MSR Groundhog Tent Stake
Lightweight, strong tent stake with good holding power.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $2.50 each
Lightweight, strong tent stake with good holding power. A tent stake is a low-key, basic item that just needs to work. These do.
- Light weight
- Holding power
- Design features
A tent stake is a lowly item that just needs to address some very basic issues:
- Easy to drive into the ground;
- Stays put when in the ground;
- Easy to remove from the ground;
- Light and small enough to be carried;
- ...yet durable enough to do its job when replacements are not readily available.
With such a basic list of requirements, you'd think that this would be an easy job to fulfill. Well, anyone who has ever set up a tent more than once already knows that this is not necessarily the case.
First, a glance at the commonly available competition:
- Molded plastic stakes:
Lightweight, relatively inexpensive, but bulky and brittle (by far the most common stake that you'll find left behind by litterbug campers before you... In pieces.
- Stamped steel stakes:
Heavy, moderately bulky (when not carefully stacked), relatively robust, but may be bent if the tip strikes a rock or tree root (although easy to bend back and keep in service.)
- Bent aluminum rod stakes (comes standard with most tents):
Really light and compact, but poor holding power in all but the most benign conditions. Will bend into a pretzel if you so much as look at it funny.
Enter the MSR Groundhog stakes. These have a "Y" shaped cross section, and are made from lightweight aluminum.
This equal-sided "Y" shape, with guy line notches on all three legs, are lightweight, fairly compact, offer better than average holding power, and drive into and come back out of the ground without much fuss.
This non-directional shape is handy in the dark, since you don't have to be sure that the guy line hook is properly oriented when driving it into the ground. While this isn't exactly a difficult task to get right with your eyes closed, once you realize this feature it does become a nice touch.
While they do drive nicely into hard or rocky soil, if it doesn't go in with moderate tapping of the hammer, hatchet, or rock, don't force it! They will bend or break, which I have done.
Also, if using your foot to push these into the ground, stop pushing when you meet any resistance beyond that of soft soil, otherwise you risk bending them (which I have also done).
Which is not to say that these stakes are not durable; they are. There are just a couple of things to look out for.
Another nice feature is the pull loops, which are made using guy line cordage with a reflective tracer. I actually found this to be extraordinarily helpful in locating a stake still in the ground after dark. Just be sure to retie the knot when you first get them; they're a little loose from the factory. This is just a tip, and not a mark against the stakes. It's easier than tying your hiking boots.
The downside? The price! They are made from extruded aluminum. For those of you who don't know, the extrusion process can be thought of being similar in concept to a pasta maker... only you're squeezing out aluminum instead of pasta dough. This is a decades old technology, and is an inexpensive way of forming thousands of feet of aluminum into your desired shape.
The machining cuts to finish the product are very simple, and with aluminum being as relatively a soft a metal as it is means that tooling costs are also low. To top that off, these are being currently made in China. While I do prefer a U.S. made product, I'm not adverse to purchasing overseas goods. It's the cost I'm talking about here.
They — are — overpriced for what they are, and for the low cost of production that they have. That being said, I do still recommend a set of them for your tent. At about $2.50 each, 25 bucks for an average tent will not break the bank... Especially when you consider that you'll get to use them for years to come, and can be moved from tent to tent.
The bottom line is that they are a superior product, and with a little care in using them should last indefinitely.
Now go camping!
Small tent stakes best for lightweight backpacking.
Source: borrowed it
Small tent stakes best for lightweight backpacking. Powerful for such a small package, but sharpness of points and tips makes for challenging packing.
- Did their job
We used these stakes for a 10-day backpacking trip. They were great because they were light, but they were sharp to a fault. The tips of the stakes ripped the tent bag, and eventually the sides of the stakes started to rip the bag too.
They are also very sharp on the tip that extends out of the ground and I had a painful lesson when I stepped on one. They would be better if they had a flatten top to avoid ripping bags and feet.
They are incredibly lightweight and did a great job of holding our tent down even in some very windy conditions.
Great tent stakes! These are my go-to tent stakes.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20
Great tent stakes!
- A bit expensive!
These are my go-to tent stakes. Very solid aluminum. I have used these stakes for over 4 years now and have not bent one yet. They are still straight and solid. The tops of the stakes get banged up a bit from using rocks to slam them into the ground, but that is to be expected.
I highly recommend replacing the cheesy stakes that come with most tents with these ones.
Price Paid: $19.95
Worth every penny. My Grand Trunk Funky Forest Tarp…
Source: bought it new
Worth every penny.
- Holds well
My Grand Trunk Funky Forest Tarp is like a sail in high winds. These stakes hold even in loose soil. One of my best recent purchases!
Awesome stake for various conditions! I've used these…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: MSRP
Awesome stake for various conditions!
I've used these stakes several times now. They hold well in regular dirt, wet dirt and stand up to hard frozen ground as well. Icy New England soil bent up a few of my standard steel stakes, and then I wised up and got a set of these. They didn't show any signs of distress as I stomped them into the ground!
Very tuff stake! Beat em' in with a rock, if ya hit…
Price Paid: $1.95 ea.
Very tuff stake! Beat em' in with a rock, if ya hit another rock on the way down go ahead and hit it a few more times to try and power thru, even if ya don't get thru the stake won't bend!
Has great hold on angled guy outs. Lines hold tight in the notches and stakes come out easily with a pull on the retrieve cord.
I carry six of these along with a few cheap aluminim stakes, I use the GroundHogs on the vestubile entrance since that gets alot of pulling around, and on the main guy out lines to keep things tight.
Well worth the few dollars I spent.
These are as good as it gets in the Y-stake department.
Price Paid: $1.15
These are as good as it gets in the Y-stake department. They are sufficiently light considering their legendary strength. The cord-loops make removal easy, and they scoff at my feeble attempts to brutalize them with rocks and hardpan.
I bought 6 to compliment my 6 GoLite Y-stakes.
Broken stake. Let me start off by saying I love MSR…
Source: bought it new
- Reflective rope
- Easy to hold tent down
Let me start off by saying I love MSR products. I really wanted to like the Groundhog stakes but I just couldn't.
I was pressing down on one of the stakes last weekend and BOOM! Snap. Broke it right in two.
To justify, I was not pressing with such force that it should have broke. I was shocked, disappointed...then angry! Luckily I carry extra stakes. Like another user said, no stake is indestructible but for the amount of pressure..or lack thereof...I'm shocked that it broke.
Again, I will always use MSR products, but I won't be picking anymore of these up in the future.
AWESOME. super lightweight, super heavy duty. easy…
Design: tri-point tent stake
Ease of Setup: super easy
Weight: less than 1 once a piece
Price Paid: $3.95 / per
AWESOME. super lightweight, super heavy duty. easy to pound, angle, and guy out with, easy to remove as well w/attached cord. color is easy to see.
The TRI-design makes them very resistant to pulling out 'sideways' through loose soil when you pound them in diagonally.(I use mine to guy out the rain tarp for my ENO hammock)
The only downside is the volume, they take up more space than traditional stakes.
Seem INDESTRUCTIBLE (by normal use that is!)
Tough, lightweight and never pull out of soil (snow…
Tough, lightweight and never pull out of soil (snow is a different story).
I would replace these in a minute if I lost them.