Data Sheet

#5 Choosing your tent materials

#5 #5 Choosing your tent materials
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4: Pegs


web pegsWhen you buy a tent it is likely to be supplied with standard, straight steel pegs with a circular cross-section, sometimes called pins. If conditions are good, these may be sufficient, but in many cases it is worth investing in some additional pegs to keep your tent securely on the ground. Pins can be easy to put in the ground, but they often bend if they hit something hard in the ground and they are also easily dislodged.

Some campers with many years’ experience will carry a selection of pegs, each suited to different ground conditions. It is always worth having a few spares – even of the most basic pins – to replace any broken or lost ones.

Pressed steel or alloy
Pegs with a shank with a flat cross-section generally give better grip than standard steel pegs.

Lightweight pegs
If you are carrying your kit yourself, you may consider alloy pegs or titanium ones to reduce weight. These need to be used carefully as they are more likely to bend under the mallet. You also need to be sure they will be good enough to stay in the ground keeping your tent down in the wind.

Moulded plastic

There are many shapes and sizes of moulded plastic pegs on the market. Many are remarkably strong, even though they are light in weight. Some larger tents are sold with moulded plastic pegs for the main guylines and steel pins for the remaining guys.

Rock pegs

Rock pegs are designed for especially hard ground – perhaps stony or frozen. They are normally made from toughened steel and generally have a head to take the guyline, perhaps made of plastic.

Screw-in pegs

These pegs have a strong grip and are designed to stay in the ground unless you unscrew them. Many people use a cordless drill to put them in place and extract them.

Groundsheet pegs
Groundsheet pegs normally have flattened tops so you can stand on them without spiking your feet.

And the rest
You will find a wide range of pegs on sale at your local camping retailer or online, with extra features such as glow-in-the-dark heads or extended tops to anchor them to the ground. After a few camping trips, you will soon decide whether you would like to splash out on a different type. Many enthusiasts on camping forums are happy to discuss the options.

Putting in and removing pegs
Unfortunately there are too many campsite accidents when a peg breaks through the sole of a shoe or boot. So it is worth investing in a rubber-headed mallet to help push your pegs into the ground (unless you are only using screw-in ones). You may also like to buy a peg extractor for the end of the holiday – it is a good way to save your hands and prevent pegs being left in the ground.

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