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What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

As I have watched a large number of the videos on YouTube from REI and others, no one has really addressed staking out a tent on a thru hike or multi-day trip.  

I have a semi free-standing tent.  The fly does require stakes.  The ground were I am hiking is hard-packed clay or quite rocky.  I wasn't planning on carrying a rubber mallet or hammer (due to the weight).

Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

Cajun

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What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker Thanks for reaching out!

We had a similar question to this one on a post, recommendations for a freestanding backpacking tent that requires no tent stakeswhere @haeiselt was curious about how to stake out a tent while camping on a covered platform (a 'chickee') in the Everglades. You can check out that thread but the gist of it was this recommendation:

While REI doesn't carry a product like this, one other option to consider would be using a snow/sand anchor like this Exped one, and fill it with sand, rocks, or even lightweight water bladder like MSR Dromedary bag. You could even try to DIY your own if you thought it might work for you. You could then use that to hold your vestibules out in lieu of a stake.

Hope this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker In the grand canyon corridor campsites, the ground can become hard as rocks, I’ve started using 10p nails pounded in with a good rock! Works great!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker You carry extra guy line and you use rocks or handy roots or branches.    The standard technique with rocks it wrap the guyline around a small rock and trap it behind a larger one.  In some cases it works to use tent stake instead of the smaller rock.  Sometimes you need to gather a small pile of rocks. 

The problem with many semi freestanding tents is the the non freestanding corners come with fixed guylines that only work correctly on flat ground where they can be staked.  Generally you need to extend these guylines to accommodate the rock solution or to tension the guylines with a root or branch.  On my tent I added 18 in adjusters with linelocs to each fixed guyline and found this worked fine in most cases.  I also carry extra guyline and on occasion have extended the fixed guyline several feet.

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Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker I live in Tucson, AZ, so I come across this issue a lot when I go backpacking or camping. 

@OldGuyot had a great response for your question. Using a guyline plus your natural habitat (rocks, trees, etc.) to secure your tent is your best bet. Just make sure that you will have ample resources wherever you're going to camp (for example, don't just assume that you'll be able to find enough rocks of the right size).

I'm also a stickler for Leave No Trace, so I always recommend that if people use their surrounding environment for anything, including staking out a tent, to be sure they return everything to its original location as best as possible (i.e. try to leave no trace that you were ever there).

www.brynsharpphotography.com
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What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker 

Use a handy dandy rock - a technique in use for eons....

Usually you can find a patch where stakes will inset fairly readily. 

 

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What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker Thanks for reaching out!

We had a similar question to this one on a post, recommendations for a freestanding backpacking tent that requires no tent stakeswhere @haeiselt was curious about how to stake out a tent while camping on a covered platform (a 'chickee') in the Everglades. You can check out that thread but the gist of it was this recommendation:

While REI doesn't carry a product like this, one other option to consider would be using a snow/sand anchor like this Exped one, and fill it with sand, rocks, or even lightweight water bladder like MSR Dromedary bag. You could even try to DIY your own if you thought it might work for you. You could then use that to hold your vestibules out in lieu of a stake.

Hope this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
Reply
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Highlighted

Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker In the grand canyon corridor campsites, the ground can become hard as rocks, I’ve started using 10p nails pounded in with a good rock! Works great!

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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Highlighted

Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker You carry extra guy line and you use rocks or handy roots or branches.    The standard technique with rocks it wrap the guyline around a small rock and trap it behind a larger one.  In some cases it works to use tent stake instead of the smaller rock.  Sometimes you need to gather a small pile of rocks. 

The problem with many semi freestanding tents is the the non freestanding corners come with fixed guylines that only work correctly on flat ground where they can be staked.  Generally you need to extend these guylines to accommodate the rock solution or to tension the guylines with a root or branch.  On my tent I added 18 in adjusters with linelocs to each fixed guyline and found this worked fine in most cases.  I also carry extra guyline and on occasion have extended the fixed guyline several feet.

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Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@OldGuyot That's an excellent response as well!! Thank you!

Cajun

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Re: What is the best way to stake a tent on a thru hike in hard or rocky ground?

@CajunHiker I live in Tucson, AZ, so I come across this issue a lot when I go backpacking or camping. 

@OldGuyot had a great response for your question. Using a guyline plus your natural habitat (rocks, trees, etc.) to secure your tent is your best bet. Just make sure that you will have ample resources wherever you're going to camp (for example, don't just assume that you'll be able to find enough rocks of the right size).

I'm also a stickler for Leave No Trace, so I always recommend that if people use their surrounding environment for anything, including staking out a tent, to be sure they return everything to its original location as best as possible (i.e. try to leave no trace that you were ever there).

www.brynsharpphotography.com
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