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  1. #1

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    Not sure of my expectations.

    I look forward to the weekends for many reasons. Setting up and sleeping in my Chameleon is one. So while setting it up tonight I stepped on one of the stakes for the tarp and the stake snapped when pushing it into the ground. I have extras so my tarp is up. But we have black dirt here in our backyard and it is pretty soft. Should I expect more in strength or is is that’s the way as in Stuff happens.
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  2. #2
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Looks like an MSR Groundhog? I've personally never cared for those stakes. I found them rather flimsy.

    Don't even try to use those stakes during deep winter when the ground is frozen. You can't hammer them into the ground with a sledgehammer!

    I have a variety of stakes, but most are left over from my groundpounding tent days. While aluminum stakes work fairly well on frozen ground, they can just bend in half when hammering them into the ground (bring hammer when it's cold!). What works best for me is some stainless steel stakes I have that could be hammered into concrete without bending!
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 10-16-2020 at 21:16.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Senior Member BuckeyeFan's Avatar
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    Aluminum stakes bend: soft dirt, hard dirt, rocks, roots, and underground unknowns. Accept it as part of the fun. That's why most of my stakes are from a big box store for less than a $1 each.

    Between the trees and above the ground.

  4. #4
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darbe View Post
    I look forward to the weekends for many reasons. Setting up and sleeping in my Chameleon is one. So while setting it up tonight I stepped on one of the stakes for the tarp and the stake snapped when pushing it into the ground. I have extras so my tarp is up. But we have black dirt here in our backyard and it is pretty soft. Should I expect more in strength or is is that’s the way as in Stuff happens.
    I've seen and read about people pushing stakes into the ground with their feet. This puts a lot of side load on the stake because the sole moves in an arc while the stake is meant to travel in a straight line, into the ground. Your photo is a perfect illustration of what happens. Far better to tap the stake in with a mallet or hammer, since you're at home, or with a small rock if you're out on the trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeFan View Post
    Aluminum stakes bend: soft dirt, hard dirt, rocks, roots, and underground unknowns. Accept it as part of the fun. That's why most of my stakes are from a big box store for less than a $1 each.

    Between the trees and above the ground.
    In the past I've used Ground Hogs and my impression is that they can, and do, break just as easily as the knock-offs. Admittedly, subjective observation, not scientific testing.

    I did not experience that legendary indestructability that some people report.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  5. #5

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    Thank you for the replies and info. I was really surprised how easily it snapped after using it in the backyard this summer with no issues. Glad it happened there than out somewhere and I have probably dozens of wire stakes from all the tents I’ve had/have and the ones left at campsites that I’ve picked up. Incredible how they’ve added up.

  6. #6
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    I can't imagine that this is an MSR Groundhog. I have had my Groundhogs for 10 years now, and haven't been able to destroy one. And I have abused them. On the other hand, I have used a couple of similar looking stakes and have broken several without treating them roughly. I did a bit of research, and the difference seems to be in the alloy used. MSR uses higher quality alloy, and it shows. Long term, the Groundhogs came in much cheaper.

  7. #7
    aka 'Extra' MikekiM's Avatar
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    I am with hutzelbein.. if the cordage on the end is original, that looks like a Groundhog knock off. I have bunch of OE groundhogs and mini's. The mini's can't take much if a hammering without the top breaking off, but the full size can withstand some serious punishment and still come out the other side strong and straight. Certainly can withstand pressing in with your foot.
    Yes, my pack weighs 70lbs, but it's all light weight gear....
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  8. #8

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    Yeah they are knock offs I guess. I figured I’d give this style of stake a try after using wire stakes for years. My thinking was they’d hold better in softer soils that I’ve been hanging in this summer. Black dirt and sandy loam in the backyards. They do seem to hold better but in really windy weather such as yesterday. 50mph gusts. Didn’t even bother to find out how they would hold.

  9. #9
    New Member unshavenman's Avatar
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    Try the MSR Groundhog stakes, I think that you will be very pleased. They're what I use in the Boundary Waters and Quetico, and they impact the Canadian Shield all the time without issue. I've never broken one.

  10. #10
    New Member Pop_Eye's Avatar
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    Plumbing fitting stake setting tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Darbe View Post
    I look forward to the weekends for many reasons. Setting up and sleeping in my Chameleon is one. So while setting it up tonight I stepped on one of the stakes for the tarp and the stake snapped when pushing it into the ground. I have extras so my tarp is up. But we have black dirt here in our backyard and it is pretty soft. Should I expect more in strength or is is that’s the way as in Stuff happens.
    I used to use my feet, but I bent a lot of stakes. So I tried just using my hands and maybe a rock to tap in the tarp stakes.

    When my MSR groundhog stake cut the palm of my hand on one trip, I had an idea for protecting my hand by using a few plumbing fittings that are always in my stake bag kit now.

    At home after the trip, I found some 1/2” copper pipe and a 1/2” sweat 90* elbow fitting In my plumbing parts box. I cut a 3” (or so) piece of pipe and just pressed the elbow on. I was going to sweat the fitting on, but I procrastinated long enough to realize I didn’t need to.

    Back out in the woods pitching the tarp, I just put the top of the stake into the elbow and press the stake into the ground.

    Obviously this will only work in ground that is softer than super hard pack where even a hammer would take a quite few swipes to sink the stake.

    There is obviously a weight penalty for back packing, but it is far lighter than a tool like a hammer or an axe.

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