Stake a Tent on Hard Ground (and Everywhere Else)
Any camper who has ever encountered tent pegs that were either stubbornly refusing to penetrate the ground or equally stubbornly refusing to remain in the ground will understand the frustration that may result from this situation. Tent stakes on rocky ground are never simple to install, but choosing the correct kind stake and employing a few tactics might make the process a little less challenging. There are also many solutions you may use if everything else fails and the stakes are high.
Why Do you Stake a Tent?
Tents have progressed significantly during the previous 60 years. The United States army distributed canvas pup tents to soldiers as recently as the Vietnam War era. Unlike the sleek freestanding mesh and nylon tents of today, pup tents are made up of two canvas sections, two telescopic steel poles, and a pair of guy ropes to keep the tent from blowing away. It is necessary to anchor the bottom edge of each half to the ground, with the upper edge being fastened to the tops of the poles in order to create an uneven, shaky structure.
Extremely light travelers, like as those who use this GEERTOP 2-Person tent, nonetheless rely on a similar arrangement, with lightweight trekking poles in place of the hefty steel poles and one-piece nylon in place of the two canvas pieces.
Staking Adds Space and Water Resistance
Because fabric sags, it is necessary to exert stress on a tent in order to create a living area within. The greater the tension, the less likely it is to droop, but we don’t want to stretch the cloth to the point of tearing it. Sag not only reduces the amount of space available for living, but it also causes tents to leak. Tent materials are designed to be water-resistant rather than waterproof. When it comes to shelters, water-resistant textiles do not breathe well enough. If you close the doors of a waterproof tent, you’ll suffocate.
Achieving a delicate balance between bending flexible tent poles contained within stitched sleeves and the strain they transmit on the fabric of the tent walls and floor is a hallmark of modern tent design.
Ultralight fans don’t rely on a framework, but rather on ropes to draw tension up and down in the same direction as the wind.
Tents are intended to acquire additional tension through the use of stakes.
In addition, pegs assist in keeping the tent in place during heavy winds. Even with sleeping bags and other belongings inside, a tent might be blown away by strong winds. Many mornings after campouts at the summer camp where I grew up working, we would have to rip down tents that were still damp with morning dew in order to make it back to the Lodge in time for breakfast before the sun came up. After breakfast, we’d set up the tents in a hurry on the sports field to allow them to dry completely.
The tents were not always pegged down properly since we were in a rush to get on with our day. When a couple tents were blown into the neighboring lake, they ended up considerably wetter than they had been when they started.
Do you Have to Stake Your Tent?
My tent is always staked down. I also make use of my rain fly on a regular basis. It’s true that I reside in Wisconsin, where the proverb “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change” has been enthusiastically accepted by the locals. Obviously, I’m overstating things, but our weather changes so fast that I don’t trust a peaceful evening to tell me anything about the night and early morning ahead. Tent pegs are used to keep a tent in place in the wind and to aid in the drainage of rainwater.
If your tent has enough area without the extra space that tension may provide, and the weather forecast predicts that it will be clear, you may be able to forgo using stakes altogether.
What are the Best Tent Stakes?
The ideal tent stakes for the job are determined by the circumstances. Different techniques are suited to different types of terrain. If you’re camping on modest ground, the thin (1/8′ diameter or so), bent aluminum poles that come with most tents would suffice. It is unlikely that they will hold up well in snow, sand, or loose gravel. Many people despise them as well since they bend readily when they come into contact with rocks, roots, or anything else that is hard. Stakes made of bent metal rods are a lightweight choice that work well for woods camping in my region of the country.
- Steel is three times as rigid as aluminum, and it is significantly less expensive, but it is also three times as heavy.
- Galvanized barn nails from the hardware store work well for this project, and they are available in a number of different lengths.
- When it comes to finned designs, softer materials such as snow, sand, and loose gravel perform well.
- The expanded surface area makes it much easier to secure the pegs in place.
Basics of Tent Staking in Easy Spots
According to the scenario, the best tent stakes are determined. Different kinds are best suited to different types of terrain. If you’re camping on modest ground, the thin (1/8′ diameter or less), bent aluminum poles that come with most tents will suffice. They will not hold up well in snow, sand, or loose gravel, for example. They’re also despised by many people since they bend very quickly when they come into contact with hard objects such as rocks, roots, or other hard objects. Lightweight aluminum rod stakes are an excellent alternative for woods camping in my region, and they perform well for this purpose.
Despite the fact that steel is three times stiffer than aluminum and significantly less expensive, it weighs three times as much as aluminum.
Galvanized barn nails from the hardware store work well for this project, and they are available in a number of different sizes.
Finned patterns function better with softer materials such as snow, sand, and loose gravel. Alternatively, if you want to save money, you may use some plastic stakes instead of the MSR Groundhog. The expanded surface area makes it much easier to secure the pegs in place.
Staking on Hard, Rocky Surfaces
Image courtesy ofPixabay user Amy Spielmaker. Make use of the proper stakes, such as heavy-duty steel spikes with nail heads attached to the end. If I were to make the spike body itself, I would not go any thinner than 1/4 inch in diameter. However, because you won’t need these to be extremely long unless you’re working in extremely hard terrain, they will only weigh a few pounds more than standard aluminum stakes. Bring many different lengths of rope if you’re vehicle camping on compacted ground of questionable quality; otherwise, you’ll be disappointed.
