Quick Tips: Drillable Stakes for Hard Ground

Posted by Benjamin Aldercast on

Probably the best decision I ever made for my LARP encampment was to replace my hammer-in stakes with drillable ones. Before them, I would spend hours before and after each event pounding away with a mallet. Smashed fingers, conks on the head, and sore arms made it much more difficult to then enjoy swinging a foam sword for the weekend!

I purchased a set of drill-in stakes, and now I can finish this whole part of my setup less than 10 minutes. I still bring the normal stakes as a backup, but I haven’t had to use them yet.

The Stakes

I found these stakes on Amazon, and I have been very happy with the quality.

The ground at my primary LARP site is very hard, so I bend a few most times I set up. I recommend getting more than you need.

The glow-in-the-dark heads are durable, but the glow doesn’t do much for me. I recommend having a backup plan for your guy line visibility. I use simple tea lights, glow sticks, and solar-powered garden lamps to make sure nobody trips.

The Drill

Depending on how hard-packed the earth is where you set up camp, you may need a stronger drill to drive these stakes in. I use Dewalt's 20v Max XR cordless drill.

Don’t use the full power of the drill during setup. I usually turn the torque setting on the above drill to 9 so that I can crank it all the way to 15 during teardown when the battery is lower and the stakes have settled into the ground more. The speed doesn’t matter too much, but you’ll get more power if you set this on 1.

I also recommend having a socket wrench on hand in the unfortunate event the drill dies over the weekend so you can more easily remove the stakes after. I haven’t had to use mine yet, but it’s a comfort knowing I have a backup plan.

Managing a campsite can be a pain but can be very rewarding a definitely beats sleeping in a car. I hope these tips help!


Ben Aldercast

Ben Aldercast has been swinging foam weapons since high school and telling people how to do things since 2nd grade. Sometimes he's been right, too!


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