Complete Guide To Using Tent Stakes Correctly

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Have you ever had to chase your completely assembled tent around a campsite or battle it in windy conditions? When you’re setting up your tent, stakes may not seem necessary; after all, your gear and your weight should be enough to keep it in place. These small metal stakes, on the other hand, can have a significant effect.

Tent stakes secure your lightweight camping tent to the ground, preventing it from moving or blowing away from your campsite. They can simply secure your tent in grass, dirt, and other types of terrain. Check out the possibilities in our complete guide below if you need a set of tent stakes to make your next tent excursion more secure.

A complete guide to using tent stakes correctly

Tent stakes are included with every tent purchase. Simply said, they keep your tent from blowing away by pinning it to the ground. The majority of ordinary tent stakes are metal and shaped like long hooks. The guy lines are held in place by the hook while the lengthy stem dips into the ground.

Tent stakes, on the other hand, are significantly more diverse, coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, weights, and patterns. For travellers who rely on their tent night after night, understanding how they differ and which is best for a specific purpose is critical.

So, what are tent stakes, and why do you need them?

There’s no way to secure your tent to the ground without tent stakes. Tent stakes, on the other hand, not only keep the tent from flying away, but they also keep the cloth taut. This keeps the tent from flapping and ensures that it maintains its shape while also increasing the internal area. In windy weather, it also relieves some of the tension on the support poles.

You risk inflicting major damage to your tent if you don’t utilize tent stakes, such as fabric splits and damaged support poles. Standard tent stakes aren’t usually of the highest quality, and they can easily flex out of shape. Instead, it is better to include a variety of high-quality spares that can be used on various sorts of terrain.

What are the various types of tent stakes?

Tent stakes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the majority of them varying based on the type of terrain you want to stake your tent as well.

1) Standard stakes for a tent

Standard tent stakes, also known as skewer stakes or shepherd’s hooks, are usually included when you purchase your tent. They prefer ordinary dirt that isn’t too hard and rocky, nor too soft and powdery. They’ll work on a variety of surfaces and in a variety of conditions in general.

Despite their widespread use, they are available in a variety of shapes, materials, and patterns. Stainless steel is the most common material; however, nylon and plastic versions are also available. The most popular style is in the shape of a shepherd’s crook, with a long vertical segment and a little hook on top. The Y-shaped versions, on the other hand, are usually more powerful.

2) Tent stakes for sand and snow

Standard posts and sand and snow stakes have a slightly distinct appearance. They’re usually thinner and shorter, with a broader profile and several holes running down their length. Snow or sand compacts and fills in the holes, providing extra stability. These are usually made of light metal and are therefore easy to transport.

Alternatively, screw-style tent stakes can be used. They are larger and usually made of plastic, twisting into the ground and providing amazing strength.

3) Tent stakes that are heavy-duty

Hardened metal, such as titanium, is used to make heavy-duty tent stakes because it is flexible, resilient, and less prone to bending. A Y-shaped cross-section is commonly used in the design to minimize twisting in the ground and to provide additional stability in severe winds.

It’s useful to have a variety of lengths on hand. Some models have many notches that allow you to attach one or more guy lines even if you can’t drive it entirely into the ground. Note that some of the strongest tent stakes are also the lightest – bigger doesn’t always imply better.

4) Stakes made of rock

It is well worth acquiring rock stakes if you know you’ll be camping in hard, rocky soil. They can break through surfaces that few other stakes can withstand, as they are made of hardened metal and formed like a nail with a little cross-bar on the top.

Important considerations for purchasing tent stakes

Are you looking for excellent tent stakes? Remember that length is an important consideration. You may require a different size, type, or length of stake depending on the time of year, weather conditions, and the place where you will be camping. In general, the deeper a tent stake can be driven into the earth, the more stable the tent will be.

Another factor to consider when selecting a suitable tent stake for your requirements is the surface area. Larger surface area tent stakes provide more grip and holding force. Screw-shaped tent stakes have a huge surface area, making them ideal for sand and snow when camping in the desert, at the beach, or in the winter.

Furthermore, tent stakes are available in a variety of sizes and weights. While lightweight, compact tent stakes are easier to put in your backpack for hiking or camping vacations, be sure to bring extra stakes because they are not as robust. Heavy-duty tent stakes made of titanium or steel are more difficult to transport, but they have been proven to survive far longer.

