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Pegs!

Old 11-01-23, 09:54 AM
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Pegs!

Which way round do you put V-pegs in the ground?

I realise this question is of utter groundbreaking importance in the grand scheme of things, so here’s a copy/paste of my emails with Hilleberg

”… I have a Soulo, and was reading the instructions on putting it up.I noticed the illustration of the pegs shows them with the indentation near the head facing towards the tent (see attached screenshot). Intuitively I would have used them the other way round so the guy-line is hooked by the peg head, and thus can’t slip over the peg.

Is the reason that the V-shape of the peg exerts forces in different directions in the ground in the way you show? Or is there another explanation?”


and Hilleberg’s reply:

”… The pegs holds very well both ways as long as you use the pegs at a 45-degree angle.”


edit: ”groundbreaking”… Sometimes I crack myself up 😆

Last edited by imi; 11-01-23 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 11-01-23, 10:41 AM
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I take it that the peg is cut from angle aluminum with a 90 degree angle? The way drawn in the graphic, the cut out should also hold the line from slipping off the top because the cut out on both sides of the peg makes the peg slightly narrower where the line is, it should work the way the graphic shows.
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Old 11-01-23, 10:49 AM
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Here they can be seen at different angles.
The guy-line slips easily over the back of the peg, maybe catching the cut out slightly.

However, I imagine in practice, the angle the guy-line would have to be to the peg to slip off is not realistic. OTOH, with the peg reversed so the guy-line is hooked by the cut out, it definitely won’t slip off.

As in the graphic, the two edges of the ”V” are being pulled towards the tent and offering more resistance to soft earth, neh? Negligable? I dunno… I won‘t be camping again until the spring 😊

Last edited by imi; 11-01-23 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 11-01-23, 01:59 PM
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My usual practice is the point towards the tent to prevent slippage, but I see merit in the other school of thought. Sometimes, I’m just happy to be able to get the stake far enough into the ground that it doesn’t get pulled out:
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Old 11-01-23, 03:00 PM
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I have several different sets of tent stakes and I believe the sliver ones are made by the same company, "DAC", as your Hilleburg stakes. The few times that I used them, I placed the notches facing away from the tent. Tourist in MSN makes a good point. I can't tell you much about them, but the DAC stakes and the red MSR stakes are hard to push into the ground by hand. The tops are small and sharply angled, and are very uncomfortable when pushing down from the top. The advantage of the MSR stake is that it has 3 "fins", so it does not matter how it is positioned, as long as the point is pointing toward the tent. It is also a little longer.


These are the stakes that I use most of the time. They go easily into the ground, and are easy on the hands. They are durable and can handle beatings from rocks and sticks. They are also inexpensive. The disadvantage is that they are a little heavier, but that does not bother me on the bike. Actually, I just weighed the DAC and the generic stakes. The difference between 10 stakes is 1 ounce.

Last edited by Doug64; 11-03-23 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 11-01-23, 04:18 PM
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I put them in the way suggested by this video:

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Old 11-01-23, 04:33 PM
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I am not sure when Gerry stopped making stakes, probably back in the 1980s. The line could not slip over the top on their stakes. I wanted to buy a few more when I learned they did not exist any more, so I cut my own from a piece of quarter inch aluminum rod.

Top one is one I made, the bottom is the real one. But, after several decades, my memory could be off and maybe these were not made by Gerry?

Works best in soft soil where a stake can easily pull out in wind. If the soil is rocky, with two prongs you double your chance of a rock keeping you from getting it to desired depth, thus rocky soil is not the best.

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Old 11-01-23, 07:57 PM
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funny eh, I've always put them in so that the notch is facing away from the tent, so that the guy line holds better--that said, I do get how the shape of a v type peg would hold better against the soil with the "V" facing open towards the tent, ie the pulling force.

reality is that Ive rarely had issues with pegs coming loose, so will probably just keep doing it the "wrong" way.
I too have v shaped pegs, the X shaped ones and the good ol ones with the big hook on top. I have noticed that the V and X shaped ones tend to stay in better slightly, and I also tend to use the heel of my bike shoe to push them in.
To remove them, I use another peg horizontally up against the notch to pull the peg out, much easier on the hands I find.
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Old 11-01-23, 08:51 PM
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I live in the high desert. The 3rd year I lived here the wind took my tin shed that had several tons of masonry in it and rolled it over through a side fence near my house. The next day The wind stood it back up but it no longer looked the same. I put my tent up when I am ready for bed and set up were I can use rocks to hold the pegs in.
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Old 11-01-23, 10:13 PM
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Best tent stakes for the price...


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Old 11-01-23, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
I put them in the way suggested by this video:
Interesting. Thanks mev 👍
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Old 11-02-23, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
funny eh, I've always put them in so that the notch is facing away from the tent, so that the guy line holds better--that said, I do get how the shape of a v type peg would hold better against the soil with the "V" facing open towards the tent, ie the pulling force.

reality is that Ive rarely had issues with pegs coming loose, so will probably just keep doing it the "wrong" way.
I too have v shaped pegs, the X shaped ones and the good ol ones with the big hook on top. I have noticed that the V and X shaped ones tend to stay in better slightly, and I also tend to use the heel of my bike shoe to push them in.
To remove them, I use another peg horizontally up against the notch to pull the peg out, much easier on the hands I find.
I always figured the notch was to hold the tent loop so I automatically put the vee the "wrong" way. With more thought I guess the other side of the peg would cause less wear and tear on the loop. Any way I never had much/any issues with the pegs holding other than when using skinny pegs in sand.