- This is the sole instance in which hammering is acceptable.
- Because the water will soak in and lubricate the gap between the grains of dirt and rock, your spike will have an easier time getting through.
- Once the earth has been softened, pound it with a hammer, mallet, the back of your hatchet, a log, or a large rock until the ground is no longer hard.
- If you’re concerned about damaging your tent, consider packing some tiny pieces of paracord to tie onto your stakes and thread through your tent grommets or stake loops to provide some extra space.
Staking on Soft Sand and Snow
Image courtesy of Miro AltonPexels As is often the case, the greatest tip I can provide is to make sure you have the appropriate stakes for the task. Longer, fin-style stakes are great for use in loose soil, gravel, and snow, since they provide more support. If you forgot to bring lengthy stakes, you may make do with long, straight sticks instead. Because they may be difficult to drive, you have permission to pound them once more. Sharpen the tip of the stick before hammering it into the ground, and chamfer the top end of the stick before pounding it into the ground to prevent splinters.
One end of a line should be tied to a grommet or a stake loop, and the other end should be tied to anything that can be buried, such a long stick or a pine branch.
When Stakes Don’t Work
If you’re pitching your tent on a parking lot, boat deck, or somewhere else where you won’t be able to stake it down, anchors are a good alternative. If you’re going car camping, all you need are some boulders or weights to place on the lines that come from your tent’s stake loop. If necessary, you can extend a lengthy line and stack weights along the length of the line.
When you’re backpacking, it’s doubtful that you’ll have an abundance of weights with you. You’ll have to think outside the box and try anything that looks like it may work. Here are some suggestions for makeshift anchors:
- Bottles of water
- Pots that have been filled with water, gravel, or stones
- Wet bags that have been filled with water
If you have the option, secure yourself to anything substantial, such as a tree, root, log, or huge rock. Remember that having the proper type of stake for the terrain is the most important factor in successfully staking tents. Bring a selection of tent stakes with you if you have the opportunity (such as while tent camping) to ensure that you have something that will work well for you. Even if you take precautions, tent stakes might break or become dislodged from time to time. Consequently, before your next journey, make certain that you have a sufficient supply of proper stakes for the soil types you anticipate seeing.
- The best all-around soft ground (sand, snow, and gravel) stakes are the MSR Groundhog
- The best sand and snow stakes are the MSR Blizzard
- The best lightweight normal ground stakes are the Hikemax Titanium
- And the best hard ground stakes are the Eumax Galvanized 10′′.
For more information on camping, check out my Get Started Campingarticle, which has completely priced-out gear lists for beginning and intermediate level campers, vital skills, as well as a map of 307 top-rated campgrounds around the United States, among other useful resources.
How To Pitch A Tent On Hard Or Rocky Ground. It’s Easy When You Know.
Several weeks ago, when camping with my family, I found discovered a campground that was just ideal for us. It had breathtaking vistas, enough protection, and was conveniently located near water. The only drawback was that it was on rocky terrain. After doing some research, I discovered that the ideal technique to pitch a tent on hard ground would vary depending on whether the terrain is rocky, solid, or frozen. It is not only possible to use different types of pegs, but it is also possible to leave the pegs at home in some instances.
Camping on Dry Ground
During the summer months, the ground can become dry and hard, making it difficult to work on. If you’re using the normal tent pegs that came with your tent, it’s possible that they may bend. A simple method that will work on any dry ground will save you the trouble of rushing out and purchasing new, stronger pegs. It’s as simple as rewetting it. Prepare your tent by laying it out and marking the locations of the pegs. All you have to do now is obtain a bottle of water and pour it on top of where the pegs will be placed.
Drive the peg into the now-soft earth with a firm grip.
Wait a few more minutes for the earth to become more pliable before attempting again.
Camping on soft surface with rocks underneath
Summer months are when the earth can become dry and difficult to work on. These pegs are prone to bend if you are using the normal pegs that are included with your tent. As an alternative to rushing out and purchasing new, stronger pegs, there is a simple approach you can do that will work on any dry surface. Re-wet it and you’re done. Prepare your tent by laying it out and marking the locations of the tent pegs. All you have to do now is obtain a bottle of water and pour it on the area where the pegs will be placed.
Make a deep hole in the now-soft dirt with the peg and drive it in.
Please keep in mind that if the peg comes to a halt halfway down, it is necessary to remove the peg and pour a little more water into the hole that the peg just created. Try again after a few more minutes have passed to allow the earth to soften.
Camping on a solid ground like large boulder
Solid ground is sometimes the only clean, level surface available. To be clear, you won’t be driving any pegs into solid rock without the use of steel nails and a really strong hammer. This should not be done. So, what does one do in this situation? It is the goal of tent pegs to secure your tent in place so that it will not be blown away, or in certain situations, to hold it upright. We just need to discover another method of anchoring your tent when pegs are not an option.
If you repeat this process with all of the peg hoops, your tent will not move.