When purchasing tent stakes, the type of warranty is a crucial consideration. A longer warranty demonstrates that the producer is confident in its product and stands behind its services. Many tent stakes aren’t covered by a warranty, so be sure you’re buying from a respected company that sells high-quality materials.

Tent stakes can be found in a variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum, steel, and titanium. The cheapest stakes are aluminum or plastic, although they have been known to shatter in frozen or hard soil. Titanium stakes are more expensive than steel stakes, but they are practically unbreakable. The most frequent alternative is steel stakes, which are ideal for recreational camping.

When choosing an appropriate tent stake for your purposes, keep in mind the sort of climate you reside in, and the time of year you will be camping. If you’re going camping in the desert, you’ll need a tent stake with a huge surface area that can stand up to the sand. You won’t want to buy aluminum or plastic stakes if you’re going camping in the cold.

Are you a beginner at camping? How to stake a tent correctly

If you don’t want your tent to collapse on you in the middle of the night because the wind is blowing a little harder than usual when you’re sleeping, you’ll need to know how to stake it properly.

If you’re alone at the time, you’re certainly frustrated, but if you’re with your family and children, you’re probably scared that it’ll start raining and they’ll acquire a cold.

This is why, before staking your tent, you must ensure that you have done a few things correctly.

One of the most common camping mishaps is a poorly staked tent. All it takes is just one windstorm to ruin your trip. We will provide beginner and expert tips, so you can easily learn how to stake a tent correctly.

1) Begin by choosing and cleaning your camping spot

It is critical that you take a tour around the area and carefully select a camping spot to post your tent. Check to see if there are too many rocks, if the ground is flat and if massive tree roots are there. You should also avoid standing under any trees that drop acorns or pine cones.

If you think about these things before erecting your tent, you’ll be less likely to be startled awake by a bulge poking you or the sound of acorns dropping on the ground. The few minutes will not be wasted as it will help to remove any large pebbles, seeds, twigs, or other undesired items from the area.

2) Think twice before deciding not to stake your tent

Although this may appear to be common knowledge, there have been instances where tents were not staked at all. Many campers, whether experienced or novice, have set up their larger cabin tents at a quiet time of day and then become preoccupied with other activities such as drinking a beverage or falling in love with nature, forgetting to stake the tent. Things go wrong quickly, and everything happens even before they realize it. For example, the wind may gather up the pace, and the tent is blown away. Consequently, it will force the campers to start all over again.

3) Know the importance of using stakes at right angles

Do not put stakes in the ground by ignoring the angles. You should always attempt to set them at a 45-degree angle from the corner so that you can pull the line tight and get the most space within. It also aids in keeping the tent waterproof even when the wind picks up.

As a result, your tent will be considerably comfier and appear to be much larger in size, making you feel less claustrophobic.

4) Do not forget to tie the guy lines to the tent

It’s necessary to stake the tent’s bass, but it’s also crucial to secure the tent’s guy lines. These aid in providing more support to the tent as well as maximizing the space within the tent to make you feel airier and less cramped.

5) Always hammer the stake straight down

It’s much more effective to pound the stake straight down into the dirt since it will penetrate the soil the most and will also withstand higher wind speeds.

Believe us, this is really effective and works wonders in the event of a storm or strong winds. As a consequence, your tent will be more comfortable to sleep in if it is properly put up.

6) Always select the right tent stake

When deciding which stake to employ, there are several aspects to consider. There are two major factors; the length and surface area of the stake. The following are three of the most common types of tent stakes:

  • The aluminum stakes, which are 7 inches long, are both lightweight and sturdy. Twelve pieces of these, for example, weigh roughly 3.5 ounces. These are normally three-sided, which improves the surface area and provides for a better hold in the ground, which is ideal for most tenting applications, especially where weight is a problem.
  • The 12-inch stakes are extremely heavy-duty, having a large surface area and a curved design for a secure hold. You’ll primarily utilize this on soft surfaces like sand or snow. There are several holes in them to maximize their holding capacity and allow a variety of rigging choices. These are much heavier, weighing in at around 2-3 ounces each.
  • Lastly, there are 11-inch galvanized steel stakes. The galvanized steel stakes look a lot like the stakes you’d need to anchor down your enormous cabin tents. These are quite durable and equally heavy. Ten of these stakes are around 3 pounds each. While these aren’t ideal for trekking, they’ll certainly suffice for staking tents in the backyard.

