How To Stake A Tent On Hard Ground

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.

Wind Resistance

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

Image courtesy of pixabay user lakewooducc One of the most important things to remember while staking a tent is to place your stakes in opposite corners of the canvas. Also, wait until you’ve finished erecting your tent before setting your stakes. While attempting to anchor down a tent to the ground while also attempting to insert the poles is not enjoyable, Set a single stake to hold everything in place first if you’re dealing with strong gusts while putting everything together. Make sure to drive your stakes all the way in, leaving just enough sticking out so that you can pull them out when you need to break camp.

  • When you don’t use the entire length of the stake, you also lose some of the stake’s holding force in the earth itself.
  • With the exception of heavy-duty nail-style stakes that are employed in extremely hard ground, little camping tent pegs simply cannot withstand such a battering.
  • The possibility exists that you will be exceptionally unfortunate with a massive underlying rock and will have to rearrange your entire tent in order to acquire an adequate stakeout; nonetheless, hammering will not break through the rock with a very weak aluminum rod.
  • Repeat the process for a square tent.
  • Other forms can be more difficult to work with, but the idea is to maintain a nice, consistent tension throughout the tent floor when you stake it out for the night.
  • Many of us learnt that you must adhere to the “90 degree rule,” which means that your stake must be at right angles to your guy lines.
  • It turns out that none of those statements is entirely right.
  • A stake planted in “Hard” ground will have approximately 25 times the holding strength of a stake set in “Very Soft” ground, according to the Pullout Capacity of Tent Stakes – Pocket Guide, a brochure developed for major panel tent businesses.

However, the brochure emphasizes the significance of driving stakes almost vertically into the ground, as well as providing us with solid information on how different soil types and rock content might affect holding power in particular situations.

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.

  1. This is the sole instance in which hammering is acceptable.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 always the case, the best advice I can give is to make sure you have the appropriate stakes for the job. Longer, fin-style stakes are ideal for use in loose soil, gravel, and snow, as they provide more support. If you forgot to bring long stakes, you can 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 pounding 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 something that can be buried, like a long stick or a pine bough.

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
  • Canoe

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.

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.

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
  • And

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.

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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

It may appear like pounding tent pegs into the earth is a straightforward process; you simply smash the stake into the ground. Staking your tent, on the other hand, is something that may be planned. A tent stake should be inserted perpendicular to the ground for optimal installation. The tent stake should be driven in vertically rather than at an angle in order to achieve this result. Stakes that are driven into the earth at a 90-degree angle will encounter the most resistance, making it more difficult for your stake to be removed from the ground.

  1. Because the hook should be oriented away from your tent, you will have a high amount of gripping strength when you attach the wire or loop.
  2. Instead of running in line with your tent sides in the shape of a square, they should be at an angle, making a “X” across your tent foundation.
  3. It’s possible to pound your stakes into the ground in a number of different methods once you’ve correctly positioned your stakes.
  4. Hammers and mallets necessitate the transport of equipment; however, a rock may be used in a hurry or if you are hiking and don’t want to carry more weight on your back while working.
  5. A stake should never be driven into the ground with your foot.
  6. Use your chosen instrument to firmly drive your stake into the earth until it is completely embedded.
  7. If you are concerned that the stake will be too weak, place a huge rock placed on top of it to strengthen it even more.

A stake that goes into the ground with ease will almost certainly come out with ease. If you don’t have any rocks to use as a stake reinforcement, you can use more than one stake to give the stake greater holding strength. Tent pegs of various lengths might also be useful to have on hand.

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.

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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

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to pitch my tent in what appears to be perfect ground only to discover that there are stones just beneath the surface. When there is no way to check whether anything is clear, this may be a great problem. Is it a large rock or a little stone that you’re smacking into? A number of pegs have been twisted in my pursuit for a “clean location.” In these types of situations, it is preferable to have solid pegs that do not bend easily. They have the ability to clear tiny stones off the path.

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. If there aren’t any rocks nearby, you may achieve the similar result by tying your tent to two huge logs that are placed each side of your tent.

Camping on loose stones

This is, without a doubt, the most difficult of the three. The simplest thing to attempt is to perform the same procedure as previously, but instead of tying the tent to the larger things, tie the tent to the smaller objects. However, if there isn’t a huge object available that you could utilize, there is another alternative to consider. If the stone is loose enough to be removed by hand, you might be able to remove a few stones at a time to create a hole. Tie the paracord to the tent in the same manner as described previously, but instead of connecting it to a huge item, tie it to a smaller stone or log instead.

