I’ve never thought of tent pegs as being a complicated subject. The choice of which tent pegs to use from my camping kit generally only come down to a couple of options in any given situation.
Recently, however, I asked Google about tent pegs… can’t remember why, but the result was an excess of choices – many of which appeared over-engineered and highly priced. If I was genuinely looking for new tent pegs, I would have felt somewhat overwhelmed and reverted to buying something similar to the pegs I am trying to replace.
At Snowys we often address the question of whether additional pegs are required when purchasing a tent, along with recommending which are the best tent pegs to replace those old battered lengths of steel that now better resemble some form of modern art.
So, I thought I would outline seven basic and reasonably priced peg styles that will cover most conditions an average camper will find themselves in – all of which have kept my shelters secure for decades of camping adventures.
The difference between the pegs that come with the Coleman Instant Up 6, compared to Poles Apart Galvanised Steel Peg.
Tough, affordable steel pegs
These are tough, they are good ‘extras’ to have in your camping arsenal for securing large items, such as tarps and gazebos on hard and rocky ground.
The 8mm version of this peg is slightly more robust than the average tent peg found in mid to high-end tents, whilst the 11.2mm pegs are for big shelters on firm ground. These are just as the title suggests – steel. There is no galvanised or zinc coating so they will rust over time if left exposed to moisture.
Three sizes of the classic Steel Tent Peg – perfect to keep on hand in your camping kit.
Long lasting galvanised steel tent pegs
In most cases, these will be the closest equivalents to the pegs that came with your tent. The 4mm size is akin to pegs found in low to mid-priced tents, and the 6.3mm much like the pegs that come with most family tents.
These pegs have a galvanised coating which means they won’t rust, and they are easier to find if they get dropped. They are great replacements, or extras, and are best suited for medium to firm ground, such as in caravan parks or grassed campsites.
Versatile, strong, and with a range of sizes – the Galvanised Steel Pegs from Poles Apart are a winner!
Lightweight plastic pegs for sand
When it comes to sand, these are the pegs we recommend. They can be a little bulky in your kit but they are light and provide good holding power in soft ground. The shorter versions suit pop-up beach shelters, while the longer versions are for wind catching shelters, tarps and gazebos.
They come with both a hook and loop on the end. The loop being particularly useful when used at the beach as you can securely tie the guy rope to the peg, making it easy to find – it will always be at the end of the rope!
These also have a nice rounded top so there’s less chance that your kids will tear open their feet whilst chasing each other around your shelter.
Poles Apart Plastic Pegs are perfect for anchoring different sized shelters on the beach or soft ground.
Aluminium sand & snow pegs for lightweight holding power
Aluminium Sand and Snow Pegs do a similar job to the plastic sand pegs mentioned above, the good thing with these is that they all nest together neatly. They are good for anyone needing the holding power of a large sand peg but have limited storage space, such as in a pack or kayak.
The curved shaft features a number of holes that increase holding power, especially in snow. The two sizes cater for both small and large shelters. The downside of these is that they are a tad more expensive than the plastic alternatives, and are best suited to those with a specific need.
Lightweight yet sturdy options for alpine or sandy conditions, or where space in your pack is scarce.
Tough, lightweight aluminium angle pegs
These are great alternatives to the pegs that come with lightweight tents. I have had a handful of these for over a decade and have not bent one yet.
They feature a 90-degree angle shaft that provides exceptional strength and holding power in medium to firm ground, and they all stack neatly together – making them easy to pack into a rucksack.
Steel Sand Pegs for anchoring a shelter on soft to medium ground & Aluminium Angle Pegs for lightweight tents.
Steel Sand Pegs, good alternatives to the pegs that came with your tent
We don’t sell a whole lot of these Steel Sand Pegs, but we keep it in our range based on the unique steel hook on the end that enables a wide shafted sand peg to be used with small loops or eyelets. They are ideal for holding down the base of a side wall on a gazebo, the walls of a tent awning, or anchoring a tarp that is set up as a wind break.
It would be worth adding 4-8 of these to your camp kit as they are also great alternatives for the key anchor points of your tent, such as guy ropes when setting up camp on soft to medium ground.
Sea to Summit Ground Control Pegs – the luminous pull string prevents midnight stumbles, and the multiple anchor points help secure guy ropes.
Sea To Summit Ground Control Pegs for lightweight performance
There are tonnes of this sort of peg on the market all claiming to be the best, but in my experience, they are all pretty good. The main thing to look out for is the quality of alloy. These are made of one of the good alloys, 6061-T6 to be precise, with an anodised coating to prevent corrosion.
Now, I’m not going to say these are necessarily the best, but they do have a couple of cool features… for a tent peg! Firstly, the little pull string has a luminescent section so you can see it at night, and secondly, they feature multiple anchor points so you can secure the guy rope close to the ground if you can only get the peg so far into the ground.
Keep pegs in a few sizes and materials to make sure you’re equipped for a range of conditions.
So, should you buy additional pegs to go with your new tent?
If you’re buying a mid to high-end tent then the pegs that come with the tent, in most cases, will suit the average grassed or dirt campground with medium to hard ground. For campers with sandy or particularly rocky campgrounds in their sights, it would be worth adding 6-10 suitable pegs to your tent for use on key anchor points to ensure your shelter stays upright during your stay.
It’s never a bad thing to be too prepared. What else do you keep in your arsenal for pitching in difficult conditions?