7) Stake more if you are unsatisfied

If you’re not sure if the tent will hold with the stakes you’ve already staked it with, stake a couple of extras. You can even use a tree to anchor your tent. Remember that in sandy soils or when there is snow, you will need deeper wedged stakes to hold the tent in place, but if you don’t have any, simply tie your tent to a nearby tree.

8) Avoid tripping over ropes

Many people trip over their stakes’ ropes even though they were the ones who set up the tent. Mostly it occurs in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the bathroom and trip over one of your stakes. Hence, this is another reason why staking at a 45-degree angle away from the tent entrance is a smart idea.

9) Try to use supplementary stakes

Stakes can be made by securing extra anchors to the ground by connecting a rope from the tent to a large and strong rock. You must next place another hefty rock on top of it to attach it to the ground.

This is particularly useful if a storm strikes and you need to add more stakes to your tent but don’t have any on hand. This is when you create these improvised stakes so that you can at least get through the storm.

The right way to stake a tent in different types of surfaces

If you think staking out a tent is always simple, think again. It is especially true now due to the misinformation that is floating around about how to do it correctly. To make matters worse, suitable tent staking procedures differ greatly depending on the sort of terrain you’ll be sleeping on for the night.

If you want your tent to effectively block the wind, you must set it up appropriately. If you are in parks, a well-staked tent can often survive gale-force winds, whereas, in the same conditions, a poorly staked tent will flap around incessantly.

The waterproofing abilities of your tent can also be improved by properly attaching it to the ground. Indeed, while staking helps to separate the rainfly from the interior body of the tent, doing it correctly can keep water out of your living space during rainfall in the park.

During a storm, tents that flap around in the wind are more prone to rip. As a result, properly anchoring your rainfly and tent might help reduce the risk of them being damaged throughout your journey.

Sandy surface

It is true that placing tent stakes in firm soil is relatively simple; however, campers in sandy areas such as Joshua Tree National Parks have long battled to secure their shelters. When camping on sandy terrain, the key concern is keeping the tent stake in place during the night. The physical positioning of the stake is of the least concern.

You’ll need a set of correct sand stakes to ensure that the stakes of your tent stay in place throughout your overnight vacation to a sandy park. Otherwise, you’ll be fighting your gear and the environment all the time. Sand stakes are different from other types of tent stakes in that they have a significantly bigger surface area.

Try to get stakes that have spiral structures as they often provide more than enough traction on sandy soil in regions with tightly packed sand. If you’re camping on loose sandy ground, though, you’ll need stakes that are quite long, usually about 10″ to 12″. In addition, you need a wide width to withstand even the slightest amount of wind.

Regardless of the stake you use, make sure it is driven into the earth perpendicularly rather than at an angle. This will increase the stake’s holding strength, particularly in sandy soils. More importantly, if you’re having trouble keeping your stakes in place, replace them with large rocks that you can anchor to instead. You’ll be pleased by this decision when the wind starts to blow at an astonishing speed.

Snow and frozen surface

We all know that snow and frozen ground are both common issues for campers trying to stake out their tents in the winter; each circumstance presents its own set of hurdles.

In reality, pitching a tent in the snow typically necessitates resorting to many of the strategies we employ while camping in sandy areas. Many of the broad, wide stakes we use for sandy soils, for example, are also excellent for staking out a tent in hard snow.

However, if you’re camping in areas where there’s a lot of loose snow, or if you’re having trouble pitching a tent in a snowy environment using stakes, you may need to change your strategy. You might have to resort to a dead-man system in particular.

Using a dead-man anchoring technique is simple. All you need is several solid things, such as sticks, as well as a shovel for the snow. You’ll dig holes in the snow with your shovel where you’d typically put your posts.

After that, you’ll hook your tent’s guy lines to each stick before burying them in the snow. To adequately bury your anchors, add snow on top of each stake and stomp down on the snow. These anchors may not appear to be much, but they can actually hold their own in bad weather!

