peyote2004 wrote:I've seen a few posts on the boards where people mentioned playa staples. What are they, and what is the advantage over rebar?
I was just planning on having my brother-in-law cut and candy cane some rebar for me, but if I can find something that may be better, and less weight to transport, I'd definitely consider it.
I believe they are 2-legged things — bent into a squared-off U-shape. I'm not sure what the advantage is, and if that advantage is applicable (e.g. more holding power may not be necessary).
Note also that "candy-caning" rebar is the wrong mental model. The long arc of a candy-cane makes it nearly impossible to hammer in: you're hitting at the peak of the arc (e.g. at the point where the tangent is perpendicular to the straight part of the rebar) and there's a few inches of bend that absorbs your impacts like a spring.
What you want to do is to heat it up and kink it at a sharp angle. When you hammer on the angle, most of the force gets directed to drive in the stake.
If you're going to be buying rebar, don't. Buy smooth(ish) steel rod instead. It's less brittle, anchors just as well, and pulls out a bit easier. The ridges on the rebar don't add to its anchoring strength (the anchoring force should be perpendicular to the driven angle, so ideally a rope at 45 degrees should come off a stake hammered in at 45 degrees.) You'd never be anchoring to rely on the stake "pulling straight out" but rather "plowing through" the Playa at an angle.
I made a "rebar kinking tool" and documented it a bit
since I didn't have a torch with enough heat to soften the steel.