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Thread: tent stakes

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    Default tent stakes

    I'm planning on using my Zpacks duplex tent on my attempt at a thruhike next year. Setting up in the soft/sandy soil of Florida where I live shows me that my 6" to 8" v shaped stakes don't hold in heavy wind nor even if I'm just adjusting lines. Anyone have any suggestions for soft ground stakes, or will I probably not have to worry about this on the AT?
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    The MSR Groundhog/Mini Groundhog stakes are all I use. Never had an issue with them along the southern AT.
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  3. #3

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    For my Duplex I use 2 Groundhogs for the ridgeline and Lawson Ti shepherd hooks (6.5") for the rest.

    I don't know about FL sand.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleep View Post
    I'm planning on using my Zpacks duplex tent on my attempt at a thruhike next year. Setting up in the soft/sandy soil of Florida where I live shows me that my 6" to 8" v shaped stakes don't hold in heavy wind nor even if I'm just adjusting lines. Anyone have any suggestions for soft ground stakes, or will I probably not have to worry about this on the AT?
    There's soft ground on the AT? It may be there somewhere but that isn't something I was planning for.

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    I used the small thin Ti shephard stakes for my 2013 thru with a z-pack heximid. There were a few times where I had to find a rock or log to hold one down, but really it is something easy to do on the AT when it is needed, so you can get away with those. I would consider replacing maybe 2 of them with minigroundhog stakes, as it is usually one critical stake that you are having trouble with, not all of them. The mini groundhog has plenty of bite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    There's soft ground on the AT? It may be there somewhere but that isn't something I was planning for.
    I know. The cumberland trail area is rock-hard. Who knows what conditions will be like in the spring. OP will need to check and perhaps be ready to be flexible with cord, natural anchors, and so forth. That said, I'm unaware of any of the AT being Florida-sandy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleep View Post
    Anyone have any suggestions for soft ground stakes, or will I probably not have to worry about this on the AT?
    P.S., I do carry an REI snow stake as a trowel. It could serve a dual purpose for sandy soil ... but I only carry one of them. If you really needed stakes for soft ground, you could carry two* of these and some of your V-ones.

    * Do any non-freestanding tents only require 1 stake?

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    Not something to worry about. More likely you'll have problems getting the stakes into the %#^%^&$# rocky hard soil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleep View Post
    . . .Setting up in the soft/sandy soil of Florida where I live shows me that my 6" to 8" v shaped stakes don't hold in heavy wind nor even if I'm just adjusting lines. Anyone have any suggestions for soft ground stakes, or will I probably not have to worry about this on the AT?
    As mostly touched on above.
    1) You are unlikely to run into truly soft/sandy soil in most places.
    2) A good sized rock on top of the key stakes is generally quite effective at holding stakes in soft soil. Actually, place the rock just forward of the stake on the guy line is best in many cases. Also, longer guy lines hold better because they pull at a lower angle.
    3) Carrying a variety of stakes is often a great idea. One or two groundhog stakes for one or two key guy points. Some titanium shepherd hooks or maybe even some aluminum gutter spikes for getting penetration in hard rocky soils. One gutter spike to "pre-drill" the soil for other stakes works quite well in hard/rocky soil. I like the ultra-light v-stakes for average conditions. Just don't think your tent needs to be staked out with all the same stakes at all the guy points in all different ground conditions.
    4) In extremely soft sand/snow conditions, various dead-man type staking techniques can work very well whether burying your stakes sideways or using bits of sticks or rocks, dead-men can work wonders.
    5) In soft soils, or anyplace else for that matter, an elastic shock absorber (rubber band or elastic cord) added to your guy lines dramatically reduces the load on your stakes, significantly reducing the likelihood of stakes pulling out or tents tearing in high winds.
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    Thanks to all who responded to this inquiry. I'm better prepared now.
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  11. #11

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    Get a free standing tent that doesn't require stakes or has minimal need(for the fly). They set up easier you don't have to worry about the ground as much. There are plenty of UL options out there.

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  12. #12

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    Like others have said, hard ground is the norm. A few nights, I was only able to get the stake in a few inches, and had to grab some ten pound rocks to pin it down. Fortunately, when you find a tent site that's pure rock, there will be big rocks lying around that others have used previously for the same purpose.

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    I bought these in 2014: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Not just for our FL sandy soils, but for my AT hike as well. Worked great both places in VERY heavy winds. \

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    As long as rocks and logs are available, stakes are not an issue

    Thin ti Skewers are easier to get into rocky soil.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleep View Post
    I'm planning on using my Zpacks duplex tent on my attempt at a thruhike next year. Setting up in the soft/sandy soil of Florida where I live shows me that my 6" to 8" v shaped stakes don't hold in heavy wind nor even if I'm just adjusting lines. Anyone have any suggestions for soft ground stakes, or will I probably not have to worry about this on the AT?
    the AT is not FL...

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    Also, if push comes to shove, you can always use some of your extra paracord to guy directly to a large rock (instead of trying to drive a stake into hard ground). I find that tying a small bowline on each end of the cord lets me make (almost) instant connections with any loop or upright pole, and by pulling the cord back through the loop of the bowline, you can get a good grip around almost any adequately-sized rock at the other end of the line. (For those of us who aren't really good with knots, think about "the rabbit, the hole, and the tree": make a small loop with the cord ("the hole"), let the excess cord ("the tree") dangle away from you, take the end of the cord ("the rabbit"), and then just follow the rabbit -- "the rabbit runs out of the hole, runs around the back of the tree, and runs down the hole again". Pull the knot tight, leaving a loop at the end, and there you are!!) [You do carry extra paracord, don't you?]
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

  17. #17

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    I prefer a mix of different type stakes.
    A couple of nails, Eastons are nice...ti hooks, Lawson/Dutch and I have a groundhog I found.
    Varied soils require different stakes. I carry one ti nail as an extra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondmouse View Post
    the AT is not FL...
    You're kidding
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    Quote Originally Posted by greensleep View Post
    You're kidding
    Nope - never saw a single gator. Or a married one, either.
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    When I ordered our Triplex from Zpacks, I also got the carbon fiber stakes...but it's been awhile since I've been up on the AT and I forgot how "concrete like" some of the tent spots can be. Now I'm wondering if the stakes will survive without shattering...
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

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