Meanwhile, on frozen ground, a set of titanium or steel nail-style stakes is your best bet. These stakes are quite easy to pound into the ground with a rock, which is practically your only means to pitch your tent on the frozen ground unless you have nearby boulders or trees that can serve as anchors.

Gravel surface

Many campgrounds provide huge, gravel-filled tent pads on which campers can pitch their tents for the night. However, while these gravelly surfaces are wonderful for erosion control, they’re not ideal for pitching a tent.

The good news is that conventional tent stakes may often be used in these conditions. It is because they have a lot of traction in this type of gravelly soil. Next, try to get the stakes into the ground. However, you need to do this without accidentally bending them in the process.

Having a hammer or other similar item on hand to push the stake through the loose gravel and into the hard ground below is essential when setting tent stakes in gravel. If you don’t have a hammer, a solid rock will suffice. On the other hand, never try to use your foot because you have little control over the force you apply to the stakes when you use your foot. More importantly, it’s a sure-fire way to bend them. Alternatively, hammering your stake into the earth with a rock is usually the best option.

You should always keep in mind that stakes set in loose gravel may need to be reinforced by placing a larger rock or wood on top of them. If it’s highly windy outside, this can be beneficial because it adds extra holding force in bad weather.

Places with a lot of winds

If you are trying to stake out a tent in windy areas, you will face a unique set of challenges. It happens because the wind can easily yank your stakes out of the ground in one fell swoop.

If the wind is predicted for your next hiking trip, your best protection against the elements will be your own inventiveness.

In reality, correctly staking down a tent in a windy location boils down to reinforcing your stakes. Always try to reinforce your stakes with heavy objects if anchoring to a more solid structure, such as a tree, isn’t available. You can put boulders and logs on top of your stakes, for example, to give them a little extra holding force against the wind.

In addition, you’ll want to pay special attention to how your stakes are oriented during the procedure. If you have J-shaped stakes with a huge hook at the top, stake alignment is extremely critical. The hook should be facing away from your tent in order to assist in keeping guy lines in place in windy circumstances.

It’s also worth noting that in these windy conditions, the orientation of your tent matters.

If you’re using a long, tunnel-shaped tent, make sure the head of your sleeping bag and sleeping pad faces the wind. Otherwise, facing the tent’s broadside into the wind is a terrific method to transform it into a homemade sail that will catch the wind and rip your stakes out of the ground in no time.

Concrete surfaces

Are you trying to pitch a tent on a concrete surface? Just know that it presents a unique issue because stakes cannot be used as anchors in this case.

While we can get away with tent stakes in a variety of situations, we can’t do much with a tent stake when confronted with a solid piece of concrete. Instead, we’ll have to think of another solution.

Creating your own anchor points is probably the best approach to secure a tent on concrete. Large rocks or logs found in your camping area can often be used for this purpose.

Alternatively, you can use some robust 5-gallon buckets to provide temporary anchor points for larger tents or in instances where there aren’t any huge boulders. Fill your buckets with smaller pebbles and other similar rubbish once you’ve got them ready.

You can link your guy lines to the buckets once you’ve gathered enough debris to weigh them down. It is something like you would with a professional tent stake to set up your shelter for the night.

Some of the best tent stakes available in the market

Consider getting screw-shaped tent stakes if you live in a cold region or be in your tent in a sandy area, on the beach, or during the winter.

Make sure to have extra stakes if you’re going on a long backpacking or hiking excursion. Tent stakes made of plastic and aluminum, in particular, have been known to deform or break.

On the other hand, steel tent stakes will suffice, despite the fact that titanium tent stakes are often the finest quality product available for recreational campers.

ABCCANOPY Tent Stakes Camping Tent Stakes

These tent stakes are made of galvanized steel. It means they’ll last a long time and won’t rust or corrode. These 11-inch tent stakes have a PVC top that is simple to hold. They have a machined point for easy insertion into hard soil and a large head for driving with a hammer into the ground. You get it in 2 colors (i.e., orange and green). These tent stakes come in a bundle of ten stakes per set. These tent stakes can be used to support anything from gazebos, canopies, patio to landscape trims. In addition, you can use it for garden netting and other outdoor activities. The AbcCanopy tent stakes can be utilized in a variety of conditions. For example, you can use these on soil, grass, sand and even rocky surfaces. They’re made to endure and keep your tent stable. You can feel safe even in the face of extreme weather and strong winds.

