessories-s/32.htm

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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by unjonharley » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:15 pm

geoffgn wrote:Yumas has this 15" rebar with a welded loop for $1.50 ea
http://www.ysbw.com/Canopy-Accessories-s/32.htm
That is one hell of a good deal..

Just add a 1/2 inch pipe cap.. Place the pipe cap on top of the rebar for a larger target..

Myself I am going with long lag screws that cost a lot more..

You have found the best deal I have seen..

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Re: Tent stakes - What's best for my tent?

Post by Canoe » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:27 pm

> You have found the best deal I have seen..

I got the same type years ago (different source).
  • Welds weren't impressive, but I left them alone. I would NOT rely upon trying to force them up out of the ground by pulling or leveraging upwards on the loop.
  • Slip the tip of a heavy duty screwdriver, prybar or another of those stakes through the loop, and it's much easier to rotate the stake to loosen it in the ground (a la vice grips with plan rebar).
    (again the welds aren't impressive, so have vice grips handy as a backup, and watch out if that loop snaps off)
  • I wasted my time painting them orange so they wouldn't rust as fast, and then touching that paint up when it got worn off.
I too am going for a set of the Figjam-Recomended long lag-screws with a piece of chain for a loop.
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