As you progress in depth, the strength of the anchor point will become increasingly apparent.

Camping in frozen ground

Camping in the winter will provide a number of difficulties. Pitching your tent, on the other hand, should not be one of them. Just to be clear, I’m referring to frozen ground in this context. There will be no ice or snow. Depending on your surroundings, you have two alternatives to choose from. You could just use the anchoring to huge object approach, but if you have a nice bonfire going, you could also attempt the following way. Prepare your tent by laying it out and marking the locations of the pegs.

The pegs should now be able to be pushed into position with relative ease.

Simply repeat the operation, this time pouring hot water over the pegs and removing the pegs as you go along.

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 OK for soft ground, but if you are camping in regions where the terrain is hard or rocky, these will not be of any use to you as all. However, while they are the most cost-effective alternative, they are prone to bending.

The delta peg

These pegs have a hook form to them. Using a peg, half of it is driven into the ground and the other half is ran parallel to the ground where the guy line will be attached. I haven’t personally utilized them, but I have heard nothing but positive things about them. They would only be suitable for mild to hard terrain. They are made to grasp the ground and bear greater weight if they are being dragged by a rope. When they are in place, nothing adheres to the ground, so you won’t have to worry about stubbed toes anymore.

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.

Screw peg

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.

Custom pegs

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.

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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.

  1. You will always be able to discover anything in the wild that will suffice for your needs.
  2. If you stamp your foot, it is possible that the pegs will pierce your foot.
  3. If there are no branches available, or if the branch is just not heavy enough, a rock might be used instead.
  4. Maintain complete finger clearance and keep in mind that some pebbles are prone to cracking or splitting.
  5. It was possible to drive some of the pegs into the ground at an angle, while others were linked to rocks that were laying around.
  6. Try to work against it, and you will fail miserably.

If you found this article to be useful, please remember to share it with others by clicking on one of the icons provided below. It will aid in the discovery of this content by others as well. You can read my guide on how to choose the best camping right here.

How To Put Tent Stakes In Hard Ground

Are you having trouble getting your tent stake into the difficult ground? Is it possible that you’ve had a frustrating encounter with hard ground and want to be certain it doesn’t happen again? We’ve all been in that situation. If you try to drive a tent stake in the wrong direction for an extended period of time, you may end up bending or shattering the tent stake completely. It’s preferable if you know how to properly peg down tent stakes in firm ground. Putting tent stakes in hard ground is similar to putting tent stakes in soft ground, with the exception of a few tactics to soften up the earth beforehand.

See the remainder of the article for further information and suggestions on which tools to use.

What You’ll Need

Listed below is a fast list of items that may be required to assist you in driving a tent peg into firm ground. Products on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small compensation if you click through and make a purchase. Please accept my thanks in advance! The first thing you’ll need is a sturdy tent pole, which you can find at any hardware store (obviously). The ones by Stadelhorn that are linked above are very appealing. Steel or titanium would be excellent materials for a tent peg that is intended to be driven into firm ground.

  • The use of aluminum and plastic pegs may be acceptable, but there is a considerably greater risk of bending or breaking.
  • You most likely already have one at home, so there is no need to get this one.
  • A rubber-coated mallet is an absolute must-have for any camper, especially when it comes to setting tent stakes.
  • Although the steel will not bend, the rubber coating will not cause harm to the stakes.
  • Wide Rock– There isn’t a single product on the market that matches this one!
  • Don’t just read this and start pounding your head against the wall!
  • That’s all there is to it!

Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Put Tent Stakes In Hard Ground

In this part, I’ll go over the step-by-step procedure for putting tent pegs in hard ground, including pictures. Follow these instructions to avoid appearing foolish and to amaze others around you with your knowledge of the outer environment.

1 Check The Ground

The first thing you should do is determine why the earth is so difficult to walk on. When it comes to putting the stakes in, this will have an effect on how and what to expect. The two most common explanations for hard ground are either impacted dirt or rocks beneath the surface of the soil. Insert the stake’s point into the ground and tap the tent stake with your mallet to secure it. Pay close attention to the sound of the strikes: If you hear a metallic clang, it means that the terrain is rocky.

When you hear thudding, it means that the earth has been struck. When dealing with rough subterranean conditions, you may not be able to drive your stake all the way in. Step8 is now a must in this situation. Simply follow the instructions outlined above for damaged soil.