Camping on loose stones
Solid ground is sometimes the sole option for flat, clean terrain. Needless to say, unless you have steal nails and a hefty hammer, you won’t be driving any pegs into solid rock. This is something you should avoid doing. The question then becomes, what should one do. They are used to hold your tent in position so that it does not blow away, or in certain situations to hold it up while you are sleeping. We just need to discover another method of anchoring your tent when pegs are not an option.
Put all of the peg hoops in place and your tent will remain stationary.
Camping in frozen ground
Solid ground is sometimes the only clean, level surface available. Needless to say, unless you have steal nails and a powerful hammer, you will not be driving any pegs into solid rock. Please do not do this. So, what should one do? They are used to hold your tent in place so that it does not blow away, or in certain circumstances to hold it up while you are working. When we are unable to utilize pegs, all we have to do is discover another method of securing our tent. Simply thread a piece of paracord through the pegs’ hoops and secure it to a large stone.
If there aren’t any rocks around, you may achieve the similar result by tying your tent to two huge logs that are placed each side of the tent.
Types of stakes/pegs
When camping on soft ground, they will be OK, but if you are in a region where the terrain is hard or rocky, these will be useless to you. They are the most economical alternative, but they are also the most prone to bending.
The V-shape peg
These are a fantastic all-around shoe. They are suitable for hard to soft terrain, and because of their design and the strength of the material used, they can withstand considerable usage without bending. A variety of materials, including plastic, steel, and titanium are available for purchase. The plastic is lightweight and inexpensive, however it is not suitable for hard ground.
Titanium is likewise lightweight and capable of tackling any terrain, but it is also pricey. In the event that you are vehicle camping or don’t mind carrying a little additional weight, the steel one will serve your needs admirably.
The delta peg
You may use them as a general purpose golf club. Suitable for hard to soft terrain, they can withstand a great deal of damage due to their robust design and sturdy substance and will not bend. Materials such as plastic, steel, and titanium are all available for purchase. However, while the plastic is lightweight and inexpensive, it will not work well on hard surfaces. Also lightweight and capable of handling any terrain, titanium is a costly material to work with. In the event that you are vehicle camping or don’t mind carrying a little additional weight, the steel one will suffice.
The Rock peg
In regions where you know there will be rough terrain, these are the tents you’ll want to bring. What you’re really getting is a large steel nail with a hook on the top so that you can tie your tent to it. Very useful on hard terrain or in areas where there are a lot of rocks beneath the surface of the ground. They are not, however, suitable for solid rock. You’re going to spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to drive these into solid rock. They are also not very effective on soft ground, since they will just pull out of the ground.
These are only suitable for use on soft to firm ground that is free of rocks. Because they require the use of a power drill to be screwed into the ground, they are not very useful for lengthy hikes. They can be physically screwed into the ground, although this makes it far more difficult to plant into the earth than a typical peg. Having said that, if you know you’ll be camping on soft to solid ground and you’ll be vehicle camping, they are excellent choices. They will not be moving once they have established themselves.
Over the years, I’ve noticed several folks utilizing handmade pegs that they’ve produced themselves. One of the lag bolts is eight inches in length. They were only strung about two-thirds of the way up the paracord so that they wouldn’t gnaw on it. The paracord was also secured with a washer around its head to prevent it from falling off. It works quite well on hard and rocky ground; however, you will need a means to drive the screws into the ground in order for it to be effective. As a result, it is recommended that automobile camping be avoided because a power drill will be required.
Pet stacks have even been observed to be used.
When playing on tougher terrain, I don’t believe they would have any benefit, and I believe they would be very difficult to screw.
The simplest way to remember which one to use is to remember that the broader the peg, the softer the ground.
The best way to drive your pegs
It is critical to have the proper peg, but it is also crucial to understand how to utilize it. While just pushing your peg into the ground in any direction may suffice in some cases, there is a proper technique to do it to guarantee that they remain in the proper location at all times. Driving the pegs straight down, or even worse, in line with the guy line, will make it simpler for them to be hauled out of the water later on. When the peg is put perpendicular to the guyline, however, it will be difficult for the peg to be taken out since the peg will be stuck.
The only way it will be able to come loose is if the earth breaks way under it. Another advantage of using this approach is that the pegs will not have to go as deep, which reduces the likelihood of hitting stone.
Hammers for driving pegs
Car camping eliminates the need to concern yourself with weight concerns. This is where my claw hammer comes in handy, since I already had one on hand. After hammering in the pegs, I can use the rear of the tool to take the pegs out, which is quite convenient. As previously said, I already owned one of them, so I didn’t have to go out and purchase another for camping. If you really need one and you know you’ll just be using it for camping, I recommend investing in a tent hammer that is specifically designed for that purpose.
- You will always be able to discover anything in the wild that will suffice for your needs.
- If you stamp your foot, it is possible that the pegs will pierce your foot.
- If there are no branches available, or if the branch is just not heavy enough, a rock might be used instead.
- Maintain complete finger clearance and keep in mind that some pebbles are prone to cracking or splitting.
- It was possible to drive some of the pegs into the ground at an angle, while others were tied to rocks that were laying around.
- Try to work against it, and you will fail miserably.
- It will aid in the discovery of this content by others as well.
