In a hurry? We found that the best all-around tent stakes are the MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes.
Everyone can agree that standard tent stakes are not that high quality. After a few uses, most are hardly good at all. That’s why many people go ahead and invest in a set of after-market tent stakes.
If you need new tent stakes, or you want to avoid using the stakes that come with your tent completely, read on. Today, we’ll review the best tent stakes for any terrain.
Table of Contents
Best Tent Stakes: Our Top Recommendations
- MSR Groundhog Tent Stake Kit (Best Tent Stakes Overall)
- Vargo Titanium Tent Stakes (Best Lightweight Tent Stakes)
- TNH Outdoors Aluminum Tri-Beam Tent Stakes (Best Tent Stake Set)
- The Orange Screw Stakes (Best For Environmentally Conscious)
- SE’s Heavy-Duty Metal Tent Pegs (Best For Camping On Hard Ground)
MSR Groundhog Tent Stake Kit
The MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes are great stakes for a variety of purposes. From holding down tents, tarps, or even hammocks, the “Y” design makes these stakes nice and sturdy in any terrain.
This stake kit comes with six lightweight aluminum stakes. This kit is perfect for those backpacking with their tent equipment. Also, the reflective cord makes this set useful for anyone setting up their campsite in low light.
- The bright and reflective cord makes it easy to find these stakes in the ground, even if the ground is covered in leaves.
- These aluminum stakes are lightweight, so you don’t get weighed down (great for backpacking).
- It’s “Y” design allows these stakes to take hold in a variety of terrains and stay sturdy.
- Their durable design helps keep your tent secure even in very windy conditions.
- The notch at the top allows you to attach guy lines stress-free.
- These tents might have issues in tough, frozen ground.
Best for: using on any terrain, at any hour of the day.
Vargo Titanium Tent Stakes
The Vargo Titanium Tent Stakes are shepherds hook stakes that poke into the ground with ease. These are great stakes to have on hand since they drive into any terrain with ease. They also withstand a variety of weather – including high-speed winds.
This six-pack of stakes are made with a light, yet durable, titanium that won’t break. The titanium metal is also extremely lightweight, perfect for backpacking.
- The fluorescent orange coated heads make it easy to spot these stakes in the ground, even in the dark.
- Made with titanium, these stakes are super thin and super light and will not weigh down your gear.
- The shepherds’ hook design allows these stakes to drive easily into the ground and reliably hold the line of your tent or tarp in place.
- These stakes are very tall and thin. This makes it easy to drive them down into any kind of soil, even dense, rocky soil.
- The fluorescent orange coating on the top of the stake might rub off over time.
Best for: traditional camping, or those who want to cut down on pack weight.
TNH Outdoors – Aluminum Tri-Beam Tent Stakes
Not to mention, they come in a carrying pouch with a bright, reflective paracord that makes it convenient to find and store when packing. With eight in the pack, you will have plenty to keep for backup or use for other tents.
- Its red color and reflective paracord ties make these stakes highly visible when staked in the forest floor.
- TNH included a very convenient carrying pouch, so you can keep them all together.
- The single notch design creates a stronger head on these stakes than on most stakes.
- These stakes are very light, allowing you to pack light and not get burdened down with heavy metal equipment.
- With a total of 8 stakes in this set, you will have extra stakes for emergencies or use on extra items.
- The shape of these stakes can make it hard to drive these stakes into the ground by hand.
Best for: light and organized packing, or those who want back-up stakes in their pocket.
The Orange Screw
Additionally, the large screw heads come in handy for getting those last few turns when twisting them into any kind of terrain.
Made from 100% recycled materials, these stakes are very lightweight but rather large. However, they come with a removal tool that helps you drive them into the ground as much as possible. This makes them easy to use despite their size.
- Made from 100% recycled materials, these stakes are very eco-friendly.
- The head of the screw functions as a built-in handle so they’re easier to turn and drive down into the soil.
- The screw design allows these stakes to easily turn into any type of soil and lock into place.
- These stakes come with a removal tool to aid in removing them from hard, dense soil.
- They are large but lightweight, making packing and carrying these steps no problem at all. The large size also aids in turning.
- They might not have the best performance in iced-over land.
Best for: environmentally-conscious campers who want a unique stake that will perform for years.
SE’s Heavy-Duty Metal Tent Pegs
These Heavy-Duty Metal Tent Pages will hold your tent sturdily into any terrain. They glide easily through any kind of dirt with milled points leading the way. Their large PVC head serves as an aid when pulling them back out, as well as a way to help you easily attach guylines.
