Pegs, skewers, stakes and disappointment

Left to right we have the Camcleat Y-pegs, titanium V pegs & aluminium stakes from Alpkit and Terra Nova’s skinny doodahs as bundled with the current Lasercompetition.
All but the ones on the left are survivors from last Friday night, and I think you’ll agree it’s not pretty. Looking at the damage it looks like the constant buffeting and vibration turned the V’s and the skinny skewers round and then bent them. The V would never have bent had it been still facing the right way.
The big stake has been bent before (by my foot) and it just went on the weak point where I’d straightened it out. The wee skewers are great for reasonable weather and flat pitches, but that’s them retired from active service.

I’m making no criticism of any of the pegs here as they’re all been used many times and maybe I’ve just worn them down. It’s something you expect to replace.
What is on my mind is more secure pegging. Big Agnes use X-pegs, that’s a huge surface area and therefore a lot of friction in the ground, and less chance of been swivelled around by vibration? The new Y-pegs are bigger than Big Agnes’s X’s and give more surace area, they’re nicely tall too. They’re light enough and just look at the colour.
I shall report back.

39 thoughts on “Pegs, skewers, stakes and disappointment

  1. Those camcleat pegs look very similar to the MSR Groundhog II stakes I use. The MSR Needle stakes are tough but not enough surface area for really bad weather. Surprised the alpkits came out like those, I use them to hold the guys down on my mountaineering tent without issue, perhaps its the guy rope system that helps, as one guy line as multiple connection points at the tent end, so spreading the load.

    Those TN skinnies look great for cocktail sausages though ;-)

  2. interesting stuff, ive been wondering about the pegs that came with my LL3, they are a bit bigger than the TN ones you have there but do seem a bit thin, was thinking of upgrading to some v type ones at some point.

  3. At last, something I can comment on after much hammering of pegs into hard frozen ground in the last 2 months! I’ve gone firmly down the Y peg route for winter use. Hollow Easton tube-types simply peel open at the point or bend when driven into hard ground (straightening them leaves them permanently weak). Titanium V pegs invariably bend terminally at the narrowing below the cord drillings (in view of their cost mine are now all cut down & redrilled below the weak point).
    Y pegs are light for their strength, half the price, go in like a knife through butter & stick. No problems so far with sharp edges cutting guylines but hands are another matter(Look out for my camouflage Laserlite – the brown bits are blood). Take care extracting them when frozen in. Tapping sideways cracks the vanes & you’ll leave the bottom half in the ground.

  4. Weight aside, what would you say to the use of two Y pegs at either end of a Terra Nova LC (presuming these two ends were in-line with the wind direction) and using Alpkit V Pegs for the rest of the pegging?

    I ask as that’s the combination I’d set out in my mind to use in a week or twos time in the Lakes! After your experiences on Friday night, I guess you’d be the man to know! :)

  5. One thing we’re noticing is a simlarity in pegs from different brands, and that’s becasue there’s one big factory in China churning them all out (kinda…). They get separated from each other by heat treatment, finishing detail etc. The tents I had for the Trail test (next issue) only had about four different types of peg between 16 brands.

    Guying makes a difference for sure, and I think the piss poor pitching last Friday was a factor in the issues.

    I always use a mix of pegs, the dilemma now is what to do withw the blue-y’s. Do I put them at the end or cntre guys, or round the bungees and keep my long Alpkit stakes at the end? We’ll find out soon enough as I become a front lawn crusader!

  6. My ‘Bluey’s’ go on the two ends and on the pole with much longer after market guys, the longer guy makes the angle of pull more in line with the wind thus reducing upward pull on the peg.

    On the rest of the tent I use skinny titanium skewers I got from Bob at BPL.co.uk but I wil use the carbons if the ground is softer. I also always carry a few extra carbons as I find on uneven ground separating the fly and inner can help achieve a taught pitch quite easily. (also handy for propping up stove) Loads of folk moan about the carbons but I like em.

    I gave up on alpkit ‘V’ stakes a wee while ago, I’ve bent about 4 of them before switching.

  7. Oh aye, I also use some of those wee Alpkit mini carabiners to attach my main pegs (Bluey’s)to the guys. No sharp edges and they stay attached to the guy if they do get pinged out!

    I’ve only lost one peg point in the past and it was on a really soggy pitch somewhere near Moffat (Gameshope Loch iirc) with wind strong enough to make me stagger whilst ‘watering the roses’

    I only noticed when I went back to the tent because the guy was flapping about, the peg was still in the ground but it had pulled through the mud. I repositioned a few inches further out (another advantage to longer guys) and all was well.

  8. Good call on the carbon pegs, I’ve never had an issue with them. They’re packed away with the Green Laserlite, I’ve have to extract them for use with the comp.
    My ten foot long purple guys will also be fitted for the next trip. If I don’t trip over them in the night I shall sit in the porch amidst a rainbow of colours and I shall rejoice.

