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Tent Stakes. It seems our troop tents are always missing stakes. On any given campout, we will have 30 or so tents in the field and at least 1/2 are missing their stakes. We do tent inspections before we leave and replace missing stakes, and yet at the next campout same problem. We pack them away in the tent bag (or think we are) but then they disappear. SPL, PLs, APLs, QMs, SMs all have their hand in inspections (depending on who is on campout) yet problem persists. I am thinking about adding the position of Stakemaster so that at least someone can be held accountable for the stakes. Should we just dispense with bagging the stakes with the tents and go to just a big community box of stakes that we just replenish as another camping consummable?


Anybody else have this problem and can offer a solution? Nothing we do seems to work.

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Way back in the olden days, our troop took the aluminum stakes out of tents as they were purchased (not real sturdy anyway) and set them aside for the occasional backpacking trip.


Many years (probably late 60's) before I joined my childhood troop in the late 70's, a former Scouter donated a bunch of rebar that was fashioned into tent stakes. It was 1/2" bar, shaped to form a useable head, and with an approx 8-10" shaft angle cut to form a pointed tip. Cutting could be done with die grinder, cutoff tool, or even a torch.


You could bang these things into the rockiest clay dirt imaginable with a 3lb or 5lb sledge, and then pull them out with a claw hammer or a cheap slide-hammer (auto dent puller). We kept a communal "stake bucket" with both the hammers with them.


While we never painted our stakes, if I were to do this project I would wait until they cooled (heating with an acetylene or propane torch may be necessary to get the proper shape), and then dunk them into the brightest orange enamel paint I could find. The bright color would make them less likely to be tripped over, and make them easier to spot when breaking camp.


I NEVER saw one of these stakes bend when driving it into the ground - occasionally one of the heads would take a miscue from the sledge hammer, but these things were around long before I got to the troop, and were still going strong when I left in 1984. In addition, since rebar is ridged along its surface, they were less prone to pull out during a windstorm, or in wet weather (kinda like a ring-shank nail is less likely to pop out of wood).


Downside: They are HEAVY. Not for backpacking. Count on some of your smaller scouts not being able to pick up a large bucket of these, so multiple buckets may be needed (one per patrol?).


Just my $.02 worth......


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When setting up the tent, drive in a stake at each loop. When taking down the tent, pull up a stake at each loop, and lay it on the ground cloth. Stakes are "lost" when the boys don't bother to pull them up and/or put them in one spot.


A Stakemaster would make the problem worse because the boys would learn that someone else is responsible for that part of their tent and they would be even more careless.


Our troop hasn't bought a stake in years. We collect them from campsites we use.

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and I thought we were the only stakeless souls out there...


Semper Par., we go through tons of pins every year...tents rain flys...doesn't matter they are digested and left in cat holes throughout the east..In committee We have discussed a 'pin charge' of what ever replacement cost was..which I felt was fair.but it did not go anywhere...(nixed by the CC).


The only thing that works is checking in the pin/stake bag separate from the tent then the QM places the pin bag into the tent bag...(royal pain-labor/time intensive)) and when the adult equipment guy (QM mentor) is not on a campout or when the QM is AWOL (just joking) the system returns to chaos...and lost pins...and we still have boys say they didn't have all the pins when they set up (lots of our camps start after dark on Friday nights so setup can get hectic)we are still looking for a good solution...


With the dining/Rain Flys we tried to maintain separate pin bags...issue tarp, then issue pin/line bags and when QM or Equipment guys is not present...hole bags sets vaporize...


This scouting-school-year(September to December so far) we have spent $34.00 on pins... not a lot but still ridiculous...

Currently we have complete sets in each tent/tarp...and we are now keeping the checkout sheet from each campout so when a tent is issued with no pins we can try to track the last user...bet it will cost another $30-40 between now and summercamp...but CC won't hear of charging for lost pins... Only thing that works is ..the 'show me' technique...at check in they show me or the QM they have their 10 pins/stakes ....good luck

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Missing Tent Stakes. Yes it is a universal dilemma. Some theories have been advanced as to why this happens.

1) Alien abduction. ET's are interested in how we are progressing in the development of light metals.

2) Global Warming. As a result of the greenhouse effect the surface of the earth has become more porous, and the stakes are being absobed into the ground at a rapidly increasing rate.

3) Genetic Mutations. Due to the increase of chemical pollutants, new strains of bacteria have emerged that can devour metal in a matter of seconds.

4) Covert Operations. Ultra-extreme environmentalists who believe that driving a stake into the ground causes pain to the Earth-goddess, have infiltrated the Scouting movement and are secretly removing and destroying tent stakes whenever they can.


5) Friendly Ghosts. The happy spirits of long-deceased Scouters are sometimes allowed to roam among us in order to engage in a good-natured prank. (if you ever find a tent-stake in your washing machine, you know you have been "visited")

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Our troop uses personal tents. If you lose one, you have to kindly bum one/some off of someone who may or may not have extras. When you get home, you have to replace your own if you lose them. Funny, when it is their own personal gear, they seem to keep up with it better and take better care of it. Well, most of them.


Of course, when something is misplaced, the familiar boy cry goes out....hey, someone STOLE my............

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Same problem here, I have been told by the old guard that I need to count the stakes before the tents are put away, I just laughed.

I suggested to the troop, if you want to help with this, assign tents to patrols and make the patrol responsible for there own gear, the old guard thought this was to much work.

We do not purchase tent stakes, we pick up all of the election signs that are stuck in the ground along side of the roads, we pick them up after the election and use the metal in them for the stakes. I now vote for the candidate that uses the best metal for tent stakes!

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dan, I really hope that last bit was a joke. Also, is it even legal to pick up election signs like that?


Here is an idea. It isn't something we do, but then we don't seem to have much of a problem with this.


Each boy is issued enough stakes for his portion of a tent before his first camp out and told not to lose them. It is made clear that if he loses them, he must get his own for future camp outs.


Then, keep some extras for those times you have less Scouts in each tent than you planned on.


Or, that could be the worst idea ever. I really don't know.


Oh, here is a funny one. At the annual council camporree a couple years ago, we had a new camp ranger. It was his first major event. Friday night at the leaders meeting, he asks everyone to please not use metal tent stakes, as these are dangerous when he goes and mows and some are still in or on the ground. Apperently someone was injured by a lawnmower propelled tent stake. Aslo, it damages the mower. However, the reaction to this (most troops had set up using metal tent stakes) was quite negative, so the idea was dropped.

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I don't want this to get too political, but I personally pick the candidate based on their record, positions, beliefs, attitude, etc. I pick the candidate that I think will represent my beliefs and who will do the best job for the nation or community.


On the yard signs, are you all asking to take them or do you just go around and pick them up? I am guessing you are getting permission first in which case I am sure it is just fine.

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As a maker of untold hundreds of tent stakes from number 9 wire it has always amazed me how they disapear over time. They are like socks.


One of the things that slows the loss of stakes that we do is to tie a length of bright colored plastic ribbon (found at any good hardware store)

to each of the stakes.


This takes a lot of effort to "lose" them or have them " stolen". Have thought of labeling each stake with either the tent number or the patrol name.


yis on my third roll of number 9 wire



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