They’re also long, which helps them stay in the ground better and more securely during any type of weather condition. On top of that, the galvanized steel makes them resistant to corrosion.
- The milled points are great for easily driving these stakes into hard ground.
- Made out of galvanized steel, these stakes sturdy and durable even in chaotic winds.
- The steel material makes them resistant to corrosion.
- The large PVC heads give you an easy way to attach guylines.
- Stakes are easy to drive into soft soil without a tool and just as easy to remove in any type of soil.
- These stakes are long, so they create a more secure hold to the ground.
- With repeated use, the PVC head might wear down over time.
Best for: campers who want a classic, steel stake that’ll work in any land.
Why Buy New Tent Stakes?
The stakes that come with a new tent are usually not as reliable as the ones you can buy separately. The ones that come with your tent are usually too heavy, short, or hard to use and seem to not last long enough and not hold up to varying weather conditions.
Factory-supplied stakes are not built for all terrains. They may work well in soft, dry dirt, but they won’t in hard, rocky terrain or during a thunderstorm.
Further, factory-issued stakes might be weighing you down. Backpackers (concerned about weight) should consider picking up new stakes to save weight.
That’s why many people choose to ditch the factory-supplied tent stakes as soon as they get them. Buying better stakes right away could make set up and take down much quicker and more efficient, saving your time for the more fun aspects of camping.
New stakes would also last you much longer than the factory-supplied stakes meaning you could save money on replacements in the future.
What to Look for in Tent Stakes
Tent stakes seem pretty straight forward until you try to buy a set. There are a variety of tent stakes on the market, all in completely different designs, shapes, sizes, and colors. So, how do you know which set of tent stakes to get?
The kind of tent stake you want depends on several factors, but what’s most important is when and where you are camping. Terrain and weather can affect your tent stakes more than you know.
So, to make sure you buy the right tent stakes for your purposes, here’s what to look for and what makes each set of tent stakes different.
- Material: Different materials are better for different terrains. If you have a specific type of terrain that you do most of your camping on, you’ll want to know what kind of material holds best. Stakes can be made out of steel, metal alloy, aluminum, titanium, plastic, and carbon.
- Design: Just like how some materials perform differently in other terrains, so does design. The design of a tent stake usually decides how it drives and stays in the ground. Not only that, but it could also determine how easy the stake is to use. Depending on your terrain, you may want to look for a specific design.
- Size: Not all stakes are the same size and the size you want depends on whether you are packing light or packing for all kinds of weather. Large tent stakes aren’t great for backpacking. However, long stakes anchor further into the ground making them ideal for rough weather. They do make long, thin tent stakes, but they’re also easier to bend or break.
- Weight: The weight of a stake isn’t very important unless you are planning to backpack. Since you’ll want to pack as lightly as possible, lightweight tent stakes are the way to go. And while some people think that a heavier stake is more sturdy, this isn’t always the case. Lightweight stakes can be very secure.
- Visibility: This is something that doesn’t often cross people’s mind until they are having trouble seeing or finding their tent stakes. If you’ve ever tripped over or had trouble finding your stakes, you know stake choice matters. A bright and/or reflective set will help keep your tent pitched and make teardown easy.
How to Insert a Tent Stake (Properly)
You can have the best tent stakes around, but it won’t do you any good unless you know how to properly insert a tent stake. To get the most use out of your tent stakes, here is how you should properly drive them into the ground:
- Do not drive the stake straight into the ground at a 90-degree angle. A 45-degree angle, facing away from the tent, is best. In extreme weather conditions, you could also insert it horizontally into the ground, where it is almost laying down, away from the tent.
- Use your foot to slowly drive the stake down at this angle. Don’t just start pounding away at it with a hammer or rock.
- If you are unable to drive it down right away, trying moving the location of the stake over by a few inches.
When you are looking for the best tent stakes for any terrain, look no further than the MSR Groundhog Tent Stakes. This set of stakes is made from lightweight aluminum and has a unique “Y” design that keeps them locked into place.
Not to mention, the bright, reflective cord makes them easy to see in nearly any condition. These stakes are great for anyone who is backpacking in any kind of terrain.
Tent stakes are an essential piece of equipment in your camping arsenal of tools. They help keep you and your belongings secure and ensure that you are not caught off guard by any surprises.