Tent stakes keep your tent safe and secure during high winds and for general entry and exit.  But ensure you choose suitable stakes depending on the campsite. For instance, sandy ground requires broader stakes, while rocky soil requires more robust aluminum stakes. For hard ground, you need some tactics when staking your tent. Ensure you take your time, follow some tips like pretreating the soil, and get stakes into the hard ground.

How to Drive Tent Stakes into the Hard Ground

Driving tent stakes into hard ground, though tough, isn’t impossible. You need to prepare yourself well and work smart instead of sweating it out hammering the wrong stakes into the ground. The following guidelines will assist you in driving tent stakes into the hard ground;

Use the correct stakes for hard ground

There are different types of tent pegs you can use, but the best for the hard ground is titanium pegs.  These stakes are most durable and less heavy. The pegs are smaller in diameter and bend when pressure is too much instead of breaking.

Check why the ground is hard

Sometimes, you might be trying to drive in a stake into ground at a place with underlying rocks. Your tent pegs won’t go through rocks no matter how hard you try. You can dig a shallow hole with a shovel or probe the ground to identify such rocks. Move your camp location or the tent peg location to find softer ground without underlying rock that blocks the tent stakes.

As you pound the peg into the ground, listen to the changes in sound. If you hit a rock, the banging will make a different noise. Be wise to reposition the tent stake and try again. Pounding a stake too fast with a hammer or forcefully will result in a bent or broken stake. Another best tool to use is a mallet to hit on the stake. Depending on the ground, it may take around 4-5 minutes to get the stake firmly into the ground.

Pretreat the soil

Use a little water to soften the ground on the area you want to drive the peg. First, pour a small amount of water on the spot you want to place the stake, and wait for a few minutes to seep and loosen the area. Later use a large rock to pound in the stake.

Use stronger titanium or steel stake to make a starter hole

Pound it halfway or a little more, and then pull it out. This starter hole will make it easier for a wide peg to get in. Titanium shepherd hooks work best for rocky ground. Steel or titanium nail tent stakes with a flattened head and thin diameter are suitable for frozen ground.

Be smart and look for natural alternatives

Be willing to compromise if your stakes fail to get into the ground. Search for trees, logs, or bushes where you can tie your tent lines or guy wires instead of staking them down. Large rocks can also be helpful to hold or tie your tent lines forming a raised tent.

Check this too: How Do You Secure a Tent in High Winds?

Use a drill and some drill in pegs

This technique works perfectly when using drill in tent pegs. Attach them to an impact drill and drill them into the ground applying some downward force to encourage the drilling. The twist and thread in these spikes make it easier to drive them into tougher ground as opposed to pounding them in.

You can also use this approach when driving spikes into permafrost or frozen soil.

  • Use a normal soil drill bit to drill a deep hole into the soil.
  • Pour some hot water into the hole to soften up surrounding soil
  • Insert and hammer in your stakes as soon as possible before the soil starts freezing again
  • Once the soil freezes, the stakes will hold on firmly

Best Tent Stakes for Hard Ground

Using the right stakes will make your work easier. Hard ground needs hard and tough stakes that are sharp and won’t bend as you hammer them into the ground. Here are some pikes to consider.

MSR Carbon Core Stake Kit

MSR Carbon Core Stake Kit

The kit contains four ultralight stakes to tarp your tent. The peg features a super lightweight and robust carbon core with an aluminum outer shell for extra durability. The nail peg design is suitable for penetrating the hard ground, unlike other peg designs. The stakes are wide around a circular tent, which helps them hold well in loose soil like sandy. Even with the high price, the pegs are worth their performance.


  • Lightest full-length stake
  • Carbon fiber core with aluminum outer
  • Unbreakable head, durable aluminum tip
  • Poly-carbonate heads are easy to drive in and pull out.
  • The individual weight of 6g
  • Length of 15cm


  • Extremely lightweight
  • Compact
  • Functional


  • It’s costly

Vargo Titanium Ascent Tent Stake

Vargo Titanium Ascent Tent Stake

The V-shaped ultralight pegs are reliable tent stakes and suitable for sand and snow. They weigh 0.3oz per ice and come equipped with a highly reflective pull cord. They have a length of 6.2 inches that offers plenty of surface area to help them cling tightly to many environments.


  • Made of titanium material thus they are strong and light.
  • Well packed within one another
  • They are visible thus super easy to retrieve from the ground, even in the dark.
  • It fits nicely in all kinds of weather and terrain.
  • More remarkable holding ability in the soil


  • It contains titanium; thus, it’s strong
  • It’s light for backpackers.
  • Has great visibility


  • It bends easily
  • The peg is unstable in high winds.
  • It’s very costly

Vargo Shepherds Hook Stake

Ti Shepherds Hook Stake Orange

The original shepherd’s hook design comes with orange fluorescent coated heads for increased visibility. It’s best for reliable hold in hard soil and other challenging terrains. The stake doesn’t corrode, and it’s durable. The slender shape helps reduce weight even further — and if you need a little extra holding power in harsh weather, you can cross two pegs at each anchor station.


  • Classic tent stake design
  • Great for most staking applications
  • Fluorescent orange coating
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Weights 7 grams


  • It’s light
  • It’s strong and durable.
  • Great visibility


  • Prone to spinning


Camping on the hard ground might be challenging, especially when staking your tent. But with a couple of tips to follow, you will learn how to get your stakes into hard ground, as explained above. This step is essential to ensure your protection from the harsh winds and other environmental conditions.  Again, ensure you screen in tent pegs to make sure you pick the most durable and reliable.