ABCCANOPY Tent Stakes Camping Tent Stakes, 10pc-Pack (Orange)
  • Heavy-duty set of 10 outdoor tent stakes - 11 inch in length
  • An essential ground anchor tool for gazebo, securing tents, canopies, patio & garden plant structures, or landscape trim
  • Galvanized steel for corrosion resistance, perfect using as tent pegs and garden stakes
  • Milled point for easy insert into hard soil; large peg head for mallet driving into ground.
  • Bonus 4pcs 10 ft. tent ropes and 1 pvc top. These stakes are perfect for one person tent or multiple persons tents

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SE Heavy-Duty Metal Tent Pegs Stake Set

Tent stakes made by using heavy-duty metal are included in the SE Heavy-Duty Metal Tent Stake Set. These tent stakes are designed to be extremely durable. These stakes come in a set of 20 and are composed of robust, thermoplastic PVC stoppers at the head. They offer extra anchoring strength and versatility due to the use of PVC section on both hook and rope-stringing eyelets. The stakes’ tips are milled. It means you can stake down your tent even in difficult to dig soil or when mallet driving is required. These tent stakes have high resistance to rust and corrosion; thereby, they will last a long time. Each stake has a length of 10.5 inches and a diameter of eight millimeters. As a result, you’ll have enough length to secure any tent.

However, there is one disadvantage; the plastic portion of the stake has been known to shatter when pulled out of the dry, firm ground with tools. But it is possible to avoid breaking stakes. All you have to do is physically pull them out with your hands.

SE Heavy-Duty Metal Tent Pegs Stake Set - 20-Pack, 10.5" Galvanized Steel Pegs for Secure Anchoring in Various Terrains - 9NRC10-20
  • Durable Galvanized Steel Construction: Made from corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, ensuring long-lasting use and reliability in various outdoor conditions
  • Versatile Outdoor Use: Ideal for securely anchoring tents, canopies, garden structures, and more in dirt, grass, sand, and rocky soil
  • Easy Installation and Removal: Designed with milled points for easy driving into hard soil and large heads for mallet use, ensuring effortless setup and removal
  • Multipurpose 20-Pack Set: Includes 20 heavy-duty 10.5" tent pegs, perfect for backyards, camping, picnics, beach trips, and sporting events
  • Customer-Approved Performance: Praised for excellent value, strong anchoring ability, ease of use, and effective performance in windy conditions

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Eurmax Tent Stakes

The tent stakes are designed to work in a variety of outdoor environments. In addition, they are robust enough to hold your tent down in any weather. You can get ten tent stakes, four 10-foot ropes, and one green stopper in one pack. They’re about a quarter-inch in diameter and ten inches tall. Each stake is composed of galvanized steel, which provides good corrosion resistance and ensures that it will not sag in the rain or snow. These stakes also feature milled points for securing your tent even when it’s sitting on stiff silk.

The fact that these stakes are not constructed of the most robust material is a disadvantage. Make sure you have extra spare stakes on hand, especially if you want to use them on really hard surfaces.

Eurmax USA Galvanized Non-Rust Camping Family Tent Pop Up Tent Stakes Ice Tools Heavy Duty 10pc-Pack, with 4x10ft Ropes & 1 Green Stopper
  • Non-Rust Galvanized Finish: The galvanized coating on these stakes ensures they remain rust-free even after exposure to rain and moisture, guaranteeing long-lasting durability.
  • Comprehensive Set: This 10-piece pack comes complete with four 10-foot ropes and one green stopper, providing you with everything you need to secure your tent or outdoor shelter.
  • Easy to Use: Setting up your tent has never been easier. The canopy stakes are designed for hassle-free installation, and the ropes are pre-cut to the perfect length, saving you time and effort.
  • High-Quality Materials: Crafted from galvanized steel, they won't bend or break under pressure, ensuring a reliable hold every time.
  • Enhanced Visibility: The bright stopper serves as a visual marker, helping prevent tripping hazards around your campsite and making it easier to locate your tent stakes.Perfect for a range of outdoor activities, from camping and hiking to picnics and beach outings, these heavy duty tent anchors provide the stability you need wherever you go.

