Tent manufacturers still pack their new tents with terrible wire tent pegs / tent stakes. I’m not sure why as we all have them pull out the moment there’s any strong breeze. They never hold especially here in the UK. They’re just not suitable British camping conditions. I’ve written about which are the best tent pegs in my experience including some absolute must-haves. PS, there’s actually 8.
Overall Best Tent Pegs
It’s a tough call picking a definitive goto tent peg so I’ve picked two. Both are really affordable, I have a set of plastic tent pegs and a pack of rock pegs in my kit.
Plastic power pegs are the best tent pegs in my experience. They’re really affordable and they’re really visible which is great for little kids running around. Best of all is that they hold really well in the wind. They’re suited to medium to firm grass like most UK campsites.
I have ran into the odd type of ground, usually a more wilder campsite where I’ve struggled to get the plastic power pegs through.
Rock Pegs are the best tent pegs for hard ground. Make sure you pick up a metal hammer and the rock pegs with the metal T-bar are a bit more robust than the plastic topped ones. They’re a little thinner than the plastic power pegs so they don’t really stay put as well as the chunky plastics on guy lines. You could always use two however and cross peg.
Don’t forget your mallet and peg puller!
What are the Best Tent Pegs for Wind and Storms?
The best tent pegs for strong winds and storms are the Delta Ground Anchors made in Britain. They’re made from super tough nylon composite which is stronger than the usual plastic pegs. Snapping them is near impossible in unpredictable British weather. They dig in to the ground and redistribute the pull of a guy line making the peg pull against a greater amount of ground. It’s really clever and there’s a reason they’re so well respected. They’re incredibly lightweight too. I prioritise these on guy lines that are directly pulling against the wind. They’re pricey but a worthy investment.
The Best Tent Pegs for Sand
The best tent pegs for use on sand or on the beach isn’t quite as clean cut a decision. One solution is these sand tent pegs. They’re designed to have a larger surface area and thus grip against more sand. I’ve had some joy with them but I often take a tarp to the beach and have it very taught. They often just pop out. Instead I managed to get hold of these two beasts which are really good but are now discontinued. Instead, I’ve opted for making my own. I’m writing an article about it (but basically it’s just some scrap pallet wood with a hole drilled in it and then buried under the sand).
What are the Best Tent Pegs for Hard Ground?
The best pegs for hard ground are those I mentioned above. Some campsites have hardstanding pitches however and these sometimes require something a little more aggressive. These are the best screw-in tent pegs that I’ve used. They are great for driving deep into tough ground. Grab the ones that come with a drill bit attachment so you can use a cordless drill to get them in with even more ease. Don’t forget to pack the drill!
The Best Heavy Duty Tent Pegs
If you thought the Nylon Delta Ground Anchors were tough then you should check out the steel made anchors that Delta make too. These are pretty much like actual sea anchors. Big, pricey but reliable.
If they’re a little out of budget check out these long tent pegs made of forged steel. Extremely tough and can be driven in a good 30cm into the ground. They’ve got a moulded hole too for a peg puller. Don’t forget the metal peg hammer.
The Best Lightweight Tent Pegs
The best lightweight tent pegs (or tent stakes as they’re sometimes called) I’ve used for my wild camping kit are these lightweight tent pegs, they’re not the ultra lightweight titanium ones but they are affordable and seen me good on several hikes now with no issues. At 12g each they’re still remarkably light. These ultralight pegs are excellent too, made of titanium but with a higher price.
The Best Tent Pegs for Gravel pitches
Gravel is a bit of a different beast. You could drive a plastic peg in repeatedly with the mallet but the chances are it’ll snap the tip off. Instead I’ve found using these screw pegs to be much easier. They kind of squirm their way through the ground. You can use the case to twist them in too, pretty neat idea and requires minimum effort.
The Best Tent Pegs for Groundsheets and Footprints
If you’re not using a footprint underneath your tent, you really should be. We use these simple groundsheet pegs for pinning down our footprint and external groundsheet. They’re low profile, coloured brightly and affordable. Pegging these down stops the wind getting underneath them and causing havoc inside your tent, well worth having.
The Best Alternatives to Tent Pegs
Tent pegs aren’t always usable. I pitched my tent on the concrete/tarmac whilst on the Mongol Rally a few years ago and I opted for using these sand bags. You don’t even need to properly fill them with sand. I piled rubble, rock, grit and gravel into them and they did a good job of keeping the tent upright. I probably wouldn’t trust them to hold the guy lines of a big family size tent however. They’re designed for gazebos and parasol stands too so it’s handy to have them around.
You can always tie your guylines to objects around if you’re really stuck. Tying them to boulders and rolling them into place can be effective when the ground isn’t great.
How do you get tent pegs into hard ground?
Getting tent pegs into hard ground can be a pain. Usually driving the pegs I recommended above with a metal mallet is the best way but sometimes you need more weight behind it.
I’ve had success doing it this way.
- Wet the area where you wish to peg with a good glug of water.
- Start tapping the peg in, just to get it to break the surface.
- Find a large rock and try to leverage the weight of it to drive it in further.
How to pull a tent peg out?
Getting pegs out is relatively straight forward. You can grab a great solo peg puller from here. I do love the metal mallets that come with their own peg puller though too. Bonus tools!
- Tap the stuck tent stake from side to side with the mallet
- Reverse the mallet and hook the peg puller around the end of the tent peg or if it allows, through the hole in the tent peg (common on plastic pegs).
- Wiggle it from side to side to try expanding the hole it’s in and then yoink it up. (Yes, yoink is a technical camping term ;))
- You can also apply a glug of water to try softening the ground a bit more.
What tent pegs to avoid?
Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made in the past. Avoid the wire pegs, the only use they have is to occasionally pin down the odd flappy eyelet along the side of a tent or possibly for ground sheets that are inside the tent. They usually come free with your tent so you may as well have a couple in the bag for absolute emergencies. I’m also not a fan of the V shaped metal tent pegs. I had some come with a Robens Klondike and just found that the tips bent inwards on bits of gravel and rock making them unusable. It’s like they’re almost not sharp enough to really find their way through the ground.
Thanks for reading, drop me a comment below if you have any questions, I’ve made plenty of errors to reluctantly tell you about 😀