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Best Tent Stakes For Every Ground Type

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The best tent stakes are a critical component that contributes to your tent’s overall strength. Choosing the best tent stakes for the environment you’ll be in will ensure that you stay dry, protected, and safe in your tent. Today we’re going to look at the various factors that affect the effectiveness of tent stakes as well as the designs that are going to offer the most holding power. 

most popular tent stakes
Common Tent Stakes via [ flickr by Pig Monkey ] (copyright-free)

Titanium vs Aluminum Tent Stakes

Stakes come with most tents. You can find them in a variety of materials such as titanium, aluminum, or steel. They work well in firm soil, but they don’t hold fast in softer sandy soil conditions high winds.

Three Major Factors Contribute to a Stake’s Staying Power.

  1. Stake design
  2. Stake length
  3. Soil condition

A tent stake driven into hard soil will have more holding power than that same stake put in the loose ground. The longer stake will have more holding power than that equal stake that’s shorter.

best tent stakes
Backpacking Tent Stakes via [wikimedia] (copyright-free)

When you stake down a tent, you expect it to stay there. No matter the conditions but that’s not always the case; Your shelter is only as secure as the stakes that anchor it to the ground. Choosing the best tent stakes for your environment will help you get more out of your shelter, whether you’re looking for the most popular stake for a variety of conditions.

Tip 1: Before staking anything out, Clears the area of any debris so that you’re staking out on the solid ground and not through a stack of leaves.

If it hits a rock, Best tent stakes not going to bend and crumple. Once it’s in the ground, it stays in the ground. A lot of companies now make aluminum Y steaks. This is a little bit lighter, but it’s held in the ground very nicely.

Y Stakes Design – Best Tent Stake Design

aluminum y stakes
Y Stakes Design Image via (copyright-free)

Y-beam stakes offer the most holding power in many of the soil conditions that you’re likely to experience while you’re out camping. For non-freestanding tents, which depend on good stakeout points to remain standing. We highly recommend y stakes for all of that critical stake out points. Y-beam stakes resist bending, they stand up to multiple uses on hard ground, and they don’t spin once they’re in place. That’s a nice feature. Y stakes are going to be your best tent stakes for most types of 3-season camping. Y-beam stakes made out of titanium or aluminum are going to be the most durable. However, there are injection molded plastic y stakes that offer a lot of holding power but don’t work quite as well when you run into that rocky ground.

Best Heavy Duty Tent Stakes

MSR Groundhog Tent Stake

MSR groundhog tent pegs
MSR groundhog stake

Groundhog stakes have three-sided “Y” beam design. It provides extra holding power and a wide variety of soil conditions. They can handle using hammer into rocky soil, and they stay anchored in high winds. Groundhog stakes out of aluminum and a half inches long. If you prefer something a bit smaller and lighter, then try the mini groundhogs. The knock at the top of the stake is perfect for securing guidelines. The reflective nylon pole cord allows easy visibility and removal.

MSR groundhog stick in the ground extremely well. They’re very durable compared to other steaks that are on the market. It weighs 0.7 ounces each they and comes in at 7.5 inches long


TIP 2 : In general for hammock camping especially with tarps, you want a stake that offers a lot of friction. When you’re looking for steaks, you need something rigid, and something that offers a lot of friction in the ground



Most Popular Best Tent Stakes

Best Lightweight Tent Stakes – Ultralight Tent Pegs

Mini Groundhog

If you need a lighter stake, the mini groundhog offers similar performance. Mini groundhog is standard equipment on new MSR tents and shelters. At less than six grams of peace, the carbon core is the lightest full-strength tent stake available. MSR engineers developed the carbon core stake to be lighter than aluminum and more durable than carbon fiber. They achieved this by wrapping a carbon fiber tube in aluminum. The durable aluminum skin and solid tip protect the carbon core while the carbon fiber provides rigidity and strength for placements and firm soil. The result is a stake that weighs just six grams less than six standard paper clips but is strong enough to hold any tent tents.

MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes

msr cyclone tent stakes
MSR cyclone tent stakes

The MSR cyclone stake is designed to anchor large tents in loose or sandy soil or especially windy environments. The cyclone spiral design and 10-inch length provide maximum holding power. Most MSR stakes the cyclone is made of 7000 series aluminum and comes with a pull loop for easy removal

The lightest full-strength stake available for specialty stakes that perform in sand and snow. MSR offers the most reliable option for anchoring your tent. Groundhog and mini groundhog stakes are the most popular and best tent stakes MSR offers. The groundhog sturdy y stakes beam design provides secure anchoring in almost any soil environment.

