How Do You Get Tent Stakes into Hard Ground?

Tent stakes keep your tent safe and secure during high winds and for general entry and exit.  But ensure you choose suitable stakes depending on the campsite. For instance, sandy ground requires broader stakes, while rocky soil requires more robust aluminum stakes.

For hard ground, you need some tactics when staking your tent. Ensure you take your time, follow tips like pretreating the soil, and get stakes into the hard ground.

How to Drive Tent Stakes into the Hard Ground

Driving tent stakes into hard ground, though tough, isn’t impossible. You must prepare well and work smart instead of sweating it out and hammering the wrong stakes into the ground. The following guidelines will assist you in driving tent stakes into the hard ground;

Use the correct stakes for hard ground

You can use different tent pegs, but titanium pegs are the best for the hard ground.  These stakes are most durable and less heavy. The pegs are smaller and bend when pressure is too much instead of breaking.

Check why the ground is hard

Sometimes, you might be trying to drive a stake into the ground at a place with underlying rocks. Your tent pegs won’t go through rocks no matter how hard you try. You can dig a shallow hole with a shovel or probe the ground to identify such rocks.

Move your camp location or the tent peg location to find softer ground without underlying rock that blocks the tent stakes.

As you pound the peg into the ground, listen to the changes in sound. If you hit a rock, the banging will make a different noise. Be wise to reposition the tent stake and try again. Pounding a stake too fast with a hammer or forcefully will result in a bent or broken stake.

Another best tool to use is a mallet to hit on the stake. Depending on the ground, it may take around 4-5 minutes to get the stake firmly into the ground.

Pretreat the soil

Use a little water to soften the ground where you want to drive the peg. First, pour a small amount of water on the spot where you want to place the stake, and wait a few minutes to seep and loosen the area. Later use a large rock to pound in the stake.

Use stronger titanium or steel stake to make a starter hole

Pound it halfway or a little more, and then pull it out. This starter hole will make it easier for a wide peg to get in. Titanium shepherd hooks work best for rocky ground. Steel or titanium nail tent stakes with a flattened head and thin diameter are suitable for frozen ground.

Be smart and look for natural alternatives

Be willing to compromise if your stakes fail to get into the ground. Search for trees, logs, or bushes where you can tie your tent lines or guy wires instead of staking them down. Large rocks can also be helpful to hold or tie your tent lines forming a raised tent.

Check this too: How Do You Secure a Tent in High Winds?

Use a drill and some drill in pegs

This technique works perfectly when using drill in tent pegs. Attach them to an impact drill and drill them into the ground applying some downward force to encourage the drilling. The twist and thread in these spikes make it easier to drive them into tougher ground as opposed to pounding them in.

You can also use this approach when driving spikes into permafrost or frozen soil.

  • Use a normal soil drill bit to drill a deep hole into the soil.
  • Pour some hot water into the hole to soften up surrounding soil
  • Insert and hammer in your stakes as soon as possible before the soil starts freezing again
  • Once the soil freezes, the stakes will hold on firmly

Oscar

In his spare time, Oscar loves tinkering with electronics. Solar panels, wiring, old TVs and sometimes DIY powerwalls. When he is not busy trying not to electrocute himself, you can find him in the garden tending to his vegetables and chickens.

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