Let's talk tent stakes...

Screenshot_20160904-160438.png I use 12 inch bridge nails and a 2 lbs sledge. Holds down the Taj Mahal tent pretty well. 2 strikes from the side and the stakes slide right out of the ground. Heavy, but they do the job
Another option for those of you who see a lot of sand . . .

The good camping spots in the UAE and Oman come in two flavors, soft bottomless sand and solid sheets of rock. Neither are great for tent stakes.

We have had good success in both types of terrain with sand bags. We generally use fabric shopping bags (approx 20" square and about 10" wide at the bottom) and fill them on the spot when in the desert. A minute of shoveling will make a bag so heavy you can barely lift it, and then you tie it off and drag the bag into the hole you just dug. The bags hold solid in sand storms strong enough to break the fiberglass poles in the tents.

If you are not careful you can overfill the bag, and then the handles will tear off when you try to move it. Our bags are free with every purchase at a local outdoor "toy" store, so it's never a huge tragedy, and easily preventable once you get a feel for it. A bag you actually pay a buck or two for would likely hold up better. On windy days, I will roll the top of the bag down and wrap the line around the bag once to take the strain off the handles.

The bags work on rock too, but it's a lot more work to fill four bags with rocks, so we usually end up tying one end off to the vehicles.


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^^^^Brilliant, learn something new everyday. (My brain is full, so that means I just forgot something. I never know what it is, usually something my wife asked me to do.)
I use the 12" spikes with a washer tack welded under the head also. You can drive them right through hard packed road pack gravel or even asphalt. I use a small 2 lb sledge to drive them and an Estwing framing hammer(the straighter claw type) to pull them and to drive plastic stakes. I have a pile of plastic stakes for camping up above treeline. After being IN the first lightning storm at 11,000 ft elevation, I didn't want any metalic stakes.
I like to use a 6 or 12 inch spike with a chain link welded on top. This provides a nice size head and also a loop good for 550 cord or a bungee. They work in Pismo beach sand if you get down through to the wet stuff. They also work great in the hard desert ground when driven with a heavy hammer. And CHEAP!
I've always looked for self standing tents so as to have to carry less stuff. Otherwise I use 550 cord and whatever I find like rocks sticks and sand if needed.
I think the last stakes that I bought were for nailing down tarps /groundsheets and were large nails with green plastic hooks (~$3 /6) at Harbor Freight... not sure if they are cheaper than landscaping nails or not.
I also use some leftover plastic stakes and when they break usually go to the formed aluminum V shaped ex-military stakes. (which occasionally do pull out in very sandy/decayed granite soil (haven't found the long ones cheap).

550 cord is my universal light cordage, but I sometimes use yellow/orange web strap for high traffic area guylines... to minimize the unintentional slapstick/pratfalls.

(edit); I used to use a dome self standing tent with minimal guylines until I came back to camp and found it missing; the only thing that kept it and my soft gear from a trip down the river was a large bush that thankfully grabbed it as the wind was rolling it along.

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