Best Tent Stakes for Sand, Soft Ground, and Snow (2024)

By: Derek Vitiello | Last Updated on May 29, 2024

Every recommendation we make has been used, tested, and expertly selected by us. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

If you’ve ever had the experience of a tent tearing away in a gust of wind because your stakes didn’t hold, then you know how critical a good tent stake can be. But not all tent stakes are created equal, and depending on where your next camping adventure takes you, the normal stakes that come with your tent might not be adequate. They’re designed for basic use in ideal conditions and don’t have the holding power you need in loose, soft ground like sand or snow. Packing the wrong tent stakes can leave you in quite the pickle if you are camping on non-traditional terrain!

If you’re going on a camping trip where you need to set up your tent on loose sand, soft ground, or snow, you need the right stakes for the situation. That’s where we come in! Let’s look at the best tent stakes for sand, find out what makes great sand stakes, as well as how to properly stake your tent in sandy soil!

AT A GLANCE: All the Tent Stakes We Tested

The best tent stakes for sand are the Neso Ground Screw Stake, MSR Cyclone stakes, REI Snow Stakes, MSR Blizzard Stakes, and the Ogrmar Aluminum Stakes. Tent sand stakes work by being designed specifically to stay secure in loose soil, whether they use a screw shape or holes in a solid piece of metal. Regular tent stakes aren’t going to do the trick when you are camping on sandy soil or a beach, as they simply don’t have the proper shape or holding power you need in loose sand. The best tent stakes for sand typically have a larger surface area, and this helps to create more contact with the soft sand, while the sharp tip lets you dig deeper. All these tent pegs also work great in soft ground and snow, so they’re really versatile!

Neso Ground Screw Stakes

Know Nothing Nomads Favorite

4 person gazelle instant tent that we tested

Specifications

  • Weight:  1.8 oz.
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Diameter: 7/8″
  • Material: 100% recycled polycarbonate
  • Pack Size: 4 stakes and 1 T-grip tool
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Made in the U.S.A.

What We Liked

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Patented Orange Screw technology keeps the stakes in the ground, even under high pressure
  • Extremely long for going deep into the ground
  • Perfect tent stakes for soft ground
  • Included tool makes installation quick and easy

What We Didn’t Like

  • Pointy tips can puncture gear so they require careful storage

Where to Shop

We chose the Neso Ground Screw Stakes as our Editor’s choice and the best tent sand anchors for several reasons. These gems are the pinnacle of camping gear innovation, leveraging the much-acclaimed Orange Screw technology, which can secure your tent even in the most challenging conditions. We’ve used these stakes on countless trips, from the windy coasts of the Pacific Northwest to the powdery snows of the Rockies, and every time they have held fast.

The included T-grip tool makes installation the easiest of all the stakes on this list. See the hole on the top end of the stake? That’s where the clear T-grip goes. Use that grip to rotate the stakes so they screw into the ground. Then attach your tent to the open side loop or attach your guy lines to the closed side loop.

They weigh only 1.8 ounces but are 9.5 inches long, so they are lightweight but can hold you tent securely in place even in the toughest weather and softest soils. The screw-in design and long length are perfect for loose sand and soft ground.

As a bonus, these screw-in tent anchors are made of recycled materials and are manufactured in the U.S.A. That translates to quality you can trust, and of course less impact on our environment. Plus, they’re protected by a lifetime warranty.

Whether you’re setting up camp in sandy beaches, snowy landscapes, or soft forest ground, the NESO Ground Screw Stakes should be your go-to choice. Overall, these tent anchors are the best option for anyone looking for an environmentally friendly and efficient way to anchor their tents or tarps. They are also one of the best tent stakes for high winds.

MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes

4 person gazelle instant tent that we tested

Specifications

  • Pack Weight:  1.2 oz.
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Material: 7000-series aluminum
  • Pack Size: 4 stakes

What We Liked

  • Ultra lightweight and packable
  • Great for all terrain types
  • Nylon pull cord allows easy removal
  • Can also be used in hard ground

What We Didn’t Like

  • Pointy top makes it harder on the hands to push into the ground

Where to Shop

The MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes are another excellent choice for sand tent stakes for soft terrain. If you’re seeking a blend of durability, stability, and easy installation, then look no further. Designed with challenging terrains and conditions in mind, these stakes truly live up to the storm-defying implications of their name.

The distinctive spiral design offers superior grip in all soil types including sand, making your tent stay put even when gusty winds are raging outside or when the soil is soft. The unique design not only provides excellent holding power, but also makes these stakes a breeze to install and remove.

The 7000-series aluminum is strong, durable, and lightweight. At just 1.2 ounces each, these Cyclone Stakes are a great option for backpacking and ultralight camping. Their 9.5 inch length is a great sturdy anchor to dig deep and keep your tent secure.

