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Should I stake my tent?


Question: Should I stake my tent?
Tents are not meant to be sleds sliding down a hill nor kites flying in the wind. That's why they come with stake loops.

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Answer: Quality tents are made of durable materials (like rip-stop nylon) and usually come with a warranty against normal wear and tear. Not staking your tent may void this warranty. If you don't stake your tent, it could shift as you move around inside, which could possibly cause rips and tears in the tent floor. If you set your tent up on uneven wet or grassy ground, you may find your tent sliding down hill during the night when you roll over in your sleeping bag. I've camped a lot at the beach where I've seen occasional gusts of wind literally send tents that weren't staked down flying across the sand dunes like a kite. Damage caused by such incidents aren't covered by the warranty, and repairs could be costly or impossible, so stake your tent.

Stake loops should be located at all tent corners and in the middle of each side. They are typically made of heavy canvas and double-stitched to the tent walls. Before staking, lay your tent out flat on the ground and stretch it out evenly. Insert a stake through each stake loop pulling the tent taught as you go around. Hammer the stakes into the ground at about a 45 degree angle. Leave enough of the stake above ground so that you can get a hold of it to pull it out later when you pack up. If the stakes slip out, either you are using the wrong type stake, or you need to hammer them in at a bigger angle. Some slippage may occur no matter what, so it's a good practice to check the stakes each night before retiring.

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