TrailTime Tips: Easy Way to Stake a Tent on Rocky Ground
It may be required to pitch your tent on a rocky spot from time to time. It can be practically hard to drive a stake into the earth, and you run the danger of your stakes twisting as a result. How many people are aware that you can anchor your tent practically anyplace with two rocks? If you follow this easy trick, you’ll be able to effortlessly secure your tent on rocky locations without difficulty. Create a loop at the end of a guy line so that you may use it to loop the guy line around a smaller rock.
- Tighten the line around the smaller rock, as shown in the illustration below.
- Attach a larger rock to the rope in order to keep the smaller rock in position.
- The smaller rock will be held in place by the weight of the bigger rock, and the tent lines will be kept taut by the weight of the larger rock.
- This will allow you to employ the large rock/small rock approach at each place along the length of your tent.
Want to learn how to stake your tent using the big rock, little rock method? Watch this video. See this video on our YouTube channel for more information. What are your thoughts on this suggestion? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.
Setting up your tent on a rocky location is sometimes essential when camping in the wilderness. The process of driving a stake into the earth may be quite difficult, and you run the danger of bending the stakes. How many people are aware that they can anchor their tent practically anyplace with two rocks? You’ll be able to simply anchor your tent on rocky locations if you follow this simple guideline. 1. Tie a loop at the end of a guy line so that you may use the guy line to loop around a smaller rock.
- Tighten the line around the smaller rock, as shown in the illustration above.
- Put a bigger rock on the line to act as a stopper for the smaller rock.
- The smaller rock will be held in position by the weight of the bigger rock, and the tent lines will be kept taut by the weight of the smaller rock.
- Use the large rock/little rock approach at each location along your tent’s perimeter as a result.
- See this video on our YouTube channel for further information.
- Let us know what you think in the comments section down below!
Tent Setup Steps Using Rocks
- Small rock should be tied up with a line. Place a much larger rock on top of the line to reinforce it. Pull the rock out of the tent until it is neatly tented
- Tada! You are a walking, talking, hiking genius
Use Long Tent Tie-down Cord
The length of the tie-down cord must be more than the length of the cord you would normally use to set up your tent. Lines aren’t lengthy enough for you? By using a lightweight chain or rope, you may extend the length of your garment. An additional length of line is required in order for the line to be wrapped around the little stone. Because of this little stone, the line will not be able to slip out from beneath the huge rock and cause your shelter to collapse. The extra-long cable allows you to wrap around the little stone and under the huge rock before attaching it to the tent.
Chose Four Large and Heavy Rocks
It is critical that you select four huge and hefty boulders to serve as the major tent cornerstones. In general, the bigger the rock, the higher the quality. Heavy rocks are required to secure extremely huge and expansive tents in their respective locations. Aside from the first four rocks, certain tent designs will have extra stakeout spots where you may place additional medium-sized rocks after the first four have been placed. Although they do not hold the tent in place structurally, the extra points allow the tent walls to be pulled out, which allows for better airflow within the shelter.
Shop for teepees and tarps that are simple to erect!
How to Stake a Tent Properly: 12 Required Tips for Beginners
Tents that are not properly anchored are one of the most prevalent camping mistakes.
If you have only one windstorm, it will ruin the enjoyment of your trip. With the help of this post, you’ll learn how to stake a tent, both for beginners and for experts. More reading material: How to Set Up a Tent in the Rain (with Pictures)
How to Stake a Tent Properly
Your tent collapsed over you in the middle of the night as the wind picked up just a smidgeon of speed, causing you to lose your balance. Your family is becoming increasingly agitated by the minute, and you are the one outside staking the tent back into place. just as it begins to rain. You’ve made the decision to never do it again, and we want to assist you in making that decision successful. One of life’s basic joys is escaping into the great outdoors for an overnight stay, a weekend, or even weeks at a time.
- If you do this task successfully, you will be hailed as a hero.
- No, we’re not kidding.
- That’s the way it is with family.
- Then, instead of them chuckling at you around the campfire, it will be you who will be giggling at another member of your family.
12 Tips to Stake a Tent Properly
As soon as you get there, spend a few minutes to look around and find a spot. Keep in mind that you’ll be sleeping on the ground in a few hours’ time. If it’s rocky, level, has extensive tree roots, or if it’s under a tree that drops pine cones or acorns, you should investigate more. These are some things to think about while making a decision. Consider how inconvenient it is to wake up with a lump in your side in the middle of the night, or the terrified cry of children when acorns fall and terrify everyone.
Your future self will be grateful to you.
2. Always stake your tent
You should spend a few minutes to look around and select a location once you arrive. Just keep in mind that you’ll be sleeping on the ground in a few hours’ time! Take note of whether it is rocky or flat and whether it is supported by massive tree roots. Is it under a tree that drops pine cones or acorns? These are some things to think about while making your final decision. Just imagine how irritating it is to wake up with a lump in your side at 3 a.m., or the startled cry of terror from the kids when acorns fall and shock everyone awake.
You will be grateful to your future self.
3. Tie guy lines
It is important to remember to connect guylines to the tent’s foundation in addition to anchoring it down.
These aid in providing structure to the tent and maximizing the amount of space available within the tent.