Whether you’re car camping or backpacking, MSR Cyclone Stakes are a great choice for your next adventure. They’re designed to withstand the rigors of the outdoors, enduring various conditions just like you, the adventurous camper.

So why not upgrade your gear today with the MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes? They’re a worthy addition to any camping kit, providing a robust anchor for your tent and peace of mind for you. Discover the difference these stakes can make to your outdoor adventures and join the community of campers who trust MSR for their outdoor needs.

REI Snow Stakes

MSR Stake Hammer That We tested

Specifications

  • Pack Weight:  1 oz.
  • Length: 9.6 inches
  • Material: aluminum
  • Pack Size: sold separately

What We Liked

  • Extremely lightweight – perfect for backpacking
  • Long and wide to grip the terrain
  • Works in snow covered ground and sand
  • Can double as a spade for cat holes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sold separately

Where to Shop

REI

The REI Snow Stake Kit is a great option for those looking for a tent stake that can handle snow, but also does very well in sand and loose soils. From my experiences, one thing that sets the REI Stakes apart is their remarkable grip in snow and sand. Their broad profile provides excellent hold, keeping your tent firmly anchored. There’s a unique reassurance in knowing that while the ground outside may be soft and ever-changing, your tent is solidly secured.

They’re longer and wider than most stakes, giving them superior grip in soft soils. They work by having holes that fill with sand or snow to help anchor it in place. Plus, their bright color helps them stand out – no more worrying about leaving stakes behind or loosing them because you can’t see them.

These snow and sand stakes are made from 7000-series aluminum, making it both strong and lightweight. And at only 1 ounce, the REI Snow Blizzard Stake Kit is one of the lightest options on the market, making it a great choice for backpackers and ultralight campers.

So make your move today with these REI Stakes. Elevate your winter camping experience with stakes that not only hold fast but also stand the test of time. With the these stakes in your gear, you’re preparing for adventures that are as secure as they are exciting. Say yes to unforgettable winter camping trips with the secure foundation provided by the REI Snow Stakes.

MSR Blizzard Stakes

MSR Stake Hammer That We tested

Specifications

  • Weight: 0.7 oz.
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Material: 7000-series aluminum
  • Pack Size: 4
  • Warranty: 3 Years

What We Liked

  • Super durable construction with 7000-series aluminum
  • Broad profile helps them stay in the ground
  • Flattened head makes it easier to push into the ground
  • Really lightweight stakes

What We Didn’t Like

  • One of the more expensive options on this list

Where to Shop

Meet the MSR Blizzard Stakes, another reliable choice for those unforgettable winter camping trips. The durability, holding power, and intuitive design of these stakes make them a worthy addition to our list of the best tent stakes for sand, snow, and soft ground.

One of the most significant aspects of the MSR Stakes that I’ve noticed during my camping experiences is their versatile holding power. The stakes are designed with a broad profile, providing a substantial surface area for snow or sand to grip, and ensuring that your tent stays secure no matter how the weather turns.

Crafted from sturdy, lightweight aluminum, these Blizzard Stakes are built to endure the challenges that come with camping in harsh terrains. I’ve been through storms and winds, and these stakes have never let me down. They’re not just gear; they’re dependable companions that add to the security of your camping experience.

Choose these MSR stakes today for reliable, efficient anchoring on your winter camping trips. With these stakes, you’re investing in quality and security, setting the stage for unforgettable camping stories. Experience the outdoors with confidence, knowing your shelter is secure. Your adventure deserves the best.

Ogrmar Aluminum Tent Stakes

MSR Stake Hammer That We tested

Specifications

  • Pack Weight: 1.76 oz.
  • Length: 12 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Pack Size: 6

What We Liked

  • Most affordable option on this list
  • Budget-friendly but offer high performance and durability
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Long stakes that grip the soil

What We Didn’t Like

  • Off-brand and not a reputable outdoor brand like the others above

Where to Shop

Rounding off our list are the Ogrmar Aluminum Tent Stakes. If you’re in search of a solid, budget-friendly tent peg that doesn’t skimp on performance, these stakes might just be what you’re after. Don’t let their humble price tag fool you; these stakes pack a punch when it comes to anchoring your tent securely, even in sand, snow, and soft ground.

They’re made from high-quality aluminum, combining lightweight portability with impressive durability. From sandy beach camps to snowy mountain retreats, these stakes have consistently held their own, proving that quality gear doesn’t always have to break the bank.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice, these stakes are a cost-effective solution that doesn’t compromise on quality. Designed with functionality and affordability in mind, these stakes are a testament to the idea that great camping gear is accessible to all.