  9. Funny how we’re all evolving our various Lasers along the same lines (colours excepted – we stealth campers from south of the line can’t afford such luxuries!).
    I use the big aluminium tubes on the four main guy points IF they’ll go in (Y pegs are next choice if not). For flysheet/inner guys I use any remaining Y pegs followed by those Alpkit titanium pins, which will hammer through just about anything but are prone to pull sideways because of their narrow profile. I still carry a few carbons as backup. It goes without saying that the good stuff goes on the windward side (& also that wind direction will change).
    I’ve linked inner & outer of the Laserlite with small stainless split rings (sea fishing gear) which are much lighter & stronger than mini karabiners & which also slide onto the smaller pegs to save chafing the guys. This generally gives a very rapid pitch unless there’s a need to seperately peg the inner at one or more of the corners when much fumbling & cursing occurs. I’ve just salvaged some of the S-shaped plastic clip-links from a scrap Force 10 flysheet which look ideal for the job; they have a flexible prong to keep them in place. Weekend task identified!

  10. The nails look interesting. Wide enough to press in with your foot by the looks of things.
    Now that I’m revamping the comp a bit I’ve have a look at all the stuff above, lots of great ideas there.
    The Comp felt “wrong” last week, it had been away to get its portrait taken for the mag review and it was all back to factory settings, the guys were all wrong, the tension adjusters were disconnected and the like. It took me an age to pitch it. From what we’re saying we all find our way to get the best out of the comp, maybe that’s part of it’s success, that it allows that interpretation without compromising it?
    Great stuff.

    Aye, we should have a meet, a group of wee tents somewhere high up and photogenic :o)

  11. Just ordered some nails so will try them next weekend,only problem with using the TNF Vario this time of year is the complete lack of guy ropes.

  12. Coming a bit late to this (bah, work! :(, but my two-penn’th….

    I’ve not had any pegs fail yet, but my armoury has evolved. For about 3 years my mainstays have been the 6g titanium skewers as per Terra Nova, Vargo, bpl.co.uk, etc., and they hold in a remarkable range of ground. I’ve never been a great fan of V-pegs (maybe I’ve camped in too many rocky places?!), but carry some Vargo titaniums as have failed above – mine haven’t but spurred by others’ tales I got the Macpac Y stakes from Needlesports (as the blue ones but no cord so slightly harder to extract) and use a few at key points in soft ground. Recently though the grounds been so frozen that I couldn’t get them in! Overall though my favourite pegs are the Vargo titanium nail pegs and I use a few of these as first choice at most key points of whichever tent I’m in. The originals (4mm diameter iirc) were 15g each but feel like they wouldn’t bend if a tank drove over them. Even better though, I recently discovered there’s a lightweight 3mm version weighing 9g each, and these are an item of pure beauty :))
    Better still, they are available individually from Ultralightoutdoorgear:
    http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/shop/shop.php?c=viewproduct&pid=521&cat=25&maincat=7&start=12&sid=sid88377e326339ae7a2ca2a8231cb3d994

  13. The Vargo nails have cords as well. Looks like the superior choice there. (some ordered…)
    The next trip out my kit’s going to look like a ninja’s arsenal as I select my pegs of choice.

    I can see me lying there in the morning, surrounded by imovable pegs with little bits of red fabric fluttering in the breeze as I gaze shellshocked at the open sky from my sleeping bag.

  14. Interesting – my first thought when I saw the Camcleat Y’s was that they look a lot like the Sierra Designs Y-pegs, sans the wee cord in the top. Which makes sense given your comment about the Chinese factory..

    For what it’s worth, I use the Sierra Designs Y’s, and have never had any trouble with them.

  15. Aye, they’re the same pegs. The difference is the cord on Camcleats one, and that’ll be done at the factory as the anodizing is right through the hole drilled for the cord.
    Same with the titanium nails from Vargo and Alpkit, Vargo has an extra hole and a cord installed. It’s all a few cents on the price which adds up if you’re buying in bulk, but does make your product look that bit more appealing than all the lookalikes.

  16. The Golite Y’s are about an inch shorter than the Clamcleat ones and there’s no hole in the top. My Big Agnes pegs are skinny X’s (no hole) and only slightly shorter than the ‘cleats.

    I’ve got V’s from Alpkit, Vango & Vaude, the latter being the strongest I’ve come across. And a bag of TN Carbons.

    It all adds up when you start digging into the pile, eh? o:)

  17. Take a look at Hilleberg’s website. GOLD Y pegs. I think they’re anodised but going from the price they might just be the real stuff. Interesting to see that they’ve now dropped the bendy titanium V peg similar to those in PTCs photo.
    Lightweight bandolier for rapid peg selection anyone?

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  21. Having now rigged extra pegging points on the pole webbing I’m now (fairly) confident. It should stop it dancing around in a mild breeze at least – I’ll let you know!

  22. Those Y pegs, not tried it with 1 yet but know that 2 of them angled towards each other can keep a loopy 15kg collie at bay when she tries to run off at full speed! Only problem is the 3mm bungee cord used to absorb the sudden shock snapped under the force!… Will have to use 5mm bungee instead!

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