If you've ever suffered the indignity of trying to hammer a tent peg into hard ground with a cheap, rubber-headed mallet, the new MSR Stake Hammer is for you. There's no snapping of shafts or bouncing of heads, just a percussive, precise meeting of peg and stainless steel head, as a result of which, the peg generally decides it will penetrate the ground after all...
It's an amazing thing in an unashamedly over-specified sort of way. If someone handed it to you on the street - probably inadvisable - you'd assume it was some sort of precision-engineered piece of climbing hardware. Like we said, the head is hardened stainless steel complete with dimpled face to minimise slippage if your swing isn't quite just so.
And then there's the handle, finely-shaped, comfortable-to-grip, alloy tubing riveted securely in place to avoid those embarrassing decapitation moments and complete with a nylon cord loop so you can, oh, I dunno, hang it from your belt and look proper gnarly in the campsite cafe...
Joking aside though, the Stake Hammer has a sublime balance to it, which makes tapping appropriately shaped pegs - MSR's own Mini Groundhogs work well, as do nail-type pegs of all sizes, into hardened ground an absolute breeze. And when it's time to remove them, the claw section of the head slots neatly into the Mini Groundhog's notched shaft, to make extraction similarly seamless.
A Matter of Mass
At 316 grammes all-in - most of it in the head - the Stake Hammer isn't going to be doing much lightweight backpacking, but for car camping or base camp expedition use where weight is secondary to effectiveness, it's an ideal companion.
And best of all, once the hard work of banging pegs into rocky ground is over, you can use the thing to pop the top off a cold bottle of beer and chill out in the sunshine.
Yes, it's slightly over the top, but trust us, find yourself on a stony pitch and you'll never want to leave home without it again. It could be the best £16 - yes, we know, but trust us, this thing is ace - you'll ever spend on a mallet.