Not Just for Vampires Any Longer - Staking for the Average Man
No, we aren’t talking about drinking blood or avoid sunlight and delicious garlic. Staking, the act of putting metal stakes into the ground, is the most important part of any tent installation. No matter how much pre-engineering is incorporated into a tent’s design, improper staking can cause it all to come crashing down on your head (literally).
Staking takes more than a few attributes into account, including:
- Soil Conditions
Tent Size and Style
Each tent installation requires a site check before any pieces are even laid in the location.
Ground with many rocks may cause problems during installation, causing stakes to veer to odd angles while being driven. No stake can tilt more than 10 degrees from vertical without suffering in holding power, making rocky locations a pain when trying to maintain vertical stakes.
- Sand and gravel is a poor anchoring medium due to its ability to shift easily. For sites with this sort of loose ground, specialty stakes like auger stakes with blades should be used to give each stake advanced grip.
If a staking location is wet, the soil will have a reduced amount of hold as well. Locations with a large amount of
ground watershould use the maximum amount of staking.
Tent Size and Style
I think we can all agree that larger tents need more stakes. With closer inspection, the amount and placement of stakes differ between styles as well, mostly between the two main styles of Frame Tent and Pole Tent. A frame tent can be staked fairly regularly no matter the tent top fabric design since the hardware being connected to the ground is the frame itself. The consistency in the frame strength means that there is little change across a single tent.
Staking for a pole tent is much more
Now we come to the hardest aspect to plan for. Yes, you can read up on the forecast for a week out each side of your event, but even then changes can wreak havoc on the whole setup. In this case, you should always plan for the season.
Tenting earlier in the season? Wind is a major factor in spring weather, so extra staking is recommended.
Mid-summer in a historically dry area? Make sure to bring your stake driver instead of a
, but standard staking will be sufficient. sledgehammer
When you get right down to it, preparedness means knowing what to look for according to your location and knowing what to do in the event that bad weather arrives.
This is A LOT to go over, but with so much riding on your installation there really is no room for error. As with any tent event, if a tent’s staking starts to look shaky the tent needs to be evacuated and the anchoring checked for the proper amount of hold. Check out our Knowledge Center for more on staking procedures, or check out these video playlists for basic staking layouts (Classic Series Frame, Classic Series Pole).