2 Pour Water And Wait

Prepare your tent peg by taking a bottle of water and pouring a cup of it in the place where you want to drive it in. The water will soften up the soil, making it simpler to push the stake into the ground later on. Immediately begin driving in the peg, but do not do so. Continue to wait for the water to penetrate further into the earth (3-5 minutes).

3 Find A Rock

In the meantime, search around for a large rock or other hard item to rest on while you wait for the water to soak in. In order to spread out the pressure from your pushing on tent stakes, the rock should give a larger surface area (coming next). It doesn’t have to be solid, but it should be able to withstand a reasonable amount of pressure. Weight is less significant than having a large surface area.

4 Press Stake In

Once the time has expired and you’ve located your rock, it’s time to begin driving the stake into the ground. Place the rock on top of the stake to secure it (you may want to tap it in as far as possible at first). Press down on the rock as hard as you can with even pressure, either with your foot or with your hands. Don’t kick it; instead, push it. At the very least, a little amount of stake should be placed. If you’re lucky, the tent stake will go all the way through, and then all you have to do is repeat the process with the remaining tent stakes.

5 Tap When Stuck

After you have attempted to push on the rock that is attached to the stake and it has been stuck again, you should try tapping on the rock with your mallet. Instead of hitting hard, use a bit more force to get the job done. If you have any sense that it is giving way, then you are ready to go to the following phase. Whether you don’t feel any give at all after ten strikes, go ahead and attempt the following step to see if it gave way without you realizing it has done so. Your objective here is to either break through a small section of stubborn dirt or dislodge a boulder in the ground just enough to allow the stake to pass through.

6 Repeat Until In

Using your feet or both hands, press on the rock in the same manner as you did in step 4. Repeat as necessary until the stake is completely embedded or the stake will not move any longer. It is possible that you will not be able to drive the stake all the way in (particularly if the ground is rough). Aim for a length of at least half the length of the peg, but ideally two-thirds of the length.

7 Repeat With Other Stakes

Once you’ve put one stake in, continue the process with the remaining stakes until you’ve gotten everything in that you want to bet on. Hopefully, the ground isn’t too hard at all of the stake locations, but if it is, you’ll know what to do in that case.

8 Weigh Down The Stakes With Other Rocks (Optional)

For rocky soil or stakes that won’t go in completely, you might want to add a small mound of pebbles or a weight to the stakes to help them stay in place.

This will have the dual benefit of keeping the stake down while also preventing you from tripping over it on a regular basis. Congrats! You should now be able to properly stake tent pegs into firm ground.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the proper way to use tent stakes? –Tent stakes are intended to be hammered into the ground around the tent using tent loops or man lines. The line or loop should be threaded through the hole or hook in the tent peg, and then the pegs should be hammered into the ground until the top of the tent is flat with or just above the surface of the ground. Either you slant the stakes towards the tent or you drive them straight up and down into the ground, the choice is yours. Straight up and down is my preferred method since it creates a larger spread out area of security while the wind is changing directions, which is what I want.

  • What is the best way to secure a tent without using stakes?
  • If this is necessary, place boulders or logs along the edge of the tent body or tie them together with a rope.
  • What kind of tent stakes are the best for hard ground?
  • A V or a coil/screw/auger kind of body should also be used for the body form of the device.
  • The water method will also assist you in taking the peg out of the hole.


I hope you learned something new about how to anchor tent stakes in hard ground. These small methods make a significant difference in terms of obtaining those stakes without harming them or humiliating yourself in the process. Of course, none of these tactics will be effective if your tent stake is of low quality, so make sure you get a tent stake made of a robust material, such as the one recommended above.

Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.

Hello, I have a lightheartgear solo non-free-standing tent that I just went to the Sierra Nevada Mountains for a weekend getaway. I typically enjoy the tent, but I’ve had trouble getting it up on a few of occasions because I couldn’t get my (very lightweight Ti shepard hook) anchors into the ground on a couple of occasions. It’s possible that I could obtain beefier stakes, but I’d want to avoid doing so. In any event, there were some instances where I believe that even a larger interest would be counterproductive.

