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Selecting the right tent peg for the job

Camping is a great activity – of course we’d say that but we’re not alone, there is a huge camping community out there that will tell you the same thing.

When it comes to what to pack, however, opinions can vary, and while we have put together a list of essentials to pack for a camping trip, there are other things that provoke heated discussions between campers, and one of these is which tent pegs are best for which types of ground.

When you buy a tent, you will usually find that it comes with pegs and you might be forgiven for thinking that these will do the job, no matter where you camp and that you’re set up for all future camping trips. (To be honest, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that – it’s a common assumption. A lot of people don’t know that you have to re-waterproof your tent, either).

Unfortunately, as any seasoned camper will tell you, there are a wide variety of tent pages available on the market, and they each serve a very different purpose, working with various fittings and types of ground.

While you may fortunate and purchase a tent with pegs that will serve you well in a range of ground types, it can be a good idea to look at what other types are available.

This way, you are prepared for whatever type of ground or weather you may encounter on your adventures.

Here, we will take a look at some of the peg types that are available and what circumstances they are most suitable for.

Round wire pegs and skewers

The most common type of tent pegs, round wire pegs and skewers are the type that are usually provided as standard with most tents as an effective general peg.

They can be pushed into the ground by hand, providing it is soft enough. However, they are not great in very soft ground or mud either.

They are certainly a great starter peg; however, if you are looking to go on a variety of camping trips, then it can be a good idea to consider some alternatives as well.

On the downside, while these pegs can be hammered into harder ground, they do have a tendency to warp or bend, so you will probably need a few spares.

They come in a variety of styles and thicknesses as well.

The curved head of a skewer is excellent for holding guys in place.

The added bonus is that this can be used to pull them out with when it comes to packing down.

Tent nails

These are specific pegs that are designed to hold your tent down on harder ground.

They are much bigger than standard household nails.

They have short bodies and flat heads, which make them easy to hammer.

If you are looking to secure your tent to ground that isn’t very forgiving, these are ideal.

If, however, you are trying to pitch on sand or softer terrain, then they won’t get the necessary purchase to keep your tent in place.

There are some nail pegs on the market that are longer, thicker and reportedly more durable, which of course makes them ideal for hard ground.

They are, however, heavier and not suitable for use on rocky ground.

Vee pegs or V pegs

Vee section pegs, also referred to as V pegs, are the perfect choice when it comes to sandier, softer or even muddier terrain.

This type of peg looks a little different and features a more splayed design that allows for greater purchase in the ground.

They are also more flexible. Vee pegs can be purchased in a good selection of sizes with stronger hold or a greater surface area, and it can be well worth shopping around to find precisely the right peg.

These are a great all-round peg that will work well in more scenarios than nails or skewers.

They work well for those campers going to a festival or a more seasoned camper heading to rougher ground.

Rock pegs

A little more obvious than the other types of peg these are the ideal choice for rocky ground or very dense, hard-packed soil.

They are sharper pegs, which helps you to drive them into the ground.

However, it is important to do a little research before purchasing these ones as they really do vary significantly in quality.

There are certainly some more durable brands on the market that are worth investing in, especially if you are likely to be mountaineering.

Biodegradable pegs

With more and more people becoming environmentally conscious and looking to do their bit, however small, to help the environment, biodegradable pegs are the way to go.

They rival some of the best nails and pegs available when it comes to purchase in situ.

These pegs do degrade over time so should you struggle to pull one up it isn’t such a worry.

This does mean they are a little more fragile, though.

Harpoon pegs

One of the new kids on the block, the harpoon peg, is an all-round winner.

It offers an extensive surface area, adaptability and can be used on most types of ground.

It is a good beach peg but also works well in gravel.

If you are looking to monopolise base grip above everything else, this peg should do it.

Wooden tent pegs

If your tent has a large, heavy canvas outer like a bell tent, then wooden pegs are incredibly robust.

It is worth remembering though that you should use a wooden mallet to hammer these in.

Heavy-duty tent pegs

While these may not be the peg of choice for the smaller tent, it can be handy to have a few in your arsenal if you have a larger family tent, especially one that is quite heavy.

As you would expect, heavy-duty pegs can be driven into any ground and are quite hard to bend.

They have a ribbed pattern on the exterior, which helps then to get a good purchase and stay put.

They are of course perfect for guy ropes which are all too often tripped over and dislodged.

Plastic Tent Pegs

Plastic tent pegs are incredibly light and perfect for driving into soft ground. Unfortunately, they are rather easy to bend a little, especially if they hit a stone.

As with anything plastic, they can become brittle over time due to sun exposure, so if you use plastic pegs a lot, be sure to check them over before camping trips and replace when necessary.

Now you’re aware of the different types of tent peg and what they’re best for, you can ensure you have the best pegs for the job.

Now, all you have to do is find your next campsite and off you go!

Or, for more chance of getting the best out of your camping trip, why not check out our ultimate guide for camping hacks?

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