4. Stake corner guy lines at an angle
It is important to remember to tie guylines in addition to anchoring the tent’s foundation. All of these contribute to the overall construction of the tent while also maximizing its internal area.
5. Straight up stake
And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. When driving a stake into the ground, it is more effective if the stake is driven straight down into the earth for maximum penetration and resistance to higher winds. During severe storms with high winds, this has shown to be useful. Do you want to go camping with your family? Here’s our guide to the finest family camping tents available on the market.
6. If you forget the hammer
To drive your stakes into the ground, use a rock, tire iron, or the back of an axe head. An easy ingress is preferred for the strongest possible grip. If you’re going automobile camping, carry a rubber mallet with you. This will allow you to push your stakes without exerting too much effort or crushing them. If you’re on a hiking trip, your hatchet will be sufficient. Tenting Tip: Don’t use your hand or foot to hold the tent up. It is possible that the stake will bend when your foot instinctively wiggles with you in an attempt to maintain your balance as a result of this unequal pressure.
7. Choose the right tent stakes
When selecting a stake, the length and surface area are the two most important elements to consider. The following are the three most common types of tent pegs: Make sure you have multiple types of stakes in varying lengths so that you are never caught off guard by a change in the soil type. Are you having trouble putting your tent away? Here’s how to fold a tent with confidence.
8. If unsure, stake more
In other words, if you are doubtful about whether the stakes you have are sufficient for the soil type, you should add a few more or attach your tent to a tree. In order to hold well in sandy soil, longer, deeper wedged pegs are required; if you don’t have any on hand, a tree will serve as your closest buddy.
9. What goes in easy, comes out easy
Okay, feeling like Superman when you can single-handedly drive a stake into the ground with your own hands is fantastic, but keep in mind that the stake can be pulled out just as quickly. If a storm sweeps in and wets the ground, and the wind picks up speed, the odds are good that your tent will pick up speed as well.
10. Hooks are helpful
You know that little hook at the end of your tent’s stake that you can’t seem to get your hands on? It is, after all, there for a reason. Its purpose is to increase the amount of strain in your guy rope by taking advantage of the resistance of the earth. When the hook is oriented away from your tent, the earth acts as a reinforcement. Consider it a backup anchor for your ship. If it is pointed in the direction of the tent, it increases the likelihood of your rope falling off. When setting up your tent, an as-biner carabiner is an excellent piece of equipment to have on hand.
It is common for them to have lockable, double-sided carabiners, which are excellent for attaching a stake’s loop to the guy line of a tent. These carabiners are also useful for securing your tarp above your campfire and tent, as previously mentioned.
11. Ropes down to stakes are trip hazards
Yes, common reason prevails. However, if you or your loved ones have to tinkle in the middle of the night, it is possible that you will forget where the rope descends to meet the stake and will trip over it. Another important reason to anchor your tent at a 45-degree angle away from the entrance of your tent is to keep it dry.
12. Makeshift supplementary stakes
Makeshift stakes can be used as extra anchors by attaching a rope from your tent to a rock on the ground and fastening it to the rock. By placing a huge boulder on top of it, you may assist to strengthen it even more while also keeping it in place. This is especially useful if a storm comes out of nowhere and you need more stakes but don’t have any on hand, or if the stakes are too far away to go back and get before the storm strikes. Alternatively, you can construct your own wooden stakes. How to produce pegs with a machete is as follows:
Do you have a camping mishap you’d like to share? Or perhaps you have a question regarding how to put up your tent? Participate in the discussion in the comments!
Quick Tip: Tent stakes in hard ground
When camping in a well-established campground, there are a number of facilities that are frequently included with the site: A pit toilet, maybe with a water spicket, and frequently a location to dispose of trash. Some established campsites are better than others, but when they are good, they provide a wonderful opportunity to see and experience a part of the world that is not often accessible by backpackers. The issue with these established sites is that they have tent places that are quite hard and influenced by the elements.
- And it’s not only automobile camping spots that are a problem.
- So, what should we do?
- I have discovered a much simpler way that I would like to share with you.
- Straightforward and effective.
- Here are the simple steps to follow!
- Make use of a water bottle, and pour a tiny amount of water over the location where you intend to lay a tent stake. Allow for a minute or two for the water to settle a little bit
- Set up a stake
- Use the BAR to tap in the stake, or your foot if the ground is now sufficiently soft
- Continue until all of the necessary stakes have been placed adequately
- Enjoy your camping trip to the fullest
Mac and cheese is a cinch to make! What materials should you use for tent stakes? Since 2014 or thereabouts, the following have been my personal stakes of preference:
- MSR Groundhog minis are ideal for backpacking trips. While a little on the pricey side (.35 oz), this all-purpose tent anchor is lightweight, multifunctional, and durable and holds down the canvas effectively. It’s a good fit for the off-the-beaten-path destinations I frequent.
- Colghan’s Ultralight tent stakes: This is a low-cost alternative to the above that also happens to be significantly longer. I keep them in my vehicle camping pack for easy access. The ground is often rougher in vehicle camping places, and pegs are used to hold the tents in place. So why not go with the less expensive, yet still capable, option
- Gutter Nails–This is a low-cost solution that I like to use on occasion, especially when using the huge tarp that comes with the camp kit.