  1. I’d welcome hearing from folks who have discovered effective (and lightest) solutions to this challenge.
  2. If you have some tiny tree branches, you may connect your guylines to them and then lay large pebbles on the branches to keep them in place.
  3. –B.G.–HkNewman BPL [email protected] is an e-mail address.
  4. I’ve also seen folks place plastic bags on top of huge boulders and secure the bags with rope.
  5. Dan MagdoffBPL [email protected] Dan MagdoffBPL [email protected] Northern California is the setting.
  6. When I set up my double rainbow tent, which is not free standing, I just buy a piece of string for each corner of the tent and tie it in place.
  7. For each corner, get a large rock that you can fit the loop over and cinch the knot to tighten the slack up a little bit.

Make certain that the line extending from the rock to the tent originates from the bottom of the rock rather than the top of the rock, as shown in the photo.

Because ti has a lot of springiness to it, you can use a rock to attempt to pound those ti hook stakes into the ground with it.

With most ti-hooks, you’ll quickly develop a feel for how hard you can pound them (and it’s shocking how high the threshold is), and then you’ll be able to tap them into the ground with a little practice and patience.

The stake just threads its way into the earth between the boulders and sandstone.

1811529 Justin [email protected] (Justin R.

This is excellent information.

I like the concept of sticking a stick and a rock on top, but I’m not sure how well it would hold up.

Filling a bag or item with water, for example?

Any more suggestions would be much appreciated!

@ 12:52 a.m.

At the hardware shop, you can get something simple and inexpensive (or virtually free).

Alternatively, you may just utilize found sticks as deadman anchors.

For the loop line, I use shoe laces that are a little longer than normal and knot them in the same way.

It also works in the snow.

It’s simple, and it works well.

E-mail: ed hyattBPL [email protected] Scotland’s North is the setting for this story.

If you use walking poles just ‘de-section’ them, thread through peg loops/then guy’s weight with rocks; it works very well as long as you don’t have too many pegging locations to cover.

vvv thanks Marc vvvj [email protected] Locale: vvvj [email protected] M One thing to note is that round stakes, as opposed to stakes with fins, will make it much easier to remove them once they are in the ground.

Why are people going to post the same links over and over again?

They are extremely sturdy and weigh only a few ounces more than your titanium stakes.

Plus they hold well in softer groundforest loam.

See also:  How To Lock Your Tent

on December 13, 2011 1811687 Roger CaffinBPL [email protected] Locale: WollemiKosciusko NPs and the European Union I like the concept of sticking a stick and a rock on top, but I’m not sure how well it would hold up.

It has been used several times.

Yes, you will need some long strings on the corners so that they can stretch out far enough to withstand a large number of pebbles, but this will only add a few grams at the most.

Spectator) The Bay Area of California is the location.


Make a deadman for your sand-filled Lost Coast excursion.

Dig a trench in the sand perpendicular to the guyline near the end of the project.

A 12-inch stick 6 inches down is sufficient for a small tent and slightly wet sand, but make one and test it in your conditions before using it.

If you bury a log deep enough in the stream, you can hold a 2000-pound boat in place.

on December 13, 2011, 1811892 Justin [email protected] is based in the Bay Area, California.


The rock has been replaced with sand.

When I began thinking about it, I realized that I might have to utilize the small guy line micro locks rather than depending on the knots.

At 11:16 p.m.

It doesn’t come up very frequently – I like to do it on steep faces to bear-bag food – but before rock climbers used “Friends,” they used “nuts,” and before they used wired aluminum nuts from REI, they used machine nuts from the hardware store, thus the moniker “machine nut” However, a pebble in a loop of string can occasionally be pushed into a fissure in a rock, providing a very secure grip.

  1. 13th of December, 2011 at 11:29 p.m.
  2. Justin: The use of a tautline knot should be sufficient.
  3. In Alaska, I have 700 feet of sandy beach that is utilized by setnetters, who use it to set lines that can hold 600 feet of net in 8 knots of current.
  4. It is possible to bury anything in sand – sticks are the easiest to bury since they require the least amount of sand to be dug for a certain anchor strength.
  5. Any rock that you can bury and attach a line around is suitable.
  6. V-8 engine blocks are also excellent, although they are not SUL.
  7. The deeper the hole, the better, since more pressure from the sand column implies greater friction.

I’ll attempt to draw it with the following text:main / / /load /’ /’/’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ /’ / That appears to be in fine shape on my computer screen; I hope it posts correctly.

on December 13, 2011, 1811916 [email protected] David ThomasBPL [email protected] The location is North Woods.

Oh, no, drawing with text doesn’t function anymore since the website has removed all the gaps.

