How to Use Tent Stakes (Ultimate Guide)

  • By: Anthony Paton
  • Date: June 23, 2022
  • Time to read: 10 min.

There are two ways to keep your tent connected with the ground: by using gravity and stakes. These are essential factors to consider when setting up a tent.

Using tent stakes is an essential part of camping. You have very little control over gravity, so it’s crucial you know how to use tent stakes.

Whether you’re pitching the tent in harsh weather or just need to make sure it doesn’t blow away, knowing how to use stakes will give your outdoor adventure peace of mind.

The stakes are an essential part of any tent, keeping the tent firm to the ground especially during windy conditions to avoid the tents getting blown away. Stakes are also known as pegs because it anchors the tent to the ground.

Chasing your tent is a frustrating experience that can be made even more stressful when you are in the middle of nowhere and caught by some crazy wind.

Now that you’re interested, keep reading to learn about the benefits of using stakes for camping. Camping can be tough without them.

Well, if we’re going to do this then let’s get started. Grab a stake and I’ll show you how it works.

How Do You Use Tent Stakes?

The stake placement will depend on the type of surface you are putting your tent into.

It is important to use the right stakes for your soil type. So, let’s see what’s a good way of determining which ones will work best depending on where you’re hammering them into.

Sand or Soil

This soil type is great for tents because it’s so easy to drive stakes into. However, the lack of holding power makes this a less than ideal choice when you need more durability or longevity with your item being anchored in the ground.

Digging into the sand with your hand can help you find a sturdier footing when spending time out on beaches. Placing stakes in this sticky layer and holding them down will generally keep things firm and stable.

In order to get a good grip on the soil, you need compress it around your stake. The more compacted it is in this manner-the stronger and better holding power will be had by those who have done so.

Screw pegs are ideal for sandy soil during car camping because it is firm and stable.

The most important thing to consider when using pegs is the size and type of blade. You’ll want one with as much surface area for leverage, like a v-blade or tri blades but if you find yourself stuck using thin stakes try putting some flat rocks on top once your guy line has been tied onto it.

The interior space of your tent can be maximized with the help from these lines. Be careful not to use them incorrectly though because that will minimize their effectiveness and decrease what you’re able to fit inside.

The weight of the anchor can be enough to keep it buried when you’re tent is being whipped by wind.

Firm Ground

You can easily put your stakes in this type of soil with either hand or foot.

Consider the condition of your soil before you start to root raid it. If there are no rocks or other hard objects in this area, use a rubber mallet and piece of wood astounding on top so that all parts get broken up nicely without doing too much damage.

A rubber mallet is a much better way to hammer in your pegs than using stones. It helps to avoid damages to the pegs. Do not use stones in hammering the pegs, if you have to, use a flat rock.

To increase your chances of getting a good solid grip on the cord, angle the peg perpendicular to it.

Rocky Ground

Shepherd’s hook pegs are useful for getting through stones because they allow you to fit between them. You may twist your tool back and forth until there is space between rocks with these tools, which can be much easier than trying pushing through solid masses.

The stones in the soil are an advantage because they hold your pegs better than angles would.

Another way of keeping your tent stable is to tie the guy line at the middle of the peg and place a few stones on it to ensure stability. This approach is used when there are big stones in the ground.

Frozen Turf

The depth of snow can determine how you anchor your tent during winter.

The pegs that are used to secure your tent peg into the ground can vary depending on what type of soil you’re working with. For example, if there’s frozen turf below us then we’ll need a nail based design as it will sink more easily than one made from metal or concrete which would likely break through due to its weightlessness in this case.

The tent stakes will be needed to have a good amount of force behind them in order for it penetrate deep enough into the ground.

To drive stakes in deep enough, you will need a heavy piece of wood or mallet. This is because using your hand applies uneven pressure and can damage the ground too much for optimal results.

Shepherd ‘s hook design may get bent if use. Sometimes, when the tri-blade design is been used, it gets broken. That’s why I recommend the nail based design for frozen grounds.

The downside to driving on frozen grounds is that snow stakes holding power isn’t firm sand holding power is higher.

I would recommend that you place your pegs on a 90 degree angle in order to get the most out of them. Once they’re set, pack down any snow around it for even more stability.

What Angle Should you Put Your Tent Stakes Angle

The angle of your tent stakes will determine how well they hold up. The angle at which you set up your tent can make all the difference in how sturdy it feels. Be sure not to overlook this factor when camping with small children or pets because they might end up climbing on top of everything.

To avoid having your tent collapse, make sure you angle the shaft of each peg away from it. Resisting dirt from being pulled up by these lines and into a pile against that side of yours which would cause an imbalance in strength between front vs back sides is the importance of this action.

When setting up your tent, be sure to stake out the body of it first. However, since there’s less weight on these pegs they often won’t require much pressure when driven straight into ground or rock surfaces which means you can get them perfectly set without too much effort.

How to Use Your Tent Stakes To Suit Your Benefits

There are different approaches used to anchor a tent stake onto the ground. It all depends on the design of the tent stakes.

With mallet or piece of wood, nail design, tri-blade or v shape pegs can be driven into the ground. You might want to use a rock if your peg is too far away from the surface but it’s more likely that it gets damage but it saves time and energy.

Shepherd’s hook stakes are a great way to get your tent up without having any help from someone else. All you need is some muscle and these things will go in quickly, easily or even if it means pushing hard on the ground with one foot while twisting back an forth until there isn’t enough space left for anything more but air.

