Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Windsock Pole Support

One might imagine that to think up a method to stake/anchor a windsock pole wouldn't be much of a problem, but finding a satisfactory solution ended up vexing me for several years.  

If you're like me, you'll want something light and portable, and that will go into hard ground without too much effort, and conversely, come out again without a struggle.

You'll want it fairly stable too, or it will lean in soft ground, or sand.  Too short a prong, and it will fall over if the wind picks up.

A pound-in stake requires something to pound it with, and a suitable rock, or whatever isn’t always handy.  And a mallet is just more weight to hump for those really out-of-the way launch areas.  And a pound-in stake can be troublesome to remove sometimes.

If none of these issues bother you, however, just grab a section of rebar, sharpen one end on a grinder, attach a section of pipe with some hose clamps, and away you go. 

Weld on a T-bar, or an L-bar, to help stamp it into the ground, (and pulling it out later) and you're even better set up.

I’ve tried this approach, along with a bunch of things to stake windsock poles over the years, but my favorite so far is a spiral, screw in style dog stake.  My local Dollar store had them for sale a while ago, for a buck plus tax, and I'm sure millions of them went out to other dollar stores and pet stores across North America.  I’ve also seen them on Amazon in the four to eight dollar range.   

I used hose clamps to attach a short piece of plastic pipe with an interior diameter just slightly bigger than my pole.  It’s very stable in all ground, (short of frozen ground) and the stake goes both in and out without much effort.  

Mine weighs in at 350 gr, (12.3 oz) including the clamps and pipe, and after I cut the dog chain ring off.  They are 16" long, so I just toss it in the wing bag with my pole and sock and I'm ready to hike.

An alternative, completely store-bought option you might consider are one of a variety of fishing pole holders. 

I bought the pole holder below at a garage sale, but because it's so heavy, I only use it on the rare occasions such as group events when I use my fairly heavy, very long, "Blue Sky Powered Paragliding" pole.
This one looks to be somebodies homemade project, but I see similar looking rigs for sale at fishing supply places, and Amazon.  The pipe is 12" long, on a 20" stake, with a 14" L-bar coming off to the side at an angle.

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