Don’t construct the entire monkey bridge (unless you want to).

In soft ground, triple stakes are much more resistant to pulling out than single stakes.

on December 13, 2011, 1811920 Justin [email protected] (Justin R.

This is starting to become extremely fascinating.

Tauntline is the term I’m now use.

I am confident that thicker will not accomplish this.

It’s just a matter of getting out and exploring with these concepts. I definitely have a better understanding of this concept now. You sort of elevated the situation here, which I appreciated.

Driving tent pegs into rocky ground

Sometimes, no matter how many pins are used, it is just impossible to push pins into the ground, regardless of the method used. Boulders can be a useful tool in such situations, as follows: The first day of October, 2012. Setting up a tent between Baugevatnet and Sijdasjávrre, outside Narvik, Norway, at 68.1°N. When I tried to push a peg into the ground, it was impossible since the earth was fully frozen solid. In such situations, a buddy of mine taught me how to set up a temporary tent. It works best with a self-standing tent, which my tent was not, but we managed to make it work anyhow.

Construction of a cairn around this rock will help to put weight on this connection point if the rock is still tiny (which, depending on the tent design, may very well be the case).

However, despite the fact that I did not pack a thermometer, I believe that temperatures were around -10°C throughout the night, with temperatures rising slowly throughout the day.

It was well worth it!

What are The Best Tent Stakes For Hard Ground?

The task of driving tent stakes into hard ground can be quite difficult. You never know how difficult it will be to push a stake into the ground. Sometimes things simply don’t work out the way you expect them to, and you wind up with a twisted peg. Don’t be concerned! There are stakes that are specifically designed to be used in hard soil. What are the finest tent pegs to use on rocky terrain? When driving stakes into hard ground, there are two fundamental choices to consider. Which would you prefer: lightweight tent stakes or exceptionally robust tent stakes?

Personally, I like the MSR Groundhog Y-Beam design tent stake over the others.

The Groundhog’s low pricing, exceptionally sturdy build, and thin profile (.43oz) make it a difficult product to compete with on price.

In the remainder of this post, I’ll discuss a few of additional styles that could be a better fit for you as well.

A Few of My Favorite Tent Stakes For Hard Ground

  • MSR Groundhog: MSR Groundhog Mini: MSR Carbon Core Nail: Vargo Titanium Shephards Hook: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: Steel Stakes at a Low Cost: A good reason why every tent is supplied with inexpensive heavy-duty steel pegs is to save money. They are effective in a wide range of soil conditions, from hard packed earth to soft sand. The majority of campers only require a basic set of Coleman steel tent stakes. Just don’t expect to be able to take them with you on a hiking trip because they weigh close to 1 pound apiece.

MSR Groundhog: MSR Groundhog Mini: MSR Carbon Core Nail: Vargo Titanium Shephards Hook: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: MSR Carbon Core Nail: Stakes made of low-cost steel are available. In most cases, inexpensive heavy-duty steel pegs are included with the tent. This type of soil can range from hard compact dirt to loose sand, and they are effective in all of them. Most campers only require a basic pair of Coleman steel tent stakes. Because they weigh close to 1lb apiece, you shouldn’t plan on using them for hiking.

Tent Stake and Style Tent Stake Length Tent Stake Weight Holding Power Range (lb)
MSR Groundhog Mini(Y-Beam) 6″ .35oz 40-50lb
MSR Groundhog(Y-Beam) 7.5″ .43oz 60-70lb
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)

Would you want to have a little more holding power? Make a beeline for the MSR Groundhog. Are you looking for the smallest, lightest stake you can find for backpacking? Choose an MSR Carbon Core Nail or a pair of Titanium Shephard Hooks instead (Aluminum Bends).

1) Y-Beams aka Groundhog

Take a look at the data above and you’ll immediately see why theMSR Groundhog(pictured above) is so popular. Every other type has nearly double the holding force of this 6′′ stake, which weighs.43 oz and is compact and lightweight. No matter what sort of soil you have, this is the stake that I suggest for 99.99 percent of campers and hikers (except sand). MSR is the only company that now manufactures tent stakes in the Y-Beam design. REI used to produce a different version, but they discontinued production for whatever reason.

  • There is no comparison between the MSR Groundhog and its competitors in terms of pricing.
  • If you hit a rock, don’t worry about bending the stake; simply continue driving through it.
  • Extremely light hikers may opt to utilize nails/spikes or shephard hooks in order to minimize weight, however this is not always required.
  • The groundhog small is an excellent alternative if you want to save a fraction of an ounce of groundhog.
  • Ultralight hikers reach a point where they are just concerned with reducing pack weight for the sake of bragging rights.