Update: A well-known blogger advised that pee be used instead of water because it does not pollute the environment. According to this blogger, he or she has not met anybody. If she found out that I was urinating on the spot where I intended to set the tent pegs, well, let’s just say that a Central European accent is really good at expressing disapproval.
Getting Tent Stakes Into Hard Ground ( Tips & tricks that work )
Store-bought tent packages frequently include tent stakes as part of the package. It may be tempting to just set up your tent and stuff your belongings inside, assuming that the weight would be sufficient, but staking your tent is essential. Tent pegs are essential for keeping your tent safe and secure during severe winds, as well as during normal entry and leave procedures. According to the conditions of your campground, the stakes that came with your tent may not always function well.
Stakes for sandy soil should be wider, but stakes for rocky soil should be more durable, such as aluminum. If you’re camping on very rocky terrain, you’ll need to be creative with your tent stake placement. It is necessary to do the following in order to secure tent stakes in hard ground:
- Preparing the soil
- Making use of the appropriate instruments
- Allowing yourself to be patient
- Creating a starting hole
- Being prepared to make concessions
If you take your time and install it correctly, your tent will remain anchored throughout severe weather, regardless of the sort of soil beneath it that you are working with.
Types of Tent Stakes
Tent stakes are available in a number of different lengths, forms, and materials. In addition to having benefits and limitations, each variety is best suited to a certain type of terrain. Aluminum stakes are the first item on the list. Typically, these tent stakes are the most popular, and they are often included with the purchase of a tent. They are more flexible and bend more easily than other types of stakes because they are lightweight. Despite the fact that their light weight makes them ideal for hiking, they are not the most durable.
- Titanium stakes are the next item on the list.
- In most cases, these stakes will not be large in diameter, but rather small in diameter; this is due to the fact that titanium may be fairly expensive.
- Steel stakes are an additional durable choice.
- Nonetheless, they are widespread and appear in a range of morphologies, ranging from broad to narrow and long.
- Last but not least, we have plastic tent poles.
- Plastic stakes are inexpensive since they must be replaced frequently because, once they break, they must be discarded immediately.
- These large stakes are suitable for usage in soft to medium ground conditions.
Different forms and lengths are more effective with different types of soil.
Although a great amount of surface area may make it harder to pound in, it also means that the stake will be more resistant to being tugged and dragged out of the ground.
Stakes made of narrow hook wire or round wire are found on the other end of the range.
On one end, they are long and thin, and they have a hook on the other end to which the tent loop or guy wire may be attached.
The latter is especially true when dealing with a loose or sandy soil type.
The fourth form of tent stake is the screw-style tent stake.
The bottom of beach umbrellas frequently have this pattern, and for good reason.
If at all feasible, you should conduct preliminary study on the location and soil type of your camping spot before setting out on your journey. This will allow you to choose the ideal tent stake material and type to ensure that your tent is firmly planted.
How to Pound in Tent Stakes
It may appear like pounding tent pegs into the earth is a straightforward process; you just smash the stake into the ground. Staking your tent, on the other hand, is something that may be done strategically. A tent stake should be inserted perpendicular to the ground in the appropriate manner. This means that the tent stake should be driven into the ground vertically rather than at an angle. Because of the ninety-degree angle between the stake and the earth, your stake will encounter the greatest amount of resistance and will find it tough to draw out of the soil.
- As a general rule, the hook should be oriented away from your tent so that when you attach the wire or loop, you will have a significant amount of holding force.
- The poles should be at an angle, making a “X” across the base of your tent, rather than running parallel to the tent sides, as if they were constructing a square.
- When you have correctly positioned your stakes and are ready to pound them in, there are a few options for how you should go about the process.
- A rock may be used in a pinch or if you are camping and don’t want to carry around any more weight.
- When working with loose or sandy soil, soft mallets are the ideal instrument to use, hammers are a good all-purpose tool, and huge boulders may be very beneficial when working with hard ground.
- Instead of forcing the stake into the earth, you are more likely to bend it or have it force up the surrounding dirt like a lever instead of driving it into the ground.
- It is not recommended to leave it halfway out because this will not provide a firm grasp.
- If the stake was put in extremely readily, it is probable that it will be taken out quite easily as well.
- It might also be beneficial to have a variety of tent stakes of varying lengths on hand.
Staking in Particularly Hard Ground
The directions above appear to be straightforward, but what happens if the terrain is really difficult? One approach is to pretreat the soil before planting. If the earth is extremely dense and compacted, a small amount of water can be used to loosen it. In order to properly stake your ground, you need first wet the area where you intend to stake your ground. Allow it to seep in and loosen the region for a few minutes before using it. Then, using a huge rock, drive your stake into the ground.
- When pounding your stake into hard and rocky ground with a rock or even a tool, pay attention to any variations in sound.
- We recommend that you relocate your tent stake and give it another shot.
- If the earth is hard because it has been frozen, you can use a stronger titanium or steel stick to make a beginning hole to make it easier to dig.
- The beginning hole should make it easy to insert a large tent stake into the ground later on.
- Tent pegs in the manner of steel or titanium nails, with a flattened head and a narrow diameter, are the ideal choice for frozen ground.
