Tent stakes for sand

What tent stakes do you use when camping on river sandbars?

When bad weather threatens I’ve used sticks buried sideways, or the old standby of socks filled with sand and buried…but looking for something easier…a stake that actually holds in sand…if there is such a thing.

I’m considering trying a snow stake like REI’s SMC Sno tent stake…anyone have experience with snow stakes in sand…or have a better idea?

REI Snow and Sand Tent Anchors

– Last Updated: Feb-23-07 9:09 PM EST –

I saw these and gave them a try last summer and fall. They worked pretty darn well for my small tent in sand while camping on sandbars on the Wisconsin River. A small trowel or camp shovel makes it easy to place them, although in dry sand I was able to just dig out a hole with my foot or hand, shove sand into the anchor, and push a layer of sand back over it. They can be retrieved easily afterward and because they open relatively flat, the sand can just be poured off when packing up. I had to get two sets (4 in each set) in order to be able to pull out the corners and the vestibules. You could probably make something similar, but I found these to be pretty well made. I just leave them attached to the stake loops while I am on the river and take them off when I get home. Small and light, so I keep them in the stake bag with the regular stakes pretty much all the time.

Not sure if the link will work, but here it is anyway:


I don’t know what their called
I have a stake I use to tie up my kayak at sandy spots, it works great in the sand, I think a set of them would work well for tent stakes.

It is spiral shaped, like a corkscrew, and it twists down into the sand.

I think they are sold as a leash stake for dogs, and I’ve also seen them in tackle stores, I think surf fishermen use them to leash their fishing rods.

What i use
The most most cost-effective and also the most effective sand stake I’ve used are plain wooden ones. You can get them at any building-supply store. The ones I use are about 18 inches long, and are about 0.75 by 1.75 inches in diameter. You can get at least 30 of them for the cost of two or three special sand stakes from a camping store, but of course they don’t last forever either. You don’t have to worry about losing them and they anchor like you would not believe, especially if you scrape away all the loose dry sand so the whole stake gets driven into the moist, deeper sand (if the sand is moist, you will NOT be able to pull them out in the morning until you dig around them enough to create a bigger hand-hold). Kayakers won’t like them though, because they take up quite a bit more space than regular stakes. I usually shove a packet of them under one of the seats where packs and stuff don’t fit anyway.

Sand Hog

– Last Updated: Feb-24-07 12:06 AM EST –

The Sand Hog (campmor) looks handy but heavy at 11oz. I haven't tried it, though.

I use the yellow plastic Power Pegs for sandbar camping. Campmor has them in 6", 9" and 12". I'm not sure which ones I have. Academy and Wal-mart also carry them. They aren't heavy but take up a lot of room, so I don't usually carry them unless camping on Village Creek, Sabine River, or other rivers known for sandbars. Still, I like to keep at least two or three with my gear, just in case.

I was unprepared for staking my tent on my first trip on the Sabine River. I didn't have any sand stakes with me, and the wind was fierce. My regular tent stakes were absolutely useless. One of the members in my group had a couple of extra sand stakes, which helped but wasn't enough. To keep from traveling with Toto to Oz, I ended up emptying my stuff sacks and filling them with sand, as well as filling zip lock bags and extra trash bags and tying them all to the tent. They worked adequately, but I haven't forgotten sand stakes since that trip!


Sandhogs, I think they’re called
Made specifically for deep sand.

Another thing: my husband once pulled out a square of plywood with a hole and cord. The cord connects to the tent and you bury the flat piece of wood deep in the sand.

i use snow stakes

– Last Updated: Feb-24-07 3:03 AM EST –

for coastal beach camping. have about 10 aluminum stakes, and find them excellent. makes pitching your tarp in damp sand, fast and easy. i don't always use them all, if i have time, i'll gather rocks, and logs, etc. but if weather and conditions dictate, just use the snow stakes, they rock. relatively inexpensive.


i'm sure some people find this a deplorable, wasteful over reliance on trick gear requiring a larger less sporty kayak, so hope this doesn't offend.