How to Anchor a Tent on Sand

How to Anchor a Tent on SandSand makes a comfortable base for sleeping on when tent camping, but getting the tent to stay put on sandy ground in high winds can be tricky. The tent stakes generally provided when you purchase a tent work well in relatively solid ground, but once you try to use them as anchors in shifting sand they tend to pull out quickly. This is because the less solid the surface you're anchoring in, the more surface area you need to create a solid anchor--and tiny tent stakes just don't have much surface area.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tent
  • "Dead man" or snow and sand anchor
Step 1
Attach lines to the guy points on your tent if there aren't lines present already. Just tie a small loop at one end of the line, pass the loop through the tie-in point on the tent, pass the rest of the line through the loop and cinch the loop against the tent.
Step 2
Tie each line to a tent stake, or tie a loop in the end of the line and hook the hooked edge of the tent stake over the loop if that's all you have. The cord must be attached securely to the stakes to keep them from getting lost. Pound the stakes into the sand as deep as possible at a 45-degree angle against the direction your tent will pull on the guy line when under stress from the wind.
Step 3
Use a "dead man" or snow and sand anchor if at all possible instead of tent stakes. Just attach the "dead man" or sand anchor to the tent's guy lines or guy points as with a stake, then fill the anchor with sand or rocks and bury it completely in the sand. If you're improvising a dead man, use a tree limb or anything else you can get your hands on--the more surface area the better--and secure the tent line to the middle of your improvised dead man. Then bury the object in the sand with the longest axis horizontally oriented and facing perpendicular to the direction of pull from the tent.

Tips & Warnings

Seize the chance to tie your tent to any solid objects--trees, fence lines or very large rocks, for example--to secure it in an otherwise sandy area. You can also fill an extra pack or stuff sack with rocks or sand to improvise a sand anchor if you've nothing else to work with.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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