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Do You Use The Tent Stakes That Came With Your Tent?

Old School Tent Stakes
These factory-supplied tent stakes are too heavy

I usually replace the factory-supplied tent stakes that come with backpacking tents because they’re too heavy, too short, or they hurt my hands when I pull them out of the ground.

My goto tent stakes are:

  • MSR Mini-Groundhog Tent Stakes because the have superior holding power and stand up to rocky soil
  • MSR Needle Tent Stakes that have a special hook for guying out tents and tarps that have string and cord-based guylines instead of webbing. These are really good for pitching my hammock tarp.

I usually carry 4 or 5 of each on backpacking trips.

Do you use the tent stakes that came with your tent or did you replace them with ones you like better? If so, what don’t you like about the stakes that came with your tent? What did you replace them with?


  1. I just use whatever I can find at the local hiking stores.

    MSR Mini-Groundhogs are the best so far. Not always available though.

  2. This all depends on the stakes provided. As most of my tenting is on mountain terrain with stony or rubble filled ground so I favor soft aluminium stakes as they will deform yet give good holds in this type of situation. Most tents I have bought over the years have pegs that are too hard, too big and too heavy so I have made my own from standard grade 1/4 inch alloy rod. They are light in weight,6 inches overall and have a simple right angle bend of 1 inch; a little heat ensures a strong bend. If they deform too badly it is a simple job to straighten them out, a hammer stone and a larger flat rock does the job just fine.
    Last year I bought a low cost light weight 1 person bivi tent and was pleasantly surprised that the pegs were just as I would have made!

  3. No. The stakes that come with the tent are always lacking for one reason or another.

  4. I usually replace them with MSR Needle Stakes, although I’ve gotten a few backpacking tents from TarpTent with stakes that I like.

  5. I use MSR Mini Groundhogs and bring four regular Groundhogs for use when a longer stake is needed. The reflective loop makes it very visible via flashlight and helps avoid tripping. The loop also aids removal (or, use a homemade pulling handle made from a wooden dowel, paracord and hook).

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