2) Nails and Spikes

Nails and Spikes are the lightest tent stakes available on the market by a long shot. Over the years, I’ve experimented with a variety of various nail polishes and have been typically underwhelmed. There is a weak point in the structure at the top of each of their heads, which will ultimately bend or shatter. It is the only nail available that will endure on hard terrain, the MSR Carbon Core Nail Take a look at how the head of the Vargo Nail on the left has been strengthened in comparison to the right.

Tent pegs in the nail form are not particularly robust, but they are lightweight and thin.

Just be cautious when driving through rocky terrain.

3) Shephard Hooks (Titanium Only)

Shephard hooks function in a similar way to nails. They’re thin and light, and they have a good deal of penetration power in compacted earth. Titanium shephard hooks outlast nails in terms of toughness, but they are also heavier and more costly. When it comes to purchasing shephard hooks, you cannot skimp on quality. Aluminum hooks just aren’t strong enough to puncture through rock-hard soil. When you start hammering into hard surfaces, the tips and main shaft are more than likely to be bent.

Titanium is far stronger and lighter than aluminum, and it is also significantly less prone to bend.

The only drawback is that they are quite pricey. These are unquestionably handy, but if you can only purchase one set of stakes, opt for the MSR Groundhog instead. Titanium shephard hooks are extremely robust, yet they will ultimately break when subjected to extreme pressure.

4) Cheap Steel Tent Stakes

Steel tent stakes should never be used by hikers or backpackers. They’re far too hefty to be hauled around in a backpack for the entire day. All of the others can get away with using any old steel tent stake. It’s difficult to top the strength of low-cost Coleman 12 inch steel tent pegs when it comes to holding force. They’re twice as powerful than standard backpacking stakes and twice as long as they should be. All of that length contributes to increased holding power. It will be more difficult to drive a 12 inch stake into hard rocky ground, on the other hand.

Make no attempt to drive these into the ground with a rock.

Don’t Use V-Style Stakes!

When used in loose soil or sand, V-style stakes are excellent, but they perform horribly when used in hard compacted soil. The majority of the holding strength is provided by loose earth that fills in the grooves on the stake. That is just not going to happen on hard soil. When I tested the holding power of my Vargo V-Style stakes, the results were all over the place. An archery draw weight scale served as a makeshift holding power test, which I carried out. Although I’m not a scientist, I’ve found that the V-Style stakes routinely underperform in compacted ground.

Why Not Use a Combination of Tent Stakes in Hard Ground?

There’s no reason why you can’t utilize two distinct styles of stakes in the same project. I often carry a combination of MSR Groundhogs and MSR Carbon Core Nails in my bag. The groundhogs serve as the primary anchor points, with the nails providing additional support. This sort of configuration enables me to somewhat lower the basic weight of my packs without reducing holding strength. I start with the nails and then go on to the groundhogs if the nails are too difficult to get through. With enough force, the MSR Groundhogs can be propelled almost anywhere they want.

Getting Stakes Into Hard Ground

Staking stakes into firm ground isn’t that difficult to do. All you’ll need is a lightweight mallet or hammer to complete the task. MyColeman Rubber Malletonly weights 5.3oz and was purchased at an absurdly low price. All of the other “PREMIUM” mallets are too heavy to carry about in a backpack.

Length Matters

How long should tent stakes be in order to be effective? It all boils down to how much weight you’re willing to bear on your shoulders. Compact ground has less holding power than damp loose soil, which is why compact ground is preferred. It just does not have enough give to be able to effectively grip onto the stake with both hands. Stakes that are longer in length will have greater holding power than shorter stakes. Look for stakes that are at least 6 inches in diameter. Keep in mind that longer stakes are often heavier than shorter stakes.

What About Rocky Soil?

Although rocky soil differs from compacted soil in several ways, it should be seen in the same light as the latter. It’s impossible to predict whether or not you’ll be able to drive tent pegs into difficult terrain. It all depends on the size of the rocks and the longevity of your stake.

Generally, little rocks can be driven through, but larger ones will require you to maneuver around them. More information may be found in my blog post about driving tent pegs into rocky soil. It contains additional in-depth information on driving tent pegs into rocks and working around them.

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