Last update on 2024-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Common mistakes that people make while using tent stakes

It’s tempting to set the tent and then forget about it. Usually, people move to more vital things like eating once you’ve arrived at camp. However, staking your tent properly is an essential element of setting up camp. These are the common mistakes that campers make during setting up their tent and using stakes:

1) Remember that your stake has the most strength when it is driven all the way into the earth. If you’re camping in less-than-ideal weather, sticking your stake halfway into the earth and calling it a day won’t cut it.

2) Never try to use your foot when you are using tent stakes. It seems simple to place your stake and then push it into the ground with your foot. It is especially true when you’re wearing sturdy hiking boots. But this is a formula to bend your tent stakes. If the stake does not bend, it will act as a lever. As a result, it will pry prying up on the earth and reduce the stake’s holding capacity. It is preferable to use a rock as a hammer and pound the stakes into the ground.

3) Most of the rookies use the wrong type of tent stakes. Remember that the tent stakes come in a wider variety than you may suppose. Take a look at the options above to see which one is ideal for you. This is a critical mistake to avoid when camping in the snow or sand. Keep in mind that the snow stakes are necessary under these conditions.

4) Rather than putting it into the ground at an angle, your tent stake should be perpendicular to it. Your tent will have more holding strength if you drive the stake straight into the earth.

5) Facing your tent stake’s the wrong way can cause a lot of problems. If the hook of your stake is facing away from your tent, it will provide the best protection from the wind. This will keep the guy line in place, as well as your tent.

6) Do not ignore the weak tent stakes. It can cause a problem on really windy days. If you place something heavy (like a rock) over vital tent stakes, it will give your tent more holding ability. The rock also ensures that the guy lines do not come loose from the tent stakes.

7) Soft ground may appear to be excellent for pitching your tent because it makes stake placement simple. However, if your stakes go into the earth easily, they are also likely to come out readily. So, a firm, but not rocky, the ground is the best place to stake your tent.

The right way to remove the tent stakes

It is likely for you to end up with a tent stake that is too difficult to pull out by hand. The difficulty of pulling out tent stakes depends on the ground conditions.

The easiest thing to do is to just pull the guy line until the thing comes out of the ground. pull straight in the direction the tent nail is pointing to.

I also often just use another stake by simply hooking it into the one that is stuck in the ground. Just pull upwards with both hands. However, if you are camping on a frozen surface, you may need to strike the stake on the top to free it.

Frequently asked questions about tent stakes

How to select the best tent stakes?

It is a fact that the tent stakes keep your tent upright and prevent it from blowing away in windy or inclement weather. Make sure to review your instruction booklet or do some research on how to correctly install and remove your tent pegs, depending on the type of stake you buy.

What is the alternative to tent stakes?

I encourage using tent stakes, but if they aren’t accessible or if yours are broken, use whatever is available.  For example, you can use rocks, logs, or sandbags. It is also possible to attach your tent to a tree. Alternatively, you can create your own wooden tent stakes.

What is the minimum number of tent stakes are needed to set a tent?

In general, each corner of the tent should have at least one tent stake. So, ideally, it will make a total of four stakes. It also depends on the weather how many tent stakes it takes to secure your tent, if it is very windy you will obviously need more. Also, the shape of the tent also has an influence on how many stakes you need to secure it, e.g. geodesic domes get by with fewer stakes than a tunnel tent. But if in doubt, it is better to use a few extra guy lines and a few more stakes.

What is the recommended length of tent stakes?

Most of the time, the tent stakes of 6 inches long will do the work. It is because they work well in a variety of soil conditions. As a rule of thumb, the longer the tent stake, the greater holding power it has. In addition, you should carry longer stakes if you’re camping on soft surfaces (i.e., sand).


It is true that the tent stakes are something that no one cares about. However, you cannot ignore their importance because if you don’t have them, your day will be ruined.

You can get the most out of tent stakes and avoid the chance of breaking them. You can learn how to use them properly by reading this guide.

Always try to get the right ten stakes and take time to learn how you should use them. Consequently, you can make your camping experience more enjoyable by reducing the chances of your tent taking off due to strong wind.


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