Saturday 21 April 2012

MLD Trailstar - Stake it down!!

A fellow Trailstar fan, a bit of a newkidontheTrailstarblock, Andrew, asked me last week my expert opinion on Stakes for a Trailstar.

Expert, moi?

If you read back through my occasional blogs you will see that I did once wake up looking at the sky. At the time I used 6" titanium pins all round on soft soil. No good.

I found some 6" aluminium Phillips head type stakes and used 6 of these with some titanium pins. Last year on the TGO I was in fear of the Trailstar blowing down in a storm. I was triple staked on three of the main pressure points.

So, no chances.

I now use 6 x MSR Groundhogs for the main pressure points, so to speak and 4 x 6" aluminium shepherds crook pins for the intermediate points.

Update: Since posting this I came across Clamcleat Spears - a full 20 cm + titanium stake - so definately no chances - Spears and Groundhogs! The Spears will be the main anchors in hard ground and the Groudhogs the main anchors in soft ground. Weight is not an issue: keeping the Trailstar on Terra firma is the issue. Another night of fear - waiting for the flimsy triple staked anchors to pull out is not something I want to repeat!

MSR Blizzard Tent Stake
Top is the Blizzard stake - centre is the Groundhog stake and the bottom is another stake which IMHO will not do on Trailstar pressure points.

High up in the Grey Corries, recently,  with strong gusting winds, they held with no problem in fairly soft ground. I would trust them in any storm now.

I also use an MSR Blizzard stake as a toilet trowel (See Colin Ibbotson's excellent instructions on how to make one with a handle).

And,'s the poop scoop of the year - I can use it on the mostintothewindpoint on the Trailstar as a firm anchor in soft or waterlogged conditions ie Scotland.

So, if you use stakes on a Trailstar - there is a good reason why Ron offers 9 inch Easton Stakes and 5.5" skewer stakes with the Trailstar.

The Trailstar is extreamely stormworthy but does need to be well anchored to weather any such stormy conditions!

Clamcleat Spears - 200mm + of solid titanium

CL623/R. Clamcleat® Spear Titanium Tent Peg.


  1. Just tested mine in Cumbria.

    Used 9" Alpkit Y Stakes.
    They are CRAP and bend.
    Have moved on to the MSR Blizzard at the back, with a bigger loop.
    5 x 7" Titanium Clamcleat stakes on the main points. They are well 'ard, you can hammer them into wood (don't), and 4 x 6" Titanium for the other points plus a small skinny skewer for the front of the the Oooknest.

    Blog on that shortly, but it is bloody marvelous.

    It makes the Trailstar from a Tarp into a full blown, bug free mega shelter. (can I use that word?)
    It weighs twice a bivy, but with so much benefit in the UK, that it is now MY combination for the Challenge. Add a 1.5 X 2M bit of SilNylon as a groundsheet for all your kit, and a 35g Cuben door.
    A bomb proof palace.

    Haven't got the door yet mind, but Sean says it will be here in time.

    Now my only problem is the fact that I buggered up my Pacer Poles.
    I am hoping to fix them this week or I will be using the old Leki's.

    See you on route sir :)

    1. I just knew you would find the Oookstar to be superb.

      I look forward to reading more about your experience.