When you go camping, the most important thing you need for setting up your tent is tent stakes.

But more than that, you should be able to know how to use these vital tools properly.

Staking a tent is not always easy, mainly due to misinformation.

Moreover, there are also different techniques for using a stake for different types of ground.

If you face problems with driving the stakes to the ground or find that the stakes get pulled out from the wind after a couple of hours, you are not using tent stakes correctly.

You must pay attention to the stakes’ placement, orientation, and angle.

Additionally, you must also drive the stakes into suitable soil and ground.

We have compiled this thorough guide since there are technicalities involved in using these tools.

It contains details on everything you need to know when it comes to using tent stakes.

How to Use Tent Stakes
How to Use Tent Stakes? | Free to use this image with proper credit

How to Use Tent Stakes (Placing Tent Stakes)?

Placing stakes is not as apparent and easy as simply sticking them in the ground. You must check the ground and soil first. When you have found a spot for the tent, try to drive the stake in with your hands. If it easily goes into the ground, it means that the ground is too soft and has insufficient holding power. 

This is not suitable for your tent. Loose soil and sand are your worst enemy when placing tent stakes and setting up a tent.

You should instead look for dense soil. Once you have found the right spot, it is imperative that you don’t drive the stakes in with your hands and feet. 

Doing so is not only dangerous for you, but it can also bend the stakes.

So, you should use a rubber mallet, hammer, wooden branch, or a flat rock.

But be gentle with the rock because it might break or bend the stakes if you go too hard with it.

While placing the stakes, you should pay close attention to these fundamental factors. 

1. Tent Stakes Angle

You need to pay special attention to the angle of the tent stake when you drive it into the soil.

The popular belief is that they should be driven into the ground at an angle.

However, this is entirely wrong as it does not give the stake much holding power.

When you drive it vertically into the ground, it will go further into the soil.

As a result, the stake is provided with more ground to spread its pressure and is much more stable and secure.

Moreover, all stakes will be holding the tent equally at this angle, so the wind direction will not impact the tent.     

2. Tent Stakes Orientation According to the Tent

Yet another thing you must look into if you are wondering how to use tent stakes is the orientation of these tools according to your tent.

This might seem obvious to most people, but it is an essential factor you must look at every time you set up the tent.

The truth is that your tent will move because of the wind no matter how much you drive the stakes in and how hard the ground is.

This is true for almost all types of tents, ground types, and stakes.

After all, the tent is made of fabric, which is why it can be blown by the wind quickly.

However, you can reduce its movement when you pay close attention to the hook of the stake.

The top of most types of stakes contains a hook in a “J” shape.

When you drive the stake into the ground, you must ensure that the J points away from the tent.

This will prevent any fabric, lines, and loops of the stakes from flopping around.

As a result, the tent will remain attached to the stake and not collapse.

When the lines and loops flop around, it is effortless for the tent to get blown away no matter how efficiently you have pushed the stakes into the ground.

If the hook is pointing in the direction of the tent, this will increase the chances of the lines and loops from slipping off the stake.

This way, you will have a stake in the ground, and your tent will collapse.

Additional General Tips for Using Tent Stakes

The steps mentioned above are the most important ones to follow when using tent stakes.

They will help you set up your camp effectively and keep it safe from flying away or collapsing under the highest and strongest winds. 

However, you should also follow these additional tips to ensure maximum safety and efficiency when driving tent stakes and setting up your tent.

  • Always carry many stakes with you.
  • If you cannot find denser soil, such as when you are at the beach, you should dig very deep into the sand to access the sticky, denser soil.
  • Another trick with loose sand and soil that is not dense is to use many stakes simultaneously to hold the tent down.
  • Once a stake is in the ground in loose sand, compress the dirt around it to enhance its holding power.
  • If you plan to camp in sand or snow, consider getting aluminum stakes since they are heavier and have more holding power.
  • Secure stakes by placing stones around them if you are driving them in less dense soil
  • Secure the loop/line to the stake even more with the help of a carabiner
  • Ensure that your stakes line up with tent seams whenever possible
  • You should have enough stakes for your tent’s corners, guy lines, and vestibule

Summary: How to Use Tent Stakes

When camping, you often forget just how vital tent stakes are to holding your tent down.

You should thus pay special attention to using them because you don’t want to fix a collapsed tent or chase after a runaway tent.

Fortunately, using tent stakes is pretty much straightforward.

  • You must pay special attention to the type of ground you plan to drive the stakes in.
  • Look for denser soil since that will help keep the stakes in.
  • However, if you have to camp in loose sand, consider using many tent stakes to hold down the tent.
  • You should also drive the stakes deeper into the ground in this case and surround them with stones and sand.
  • Moreover, you should always drive in the tent stakes at a vertical angle. This will ensure that the stakes go deeper into the ground.
  • Avoid using your hands to drive them in; use a rubber mallet instead.
  • You must pay close attention to the orientation on the hook of the stake and ensure that it is away from the tent.

Following all of these steps and the tips mentioned above will not have to worry about your tent flying away or collapsing again. 

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