Tent Stakes

Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 06:56:08 -0700
From: Johnlebl@aol.com
Subject: [Philmont] Philmont Tent Stakes
I have been using 8" hardened aluminum gutter spikes very successfully for a long time now with my lightweight tents. My tent of choice is Eureka Timberline with regular weight floor. For backpacking is the 2 man size unless there are three of us and then I use the 4 man tent. On canoe trips I take the 4 man size and for car camping I take the 6 man size that I can stand up in. It is big enough for my family of 4 so that it feels like the TaJ Mahal. As you can tell, I like the Timberline tent. They have good ventillation for use on our hot muggy coast in summer and good rain shedding characteristics. We get 53" per year so go figure.

In all of these tents and also for my dining fly I use gutter spikes for tent stakes. The "groves" in the shank of them help them hold better in any ground. The tempered aluminum does not bend nearly as much as any lightweight tent stake you can buy. The length is plenty long enough. They even hold up pretty good pounding them into rocky ground with a makeshift rock "hammer".

Here is how I avoid losing them. I tie the tent guyline to the shaft of the stake right under the "head" with two half hitches. That means they are permanently attached to the guyline. Then I run the guyline though the attachment point of the tent and return back on itself where I tie a tautline hitch. I don't use the aluminum tighteners. That saves weight and I don't need them.

By attaching the tent stakes to the guylines, you virtually cannot loose them. I usually pound them all the way into teh ground so ther eis not stake protruding to snag a toe on at 2AM heading for the bushes. The only problem is properly protecting the tent fabric from the tent stake sharpened end.

Here is how I do it. I lay the tent down on it's side. I then take the front of the tent and fold it over toward the back. That puts the two ends of teh ridge together adn the tied on tent pole connector sleeves next to each other. I take all the tent stakes attached to the guylines and run them through the two tent pole connector sleeves which are in turn fastened to the tent ends so they cannot get misplaced. I slide all the tent stakes though these two plastic sleeves and then slip the whole package into a heavy canvas sleeve I sewed up just for the purpose about 2" X 10". It is heavy enough to keep the tent stake "gutter spikes" from poking though and thus protects the tent fabric.

I then roll up the tent in the size that fits whatever I am packing it in.

This way you never looose a tent stake or a tent pole connector.

I have been using these same "gutter spikes" for about 20 years and have never lost any of them. I got them all free by picking them out of scrap gutters curbside.

I recently started looking for them at hardware stores locally and found none, so I did a little research and here is what I found for our 2002 crew.

I just received an order of 250 8" gutter spike tent stakes for $37.50 plus sales tax $3.86 plus shipping $9.26 for a total of $50.62 which amounts to $0.202 each. That is pretty cheap! Charged it to my MasterCard over the phone.

The Item description is 8" Square Spikes 8SPKSRE. They are kind of squarish round or roundish square whichever you prefer, not exactly square or round. They come in different colored heads and I choose red thinking it would be bright red. It is not and that was a mistake. The red is a really dark, almost dirt color. I should have chosen white. Only the head is painted.

Gutter Suppliers, Inc., 600 W. 6th Street, Houston, TX 77007 713-861-2727 FAX 713-861-8081. The invoice lists Gutter Suppliers Inc home office as Lambertville, Michigan so I assume they have offices elsewhere.

They will sell you however many you need, priced at $0.15 each.

I ordered them yesterday at 8AM and they were at my door this afternoon via UPS. Houston is 86 miles from my home.

Happy tent stake hunting. This works for me in all types of ground except really dry, loose sand and snow. Everything else is A-OK.

John LeBlanc
Eagle Class of 1959
Phirst Philmont Ptrek 1959
Philmont bound in July 2002
My latest adventure was yesterday
Today is not over yet!

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