Friday, February 8, 2013

Tent Stake Tool

It all started with an idea for a MYOG project...a tent stake tool.  For those times when the ground is just too hard to push the tent stakes in by hand.  For just 17 cents at Home Depot, I bought one half-inch PVC 'T' connector meant for a home irrigation system.  
I used my drill to make a small hole in the neck of the 'T' and tied a knotted cord through it to make the tool be twice as useful.  This tool weighs about 0.5 ounces or 16 grams with the cord attached.
The tool weighs just a little more than my blue aluminum tent stakes.  I have found blue to be the best color for not losing your tent stakes in the outdoors.  Forget about yellow, red or orange.  Try finding those stakes on the ground in the Appalachian mountains during the fall.  Blue just doesn't disappear as easily.  For those wondering about multi-use, these stakes are also good for cat hole digging.
The tool and stakes will travel in my backpack in this recycled Tyvek mailer. I have found rubber bands to be incredibly useful and very light weight for backpacking.
So, when pitching the tent while camping...
...I can use the tool to push the tent stakes into the hard ground...saving wear and tear on my hands...
...And in the multiple use department, I can also use the tool to pull the stakes out when taking the tent down...
My tent is an Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1.5, pitched here in my back yard for demonstrating how the MYOG tent stake tool works. 
The tent body weighs 24.5 ounces, the tarp 23.0 ounces, red poles 10.4 ounces, blue stakes 0.4 ounces each or 2.4 ounces for 6, or a total of  3.77 pounds using no stuff sacks.  Not quite ultralight, but lightweight enough for weekend camping trips.
It is spacious inside for one person with the convenience of  two vestibules and two entrances, and with the tarp on, it is very water proof in heavy rains and high winds.  The tent is also bug-free for us Floridians.  With the short end of the tent pitched into the wind for aerodynamics and the aluminum poles supporting the tent to prevent it from flexing in high winds, this is a very secure and stable, small tent.  Most nights camping, I have left the tarp doors open for ventilation and views.  It is also tall enough to sit up to dress or read in.
A tent stake tool like this one is an easy and simple MYOG project for anyone to make.  It has multiple uses and is lightweight and very inexpensive.  It took me longer to charge my drill battery than it did to actually drill the hole and tie the cord.  It is really good for places like stone-free Florida and for those hard forest floors, wherever you may find them.  
By the way, this is the second week of February, winter storms are hammering the north and we have a temperature in central Florida of 82 degrees today.  What's up with that?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thats a good idea. Thanks for the idea

  3. Thats a good idea. Thanks for the idea

  4. Bruce - what's the minimum number of stakes you can pitch the Mystique 1.5 with, including vestibule? Thanks.

  5. BRnPA,
    You can pitch it with 8 stakes, or 6 without pitching the rain fly.

  6. I used this to sleep outside and came in the next day- to testing it out. It rained a while. The tent was dry and was very stable in the wind . well-made !!