How many times have you lost a tent stake, the thin 6-inch titanium hook stakes to be precise?

I live in the southeastern part of the US where dead leaves from various hardwoods and pine needles are on the ground year around. I've found the nondescript gray color of this titanium stakes hard for me to see among this natural ground cover. Over time I've experimented with painting my thin titanium tent stakes bright red or fluorescent orange, better but still hard for me to see especially in autumn. I've never completely lost one, but have spent way too much time searching for one after dropping it due to cold hands or rushing to avoid rain.

paint stakes

On a recent trip I was rushing to pack up before the morning rain started when I dropped one of my coveted thin ultralight titanium stakes. I had had enough; it was time to find a color that I could see against the forest floor. After experimenting with various colors I found it. BLUE! I proceeded to sand all of the orange and red ones to the bare and clean titanium they once were then spray painted all of them bright blue.

I've camped three nights since the bright blue color was applied; again I dropped one on the last morning due to rushing to pack up before the rain started. I quickly spotted the thin blue titanium stake sticking out from under the leaves where it shined as bright as the Montana sky.

–This tip is brought to us by JJ Mathes one of our former Trail Ambassadors.

October 23, 2010 — Brian Fryer