Because most standard tent stakes are made for hard soil, if you're planning a beach camping trip, you’ll need specialty sand stakes to keep your tent secure. The best tent stakes for sand are 10 inches or longer, made from plastic or aluminum, and have screw- or U-shaped designs.
There are a few factors that determine the holding strength of stakes, and while you can’t go on length alone, it’s still a good general indicator. Stakes that are 7-inches in length are often recommended for traditional soil, but sand is less secure, so stakes that are 10 inches or longer are a better choice. If you have a larger tent, or plan to camp on a windy beach, you may want to go up to 12 inches for peace of mind.
Most tent stakes for sand are made from plastic or aluminum because both materials are lightweight and durable. However, any material can bend or break if used improperly, so make sure to follow the stake driving directions instead of just stomping them into the ground.
You’ll also need to choose a tent stake that is specially designed for sand. Standard stakes for soil have straight designs, which will slide right out of sand and other soft soils. To help ensure that they stay secure, most sand stakes have screw or U-shaped designs. If you plan to camp on snow as well, look for stakes that are designed to work on both.
Finally, it’s also helpful to have brightly colored stakes that are easy to spot. After a long night of camping and a morning spent packing up your car, you don’t want to be scavenging your campsite looking for that last missing stake.
Make set-up a breeze on your next beach camping trip with options from this list of the best tent stakes for sand.
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1. The popular screw stakes
- Length: 9.5 inches long
- Material: plastic
Made in the USA from lightweight but durable plastic, it's no wonder that these large beach tent stakes have almost 1,500 five-star ratings on Amazon. They measure 9.5 inches long and have a screw shape that's designed to stay secure in soft sand, so you can sleep under the stars without worry. These bright orange stakes also come with individual plastic cases, which not only protect them when packed away but can also be put through the top of the stake to give you extra leverage when screwing it into the ground. If you're worried about relying on plastic rather than metal, you'll be happy to hear that the Orange Screw company stands by their product with a lifetime breakage guarantee.
One reviewer wrote: “First off, these are great! I got them for a beach trip because I didn't think the stakes that came with our canopy would hold well in sand. These things had no trouble grabbing in the beach sand and holding fast. The canopy would have torn before these came out of the ground. The built in handle to turn them is nice too for those last few turns to tighten them up. [...] I would definitely recommend these for anything you need to stake down and don't want to come loose.”
2. The versatile U-shaped stakes
- Length: 12 inches
- Material: aluminum
If you're an experienced camper who takes beach trips in the summer and mountain trips in winter, these snow and sand stakes are the way to go. They're made from aluminum and have a U-shaped design that helps them to better grip soft soil, especially when you position them at an angle. This set comes with six 12-inch stakes, so it can support larger tents, and each of the stakes has six holes to help with rigging. And whether you're camping in white snow or on dark sands, you won't have to worry about losing these stakes when packing up thanks to their easy-to-spot orange color.
One reviewer wrote: “We took these on a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and backpacked into the dunes (side note - would highly recommend doing that). The stakes held up great. It wasn't exceptionally windy or anything, but there was a breeze most of the night, and the tent stayed standing and what more can you ask for! They are very light-weight but larger than I was expecting. You'll probably need to tie a rope around them and tie that to your tent loops. But that isn't too big of an issue. Would certainly recommend for sand camping.”
3. The value pack
- Length: 10 inches (also available in 7.9 inches)
- Material: plastic
This tent stake set for sand comes with enough stakes to secure one large tent or two smaller ones, so it's a great choice for anyone camping with a group. The stakes have screw shapes that are designed to stay securely in sand and dry dirt, making them perfect for trips to the beach or treks across dry deserts. This set is made from plastic and backed up by a 30-day money back guarantee. Like the other options on this list, these stakes have a bright orange color that's hard to miss when packing up.
One reviewer wrote: “Orders these to use camping in the Florida Keys. They take a minute to install, but they did a great job securing the tent in the sand. In fact, these where the only ones of all the stakes we used that stayed in the ground during an overnight storm that brought 30+ knot winds.”
Also great: shorter stakes for beach blankets and tarps
- Length: 5.9 inches
- Material: plastic
A tent isn't the only thing that can blow away at the beach. To keep your blankets, towels, and tarps secured at the shore, use this set of lightweight beach stakes. Each of the four stakes has a hooked top, so it can hold down your belongings without needing rope or a hole. They also have a bright yellow color and come with a convenient carrying bag, so you can keep them together and won't lose them. These stakes are made from plastic, which makes them lightweight enough to keep in your beach bag or hiking backpack until you need them.
One reviewer wrote: “It’s a very convenient tool to use at the beach or park, that can very easily be left in the trunk of my car without losing pieces.”