Why should you buy tent stakes when your tent comes with some? Well the ones that are included with your set up may not be ideal for the conditions you are expecting, or perhaps they’re on their last legs and you’re in need of some new gear. Maybe they’re not lightweight enough for your backpacking adventure. it’s always a good idea to have stakes that are better suited for a wider variety of conditions so you are better prepared. You should also educate yourself on how to secure your tent without stakes just in case you find yourself in that situation.
5 Best Tent Stakes for All Conditions
Although each one of the tent stakes on this list has their own benefits and preferred uses, they all work great no matter if you are camping in mountains or on a beach. They will all hold up to high winds, rocky soils, and even camping on sand, so long as you know how to use tent stakes properly.
Snow Peak Solid Stake #30
The Snow Peak Solid Stake #30 is hand-forged using S55C Steel, which is a type of metal used when greater strength and hardness is desired. It’s then coated with black electrodepositing coating to make it more rust-resistant. The stake measures a foot in length and weighs 6oz each. They are sold separately, so you can order as many or as few stakes as you would like. According to the brand Snow Peak, these stakes are best for standard to firm ground, and is especially useful to secure larger tents and tarps. These reviews on this stakes speak for themselves, since they are all 5 star reviews on Snow Peak, REI, and Amazon.
- Made of hand forged steel
- Best for hard and rocky terrain
- Longest stake on this list
- Most expensive at $6.95 each
- Heaviest stake on this list
- Not good for backpacking because of the added weight
MSR Groundhog Stakes
The MRS Groundhog Stakes are made from 7000-series Aluminum Easton and measure 7.5 inches long. Weighing in at only 0.5 ounces each, these stakes are super light yet durable. Groundhog Stakes are meant for a wide range of soil conditions and they are also on the more affordable side at about $4.50 per stake, but they do come in a set of 6 so there’s less flexibility when it comes to ordering the amount you need.
- More affordable at $4.50 each
- Lightest stakes on this list – great for backpacking
- Shortest stakes on this list
- Cannot order individually
MSR Cyclone Stakes
The Cyclone Stakes are another great option from MSR and are more intended for anchoring tents into soft ground or for windy environments. They measure 9.5 inches long and weigh 1.2 ounces each, making them longer and more than twice the weight of the Groundhog stakes. They are also made of 7000-series aluminum but their textured and twisting design, weight, and length differentiate them from the Groundhog.
- Great for soft ground and windy environments
- Good length vs weight ratio
- Cannot order individually
Neso Ground Screw Stakes
These Ground Screw Stakes by Neso are one of our favorites because they are made of recycled materials and are manufactured in the USA. They come in a pack of 4 and each screw weighs 1.8 ounces and measures 9.5 inches long. The 4pack includes the clear T-Grip Tool that’s used to screw them into and out of the ground, making application super easy. These stakes are great for a wide variety of conditions, but are especially helpful in windy, sandy, and snowy terrain. You also don’t need a tent stake hammer to put them in the ground. They are in the same price range as most of these stakes, coming in at $6.23 per stake.
- Made of recycled materials in the USA
- Especially great for windy conditions
- Cannot order individually
- Cannot be hammered into the ground and require their own tool for installation
REI Snow Stakes
REI brand Snow Stakes are a great option for an upgraded stake and are ideal for snow and sand, as well as loose soil. They are $6 each and are sold as individual units, so you can choose the amount you need. They weigh only 1 ounce, are 9.6 inches long, and are made of aluminum. Even though these are meant for snow an sand, they can be used in a variety of terrain. They work by using the holes in the stake and allowing them to fill with soil/sand/snow, which creates more friction underground.
- Sold individually
- Great for snow and sand
- Thinner metal compared to stakes on this list
Are Aluminum Tent Pegs Good?
Aluminum tent pegs and stakes are a great option since they balance weight with stability. They are lighter, making them more ideal for backpacking, but still are plenty strong when used correctly. If you are concerned about stability, you could consider using a steel tent stake, which is heavier but more durable.
How Do You Choose Tent Stakes?
There’s tons of options when it comes to tent stakes, and the perfect fit for you depends on your needs and the type of terrain you normally camp on. If the ground is soft like sand or snow, you will need a stake more suited for that terrain. Same thing goes for rocky soil. If it’s going to be windy, you should look at stakes that are stronger and more secure, like a steel stake or a screw stake. If you intend to take these stakes backpacking, then you’ll obviously need to consider weight, which would mean an aluminum stake would be best.
What Can You Use Instead of Tent Pegs?
Instead of trying to find a household replacement for tent pegs and stakes, consider using a more traditional method using items found in nature. This can involve logs, rocks (big and little), digging holes, and using surrounding trees. You can also make your own DIY Wooden Tent Stakes
Are Plastic Tent Stakes Any Good?
Plastic stakes are usually the cheapest option, but that also means they will be the least versatile and least durable. Aluminum stakes are a better option if you’re concerned about weight, or you could use steel stakes for the best durability and strength.
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.