Your next adventure is waiting, and Ogrmar Aluminum Tent Stakes are ready to secure it.

Tent Stakes for Snow Vs. Sand

Probably one of the things that you noticed when you were going through our list is that one of our selections is the REI Snow Stake. That probably left you asking yourself, as so many people do, do snow stakes work in sand and vice versa.

Obviously the answer is a resounding yes!

Fundamentally staking a tent in sand or snow is actually extremely similar. On either side you have a surface that is loose and simply won’t secure your stakes into the ground using your typical staking methods. Either way you have to have a stake with a large surface area, a a long stake to secure itself better into the ground type you are camping on, or sometimes a combination of both.

This is what makes snow stakes work so well in loose dry sand! The larger surface area lends it self to better holding power compared to the typical steel tent pegs. Most tent stakes for snow are actually designed to be used with the Dead Man Anchor technique (pictured below) and that same technique works extraordinarily well in soft sand too.

2 of the Best Ways to Stake a Tent in Sand

Unfortunately, staking a tent in sand can be a little bit of a challenge if you don’t know the proper techniques.

Fortunately for you, we have broken down the 2 best ways to secure a tent in sand.

The Dead Man Technique

The first way to stake a tent in the sand is using the Dead Man Technique! Simply dig down 8-12 inches or until you reach harder compacted sand, insert your stake at a harsh angle and bury your stake. You can also use the dead man technique to secure a tent without stakes. Check out this this image from The Ultimate Hang to get a better idea!

The Big Rock Little Rock Technique

Big Rock, Little Rock is a great way to add additional security while you are beach camping or just camping in windy conditions. Simply tie your guy line from your tent to a little rock and put a big rock in between the little rock and your tent. The little rock will create a jam behind the big rock and you will be left with a really secure tie down.

Conclusion

Whether you’re planning a beach camping trip and need to stake in sandy ground, or if you want stakes that are great for alternative soil types (like soft soil), all the stakes above would be perfect stakes for a variety of surfaces. While they really shine in soft soils, some are versatile enough that they can thrive in firm ground as well. Just make sure you’re picking the best stake for your typical camping trip, and you’ll be golden!

FAQ’s

K
L
Do Snow Stakes Work in Sand?

For the most part, tent stakes that designed for snow work extremely well in sand! The increased surface area, longer length, and sharp point help to create a solid anchor in loose soils, while the metal construction provides strength and durability.

K
L
Can You Use Normal Tent Pegs in Sand?

Unfortunately, no. Normal tent stakes don’t have enough surface area to be used effectively in sand. Without a large surface area, the tent stake will simply slip out of the sand and provide no stability for your tent. If you camp on the beach or desert a lot, you should consider one of the options above to make sure your tent stays secure while you are camping on sand. You can use a DIY wooden tent stake as a deadman anchor though!

Share on Social Media

Why Trust Know Nothing Nomads?

Since 2017, Know Nothing Nomads has cemented itself as the “approachable experts” in everything camping, hiking, climbing, and adventuring in the Great Outdoors.

With over 60 years of experience in the outdoors, we don’t just talk about outdoor gear or recommend a good hiking trail.

We USE the gear we talk about. We’ve hiked 1000’s of miles. We have camped 1000’s of nights in the wilderness. We have sent hundreds of boulders and projects.

We don’t just know a few things about the outdoors — WE EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE IT.

We are not journalists from a magazine telling someone else’s stories from behind a computer. We are the ACTUAL outdoorsmen that those people write about. 

We are not a “gear lab” that runs tests on gear in life-like conditions. We are the seasoned, “trial-by-fire” experts who have taken the gear into the wilderness and USED IT. Read about our gear testing process here

We started Know Nothing Nomads to share our passion and expertise with our readers to inspire, educate, and enable you to explore the outdoors in the way that we have. And you will be more equipped and capable than ever before with the knowledge you gain here guiding you along the way.

And the best part? We are real people that LOVE our readers and this community. If you need anything or have a question about any of the things we have to write about, just reach out. Normally, one of us can respond within 24 hours, sometimes within minutes. THAT is the approachable expert.

You should also know that advertising does not influence our gear reviews in any way, shape, or form, and it never will.

While we always focus our attention on gear that stands out to us—sometimes we discover that things aren’t up to our standards. This is exactly why we will always talk about the downfalls and compromises that we find while we are testing anything (If we find any).

About The Author

Derek, Co-Founder at Know Nothing Nomads

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers.

Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me.

When I'm not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

Related Posts

Hey there!

We are Derek and Ashley of Know Nothing Nomads. Whether it is hiking, camping, or just generally being outside, we love it. We are so happy that you have found our little blog and hope that you stick around a while. Feel free to contact us with any questions or get in touch with us on social media!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Know Nothing Nomads