- Instead of anchoring your tent down, look for trees, logs, shrubs, or anything else that you can use to attach your tent lines or guy wires to.
When tent stakes are unable to be driven into the ground, large boulders can be used to hold or tie your tent lines to. This is sometimes referred to as “erecting a tent.”
What if I have the opposite problem?
Soft ground can be just as problematic as hard ground in terms of drainage. It is possible that your stake will slip straight into the earth and then slip right out again if the soil is loose and sandy. One approach is to attempt to dig a bit deeper until you reach densely affected earth, and then pound your stake into the ground. Additionally, large rocks can be placed over the stakes or utilized as tie-downs to assist secure the structure.
Always Stake Your Tent
If you’re camping on soft ground or firm ground, there is a unique approach for staking your tent down, but the most essential thing to remember is to always stake it down. You don’t want it to turn into a kite while you’re inside the house.
More articles you will love
Have you ever found it difficult to drive tent pegs into rocky, difficult ground? It’s impossible to avoid setting up camp in rocky, stony, or solid soil at some point. If you aren’t careful, tent pegs will stretch and break, causing serious damage. So, what are the finest tent stakes to use on rocky terrain that is hard to work with? It’s not possible to utilize just any tent stake on rocky soil. I recommend utilizing either the aluminum MSR Groundhog Stakeor any heavy-duty titanium variant for this use.
- Personally, I would just use the MSR Groundhog tent stake as a standard.
- Furthermore, it has a holding power of 60-70 lbs, regardless of the soil type.
- Having said that, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for every situation or circumstance.
- There are times when you just can’t help but set up camp in rocky, hard dirt.
- When slamming them in, you’ll have a difficult time and the stakes will shatter.
- Regardless of the sort of stake you choose, you will not be able to drive the stake into the ground.
- Make sure you don’t bend or break your tent stakes!
- Take a look at the following table, in which I compare the holding power of several stake designs.
|Tent Stake and Style||Tent Stake Length||Tent Stake Weight||Holding Power Range (lb)|
|MSR Groundhog Mini(Y-Beam)||6″||.35oz||40-50lb|
|MSR Carbon Core Nail Stake||6″||.19oz||32-40lb|
|Vargo Titanium V-Stake||6.25″||.38oz||25*-55lb (Bad in Compacted Soil)|
|MSR Aluminum Shephard Hook||6.75″||.45oz||25-35lb|
|Toaks Titanium Shephard Hook||6.5″||.23oz||23-35lb|
|Vargo Titanium Shephard Hook||6″||.32oz||20-30lb|
|Cheap Plastic Peg||6″||.40oz||0-20lb (Couldn’t get it in Compacted Soil)|
Use a Y-Shaped Groundhog Peg in Rocky Soil
Personally, I would recommend aMSR’s Groundhog Y-Shaped Stakes as a good option. There’s a good reason why these tent stakes are the most widely used on the face of the globe. They may be utilized in any environment, independent of the soil conditions (V-Stakes better in sand). The Groundhog is designed in a Y-shape, which increases both the strength and the holding power. Because it is by far the most robust aluminum stake available on the market, it will not bend when used in rocky terrain.
- When constructed from high-quality materials, the Y-shape is extremely durable and can survive repeated hammering.
- Groundhogs are capable of smashing through tiny rocks and roots as well.
- If you encounter resistance, raise your arms and change your angle.
- You should also consider the additional holding power provided by an MSR Groundhog.
- Shephard hooks made of titanium have a gripping force nearly twice as strong as steel shephard hooks.
- Although these are not the lightest pegs available, the adaptability and strength they provide more than compensate for the additional weight.
There was a time when REI sold a knockoff version of the MSR Groundhog, but it appears that these have since been discontinued. You might wish to choose theGroundhog minis, which are shorter and slightly less expensive than the regular Groundhogs.
Thin Titanium Shephard Hooks Can Fit Between Rocks
Heavy duty titanium shephard hooks are also an option, however they are more expensive than standard shephard hooks. I have a handful of generic titanium shephard hooks, and they’re all pretty much the same in terms of construction. If you’re going to buy titanium hooks, go for the ones with colorful tops instead of plain ones (Vargo Makes a Nice Set). When compared to the MSR Groundhog, titanium shephard hooks offer two major benefits. They’re thin, which makes it easier for them to slip through gaps, and they’re typically lower in weight.
Titanium is a rather flexible substance for such a strong and long-lasting material.
In rough terrain, you shouldn’t even try with metal shephard hooks.
What About Steel Stakes?
Steel tent stakes are inexpensive and durable, so they will almost certainly hold up on rocky terrain. You may cause damage to the steel by smashing it on rock, although it will take a lot of punishment. That does not imply that you should abandon the low-cost steel stakes that come with your camping equipment. One significant disadvantage of steel tent stakes is that they are heavy. When compared to titanium and aluminum, they are quite hefty. For vehicle campers, this isn’t a major concern, but for hikers, it’s a significant amount of weight.
As a result, a set of six tent stakes weights around 3/4 kg.
