Best Tent Stakes for Sand, Soft Ground, and Snow (2023)

best tent stakes for sand

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 types 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 adventure where you need to set up your tent on loose sand, you need the right stakes for the situation, and 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!

Best Tent Stakes for Sand

The best tent stakes for sand are the Neso Ground Screw Stake, MSR Cyclone stakes, REI Snow Stakes. Tent sand stakes work by being designed specifically to stay secure in loose, shifting soils, whether they use a screw shape or holes in a solid piece of metal. Standard 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 sand. 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.

Our #1 Recommendation: Neso Ground Screw Stakes

Affordability

Quality

Features

With their innovative screw in design, these Neso stakes have all the holding power you need and are installed quickly and easily. The durable polycarbonate and affordable price make these our favorite tent stakes on this list. Full Review

Our #2 Recommendation: MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes

Affordability

Quality

Features

MSR has made extremely durable tent stakes for sand with their Cyclone tent stakes. The spiral design gives you the holding power you need in sand, but can be used in a more versatile way. These would be perfect for someone that camps in multiple locations with a variety of soil conditions. Full Review

Great for Sand and Snow: REI Snow Stake Kit

Affordability

Quality

Features

Stakes for snow actually make great tent stakes for sand. The REI Snow Stake can be utilized as a Dead Man Anchor or in the standard way depending on your conditions. The durable 7000-series aluminum means that they are very light and could be utilized in backcountry missions as well. Full Review

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Editor’s Choice – Neso Ground Screw Stakes

We chose the Neso Ground Screw Stakes as our Editor’s choice and the best tent stakes for sand for many reasons. For starters, they are made of recycled materials and are manufactured in the U.S.A. That translates to quality you can trust, and of course a better impact on our environment. These sand stakes use a patented orange screw technology and the included T-grip tool makes installation the easiest of all the stakes on this list.

They weigh only 8.8 ounces but are 9.5 inches long, so they are lightweight but can hold you tent securely in place even in the toughest weather or soft soils. The screw-in design and long length is perfect for loose sand and soft ground and can be installed easily into the ground using the included tool. Overall, these stakes are the best option for anyone looking for an environmentally friendly and efficient way to anchor their tents or tarps. This is also one of the best tent stakes for high winds.

Specifications

  • Weight:  8.8 oz.
  • Length: 9.5 inches
  • Material: recycled polycarbonate
  • Pack Size: 4 stakes and 1 T-grip tool

Pros

  • Made from recycled polycarbonate
  • Patented Orange Screw technology
  • Extremely long for going deep into the ground
  • Included tool makes installation quick and easy

Cons

  • on the heavier side
  • Pointy tips can puncture gear so they require careful storage

MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes

MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes are an excellent choice for metal tent stakes for sand and soft soils. The spiral design offers superior grip in all soil types including sand, and the 7000-series aluminum is both strong and lightweight. At just 1.2 ounces each, these MSR Cyclone Tent 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 Tent Stakes are a great choice for your next adventure.

Specifications

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

Pros

  • Ultra lightweight and packable
  • Great for all terrain types
  • Nylon pull cord allows easy removal

Cons

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

REI Snow Stakes

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. It’s longer and wider than most tent stakes, and the holes fill with sand to help anchor it in place. It’s made from 7000-series aluminum, making it both strong and lightweight. 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. If you’re looking for a tent stake that can handle all kinds of terrain, these stakes would be a great option to consider.

Specifications

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

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Works in snow and sand
  • Can double as a spade for cat holes

Cons

  • Sold separately

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 tent 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. 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 camping on a beach or even 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.

FAQ

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 stable anchor in loose soils, while the metal construction provides strength and durability.

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!

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 tent stakes for a variety of surfaces.

Our #1 Recommendation: Neso Ground Screw Stakes

The Neso Ground Screw Stakes are the best tent stakes for sand. They are extremely durable, easy to install, and easy on your wallet, all while being environmentally conscious and made in the USA.

All that being said, your choice is pretty easy….

About the Author

Derek Vitiello

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.

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!

Safe Travels,

Derek and Ashley

Know Nothing Nomads