Tip 3: When staking out groundhogs make sure the top of the Y is facing away from the tarp and use the lower portion on the Y as a guide pointing your line back to the tarp or tent.


Best Tent Stakes For Sand

best tent stakes for sand
Sand Stakes for Canopy via [ Flickr by Jude Baxter ] (copyright-free)

For sandy environments, you’re going to want to get a best tent stakes for sand that’s designed specifically for these sandy conditions. Stakes designed for sand offer a long spiraled design to provide adequate holding power in loose ground. Then there are these snow stakes, which conveniently work in the sand well, but in firm snow, you can use them vertically, like you would a regular stake. In loose snow, however, it’s best to use them horizontally as a dead man anchor. Also want to mention that the other significant part about these best tent stakes snow is that their width, length, and color make them much easier to find them in the snow.

MSR Blizzard Stake For Sandy Camping

MSR sand stakes
MSR Sand Stakes

Sand can be one of the most challenging surfaces to secure a tent. The MSR Blizzard stake uses a concave design to create solid anchor points in a variety of sandy conditions. The 7000-series anodized aluminum construction provides exceptional strength while remaining lightweight. Infirm snow the blizzard will provide enough holding power when placed vertically. In softer snow conditions place the stake horizontally in a Dead man position and pack snow on top of it. The blizzards concave design also works well in sand and loose soil.



Ultralight Tent Stakes

Shepherd’s Hooker Tent Stake

ultra lightweight tent stakes
Shepherds Hook Lightweight Stakes Image via [ Flickr by Pig Monkey ] (copyright-free)

Shepherd’s hooker stakes great because they’re super light. Titanium Shepherd’s hook stakes are super common. Most people use them with their ultralight tents. It worked fine for the primary tie outs or the primary stake out points on the one.
If you are going hammock camping Shepherd’s hook stakes are a huge mistake as our experience. When you’re deploying a tarp, you put a lot of tension on the stakes.

Light Tent Stakes

There are stakes with the shepherd hook design. These type of stakes can find with most new tents. These are usually fairly lightweight tent stake, and their narrow design makes them easier to work around rocks that might be hiding out underground. However, compared to a y-stake or a v-stake of the same length, these are going to offer less holding power and be more likely to bend. They can also spin after being placed, which means that you do run the risk of a guy line slipping off your stake after you’ve put it in the ground.
Despite all that, Shepherd hook stakes are going to best tent stakes for freestanding tents in most conditions.

  1. Titanium is soft. So they bend very quickly and also when hit using hard clumps or rocks the rock will bend and crumple it.
  2. It doesn’t offer a lot of friction once you have it in the ground. If you have a lot of wind or something like that these will come out.

Easton Aluminum Nano Stakes

easton aluminum nano stakes
Easton Aluminum Stakes Image via [ flickr by Pig Monkey ] (copyright-free)



Vargo Titanium Nail Peg

Vargo ascent steaks are like a scoop stick. It’s got some cuts in it to offer a little bit more friction. It is better than Shepherd’s hook but again the problem with titanium. It just crumples, and it hits it bends and temples when it hits hard surfaces. There are some situations in some high windy conditions or if you’re in loose dirt where these would come out.


How to Remove Tent Stakes

Each stake comes with an tent stake remover by attached pull loop for convenient removal, and the bright color makes it easy to find. At just 16 grams apiece the groundhog stake is light enough for use in the back country.

tent stake remover
Remove Tent Stakes Image via [ wikipedia ] (copyright-free)



How to Stake Tent Correctly

Now that we’ve talked about the holding power of best tent stakes designs. Let’s talk about the proper angle to drive the stakes into the ground. Field practices indicate that stakes installed vertically will have higher holding power than in other orientations. A vertical staking position maximizes the soil wedge that provides resistance to the forces applied to the stake by the guy lines. With stakes pounded in vertically, you’ll want to ensure that your guy wire are long enough so that the stakes aren’t being pulled upward at a steep angle.

Keep in mind that the further you drive the stake into the soil, the higher the surface area of the stake that will be in contact with the soil, thus offering higher holding power. We hope this information helps you stay dry, safe, and comfortable on your next camping trip.

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