How to Take Out Tent Stakes?

Removing tent stakes from the ground can be tricky, but luckily, I have composed an easy step that will help you remove them without too much difficulty.

The pegs on your tent can be really stubborn and it’s hard to get them out by hand. Luckily, there are tools designed just for this job.

You can use paracord to keep your tent secure. 550 pound breaking strength means it will be strong in removing the tent stakes when attached. You’ll want the stakes for your tent to be at least 3-4 inches long when tied. If you are using a stake that has this specific hole, use it.

With the cord loop, you can put a stick or trekking pole in it and use both hands to pull. In a snow or frozen ground, the tent pegs can be removed by breaking the top of the pegs.

How Many Tent Stakes Should You Plan To Take?

To pitch your tent, you’ll need stakes for the corners and vestibule as well as guy lines. The tent specifications determine the number of stakes needed.

You might need an extra set of hands to help you stake your tent down, but don’t worry. It only takes ten stakes for maximum holding power and this way it’ll stay put no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.

When the weather is unpredictable, you can choose whether or not to attach your guy lines. I often leave them unbuckled when winds are high and gusting so that they don’t get caught up in nearby trees during strong gusts of wind.

The tent stakes are a key part of ensuring that your shelter remains sturdy and bug free. It’s always good to have an extra because it isn’t uncommon for them break during pounding into the ground or when pulled out from underfoot layers aboveground.

Remember the weight of your tent when deciding on how many stakes to bring. You don’t want it too light or else you’ll have a slow moving pitching machine that can easily be knocked over by any gusts of wind.

Never underestimate the importance of stakes. You can’t stake your tent properly without them, so always bring an extra box or two. It is quite important during strong windy conditions which could lead to damage if precaution not taken.

Titanium stakes or aluminium pegs are excellent choice for anyone looking to save weight while backpacking because they’re lighter and firm when anchored to the ground.

The MSR Mini Groundhog is an excellent choice for lightweight tent stakes because it only weighs 3.5 oz (100 grams) and has a high holding power.

I will recommend purchasing MSR mini Groundhog because it’s one of the best when considering its ability to resistant winds.

Different Tent Stake Types

There are several designs/styles of tent stakes that can be seen in the market in varying lengths.

Screw In Stakes

Screw in takes are suitable for soft soils (sandy or loamy soils). It is a great choice for summer or warm weathers and if the tent is of large size.

Nail Type Stake

Nail Type tent Stake

There’s nothing worse than installing your tent only to find that some stakes were not put in properly. Well, this is where the nail type pegs come into play. They have a button head which makes pounding them into place much easier and they’re designed with spiral or straight shafts depending on what you need for different types of ground conditions.

Nail design stakes are usually used for rocky/hard or thick grounds. These types of stakes are made of mostly steel and other metals.

This should not be used on soft soils like sands, loamy or clay soils because they don’t have many holes like sandy soils types usually have.

Tri Blade Stake

The three lobe design of Tri blade tent pegs makes them ideal for many types of soil. These heavy duty stakes have an increased surface area and stiff shaft to penetrate into demanding ground with ease, while also being able withstand strong winds without bending or breaking under pressure.

The MSR Groundhog and Mini Groundhogs are great for camping trips. They’re light enough to not burden your back with extra weight, they will hold well on even softer surfaces like rocks or snow without being damaged by them in most cases (though there’s no guarantee).

V Blade Stake

V Blade Stake

V-blade tent stakes are like little flat iron bars, specially designed to penetrate the ground and grip it tight. This stake design is bent at an angle of about 90 degrees.

When compared to tri blade tent stakes in terms of the stiffness and surface area increment, tri blade is much higher.

Shepard's Hook tent stake

The tent stakes are like the foundation of your home, they hold everything together. You can find them in many different shapes and sizes depending on what type or terrain you’re camping on making sure that there’s one for every occasion.

Plastic Stake

Plastic Stake

Lightweight and durable, these plastic tent pegs have a large surface area that makes them effective for holding on soft or medium soil types. They’re also lightweight so you can take it with when going backpacking hiking without having to worry about carrying an extra load.

NOTE: Don’t pound it because it will damage and it is not suitable for hard or rocky soils.

Snow Stakes

Snow tent Stakes

The depth of snow can make a huge difference in how much surface area you need to set up your tent. It’s also very soft so it needs a large surface area for your to be firm by anchoring the guy lines to the tent pegs.

There’s room for the holes to be filled up by snow and get frozen when the cold air seeps into them. The holes are big.

Snows stakes are essential for keeping your tent secure in snow. You can also use them as sand anchors if there is no rock or other obstruction that would get in the way of you putting up camp quickly and efficiently.

Examples of snow stakes are Y beam stakes which is popularly used in the snowy conditions.


The tent stakes are what keep your tents safe and secure. They’re also essential for making sure that you can enjoy yourself without worrying about rain or strong winds blowing your tents off.

Tent stakes are an often overlooked but very important part of any camping or hiking trip. If you know how to use them effectively, they can increase your chances for success by minimizing the risk that these small tools will break while being used on uneven ground with strong winds present.

What’s more important than your tent? The answer is nothing. The right pegs and knowing how to use them will help keep your ride safe from any chance of Mother Nature throwing it off course.

The laughter of those who have seen their tents fall victim to the wind is infectious and I find myself joining in on this fun.

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