I always pulled pegs by the cords if they had them. My current go to needle stakes don't so I use another peg. I might consider using the stakes the opposite directions, but since the needle stakes aren't vee configuration that isn't an option... That said thought some of my futrure trips may be nicer with a tent so I bought an ultralight REI Flash Air 1 that came with vee stakes and I may use them to see how they work out.
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Old 11-02-23, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Best tent stakes for the price...


And if you lose them, instead of being liter they eventually biodegrade.
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Old 11-02-23, 06:52 AM
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I have some old stakes left over from a North Face tent that are not unlike the ones shown in post #5, except the tops were not rounded. I don't know how the design got passed the CPSC and/or the lawyers for the company. I stepped on one while barefoot during my tour in Spain and ended up with a V-shaped puncture wound on the sole of my foot. Fortunately, it was not a deep wound.
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Old 11-02-23, 07:30 AM
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FWIW, I usually try to get the peg in steeper than 45 degrees. As @indyfabz mentioned, trying to get them in deep enough to hold is usually a priority, and I take it as given that in anything less than sand, I'll hit something about 2" down that'll deflect the peg 20-30 degrees, if it doesn't stop it immediately. 30 degrees off vertical is OK for me; every time I aim for about 45 degrees, I end up scooping gravel, dirt, sand, whatever out of that ideal peg location, and I have to move over and try again.
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Old 11-02-23, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Sometimes, I’m just happy to be able to get the stake far enough into the ground that it doesn’t get pulled out:
yep, that's me
btw, MSR Groundhog stakes are sturdy critters
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Old 11-03-23, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by robow
MSR Groundhog stakes are sturdy critters
+1. I use the stock round pegs on the 4 corners of my Kelly tent but use the MSR type pegs for the two vestibule tie outs. I like them as they are so sturdy. I can pound them in with a log or a rock if needed. I can push them in with my foot. I’ve not bent them after considerable abuse. Yet they pull back out, at dawn, easily. I’ve had these for many years.
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Old 11-04-23, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler
+1. I use the stock round pegs on the 4 corners of my Kelly tent but use the MSR type pegs for the two vestibule tie outs. I like them as they are so sturdy. I can pound them in with a log or a rock if needed. I can push them in with my foot. I’ve not bent them after considerable abuse. Yet they pull back out, at dawn, easily. I’ve had these for many years.
You say MSR type. Which ones? MSR makes several types of pegs.

FWIW my go to ones are apparently no longer made, the MSR needle stakes. For bigger tents or looser ground they may have been a bit wimpy in holding power, but for my use they were always adequate and are very light, I think the groundhog stake probably replaced it. Just looking at them, I'd guess that the groundhog would hold a little better, but take a bit less abuse when beating with rocks.
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Old 11-04-23, 06:58 AM
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Most of my tents are not self supporting and have a couple lines that have a lot more stress on the lines, I always carry a couple larger stakes that I added to the stake bag to use for those lines.

And sometimes if you are in a rocky area or really hard ground, you might not be able to get a stake in more than a couple inches, sometimes I use two stakes for one line for those situations. The two stakes cross each other and the line goes over both of them, so both stakes would have to pull out of the ground simultaneously. That is another reason to carry a few spare stakes.
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Old 11-04-23, 07:04 AM
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Tying guy lines to the middle of pegs and jamming them behind a couple of heavyish rocks can work if the ground is either too soft or too hard
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Old 11-05-23, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
You say MSR type. Which ones? MSR makes several types of pegs.
The MSR Mini Ground Hog stakes work quite well and are lightweight and compact, 6" length. I own the longer Ground Hog stakes as well but rarely need 11" length (but I'm sure now that I've stated this, I'll need the longer ones next time out when I've only brought the Mini's)
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Old 11-06-23, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
You say MSR type. Which ones? MSR makes several types of pegs.
I have red three bladed aluminum stakes like those shown above in post#5. I don’t know if they’re MSR or something else. I probably bought them at REI back when McKinley was President.
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Old 11-06-23, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler
I have red three bladed aluminum stakes like those shown above in post#5. I don’t know if they’re MSR or something else. I probably bought them at REI back when McKinley was President.
The red ones in post 5 above say MSR on one of them. But I have bought several red ones that are very similar on Ebay, shipped from asia for really cheap prices, no printing on them. So if they do not say MSR on them, they might be some low cost generics like I bought. Mine are a bit over 7 inches long.

I only use a couple of those on each of my tents, the lines that have more tension, such as the two ends of a non-self supporting tent.
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Old 11-06-23, 07:16 AM
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hmm.. in 60 years of camping, I've always put the stakes in the ground and that's been enough.
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Old 11-06-23, 12:43 PM
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And then there's the MSR 9.5" long red twisted stakes.
Expensive and somewhat heavy and cumbersome.


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