Not all tent stakes are created equal, and depending on where your next camping adventure takes you, the stakes that come with your tent might not be adequate. They’re designed for basic uses in ideal conditions, and not different ground types like sand, rock, 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 planning a camping adventure where you may need to set up a tent on sand, you should pack the right stakes for the situation. Let’s look at the top 4 best tent stakes for sand and find out what makes a great sand stake, as well as how to properly stake your tent in sandy soil!
4 Best Tent Stakes for Sand
The best tent stakes for sand are designed specifically to stay secure in loose, shifting soils. The typical tent stake is not going to do the trick in sand, as it will easily become uprooted.
They are are typically made of a metal like aluminum or steel, with a pointed end and a large surface area. The increased surface area helps to create more contact with the sand, while the pointed end helps to pierce through the sand and grip the ground below.
There are a few different types of tent stakes that are great for use in sand. Here are some of our favorites:
REI Snow Stake Kit
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, the REI Snow Stake is a great option to consider.
- Extremely lightweight
- Works in snow and sand
- Can double as a spade for cat holes
- Sold separately so you must purchase several, which can add up
- Only available at REI
MSR Groundhog Stakes
MSR Groundhog Stakes are tent stakes designed for use in all conditions but work very well in sand. The Y-beam design is created to minimize weight while maximizing holding power. At less than half an ounce, MSR Groundhog Stakes are some of the lightest weight tent stakes on the market. The 7000-series aluminum is incredibly strong and durable, making these stakes perfect for use in all kinds of weather conditions. Whether you’re setting up camp on the beach or in the desert, MSR Groundhog Stakes are the perfect choice for a safe and secure anchoring system. This is also one of the best tent stakes for rocky ground.
- Ultra lightweight and packable
- Great for all terrain types
- Nylon pull cord allows easy removal
- Pointy top makes it harder on the hands to push into the ground
Neso Ground Screw Stakes
Neso Ground Screw Stakes are made of recycled materials and are manufactured in the United States of America. They weigh only 1.8 ounces but are 9.5 inches long, so they are lightweight but strong. The screw-in design is perfect for sand and can be installed easily into the ground using the included tool. Neso Ground Screw Stakes are also great for use in windy conditions as they will not get blown out of the ground like traditional tent stakes. Overall, these stakes are a great 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.
- Made from recycled polycarbonate
- Ideal for windy conditions
- Extremely long for going deep into the ground
- Heavier than the previous stakes on this list
- Pointy tips can puncture gear so they require careful storage
MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes
MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes are an excellent choice for tent stakes in sand, soft soils and windy conditions. The spiral design helps the stake to grip the ground, 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. At 9.5 inches long, they’re ideal for use in most tents. Whether you’re car camping or backpacking, MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes are a great choice for your next adventure.
- Reflective pull loop makes for easy removal
- Long length for diving deep into soft soils
- Comes in a set of 4 when a lot of tents need more stakes
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!
The Best Way to Stake in Sand
The best 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!
About the Author
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.