Sometimes You Can’t Use Stakes in Rocky Areas
Steel tent pegs are inexpensive and durable, and they will almost certainly hold up on rocky terrain. Steel will be damaged if it strikes rock, but it will withstand a great deal of punishment. But this does not imply that you should abandon the low-cost steel tent stakes that came with your tent and replace them with something more expensive. Only one main drawback exists with steel tent stakes: they are heavy. In comparison to titanium and aluminum, they are quite hefty. Backpackers, on the other hand, will have to carry a significant amount of weight.
Consequently, a set of six tent pegs is approximately 3/4 pound in weight.
Driving Tent Stakes into Rocky Soil
When driving tent pegs into rocky terrain, you may typically just use your boots as a driving tool. As long as you don’t strike a root or a rock, they should go in without a hitch. Unfortunately, most things in life are not straightforward. Staking stakes into solid rock is a distinct genre of its own. To push them into the ground, you’ll need to use a hammer or a rock of some sort. Just be careful not to damage the stake inadvertently when driving it. If the stake doesn’t budge after a few whacks, transfer it to a different location.
Adjusting the angle such that it is closer to the ground allows you to travel over and around the rock. This lessens the holding strength of the stake, but it may still be used to get you into the ground without causing damage to the stake.
Do I Need a Hammer?
Whether or not you require the use of a hammer is determined by your personal preferences. At 5.3oz, a cheapColeman rubber malletree isn’t all that hefty for its size. I leave my mallet at home from time to time in order to lose weight, but I always end up returning to it. It’s small and lightweight, so it won’t add any more weight to my pack. Ultralight campers, on the other hand, will naturally want to reduce their overall weight. A huge rock may generally be used to drive a tent peg into the ground.
The moment you slip up and cut yourself on the stake might not happen right away, but it will happen soon.
The increased weight of a steel/titanium hammer isn’t worth the inconvenience of switching.
Other Things To Look For When Driving Into Rocky Soil
What causes certain tent stakes to operate in rocky soil and others to fail in the same situation? It all comes down to how long something will last. Some stakes are unable to withstand the tension of being driven into hard surfaces. Tent stakes are quite inexpensive ($25 maximum), so you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to save money.
Price: Aluminum vs Titanium
Aluminum stakes are by far the most affordable alternative, but that does not imply that they are of inferior quality. A $20 set of titanium shephard hooks will undoubtedly outperform a $5 aluminum set, but that is not the point of this discussion. Ti-shephards are comparable in price to aluminum Y-beams, such as the MSR Groundhog. Would it be better if the groundhog were made of titanium? Yes, that would be possible, but it would be prohibitively expensive. It is just not feasible to manufacture complex designs such as the Y-Beam from titanium at a reasonable cost.
A Y-Beam aluminum stake will provide more holding force and the same durability as a steel stake, but it will weigh twice as much.
It makes no difference what you pick as long as the body is strong and long-lasting.
Material: Aluminum, Titanium, Steel
You will almost always want to use an aluminum or titanium stake while you are backpacking as a backpacker. Steel is far too hefty to be carried around in your pack on a daily basis. To be quite honest, it’s difficult to advocate titanium above aluminum. Titanium is lighter and stronger than aluminum, but this does not imply that it is a superior material. It all comes down to the design of the stakes. Because titanium is pricey, the stake design suffers as a result. As a result, you are essentially forced to select between V-Stakes and Shephard Hooks.
Stakes made of aluminum, such as the MSR Groundhog, may be heavier, but they have double the holding ability of steel stakes (60-70 lb).
I like to mix and combine 2 groundhogs with 2-4 lightweight Vargo Titanium Shephard Hooks to create an interesting look. You’ll save a few grams of weight while also benefiting from two heavy-duty anchor points on opposite corners of the frame.
It is recommended that you use a Titanium shephard hook or Groundhog hook while working on rock soil (Y-Style). Shephard hooks will be simpler to drive in, but Groundhog hooks will provide a stronger grip and longer longevity. V-Stakes are effective in soft ground such as mud and sand, but they are completely ineffective in compact soil. In addition, you must deal with the hassle of digging dirt out of all of the grooves. V-Stakes should only be used on loose sandy soil, according to most experts.
Because they are only.19oz, you might be able to get away with usingMSR Carbon Cores, which are currently the lightest tent stakes available on the market.
Length Matters: Short vs Long Stakes
Long stakes provide greater holding strength, but they are difficult to drive into rough soil. What’s the point of having more length if you can only push 4-5 inches into the ground with it? Personally, I believe that the 6′′-7.5′′ range is the sweet spot for most people. The holding force provided by shorter stakes is insufficient; nevertheless, longer stakes are more difficult to push all the way into the ground. In comparison to a Y-Beam, longer shephard hooks (from 9-12 inches) have less durability, less holding force, and higher weight.
How Many Stakes Do I Need?
The majority of campers and hikers will need to bring 4-6 tent pegs, depending on the size of their tent and the terrain. In most cases, one stake will be required for each corner of the tent (two stakes in windy or snowy conditions). Large tents with extra sides will, without a doubt, necessitate the use of additional posts. Check out my post where I go into further depth on how many stakes you’ll need to support your tent. It’s possible that you’ll be able to get away without using any stakes at all.
What you should do will depend on the weather and whether or not you are ready to take the chance of destroying your tent.