My understanding (no direct experience yet) is that the logs will still produce under less than ideal circumstances and you don’t have to force them. I read some accounts of people doing things less than optimal and getting results. Natural weather changes will cause fruiting but if you want a big flush (if you sell them and have an order to meet, for example), soaking them is the answer. As with many things, I think for the hobbyist it’s best to keep it simple! Just keep them well watered and out of the sun/wind. If it’s easier to keep them standing and use a sprinkler, go for it! The stacks seem to just be for space saving and convenience.
An article (http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/resources/ShiitakeGuide.pdf) references people throwing the logs in ponds, using barrels, or 50 gal tubs for livestock. I imagine a big trash can would do the trick, too. These are people who sell, so they need mushrooms on a set schedule.