How to Drive Stakes into Rocky Ground? [Need to Know]

Before any camping trip, the best thing to do is to prepare yourself for every possible situation, and I mean every single situation! If you already have a desired location in mind, do some research and try to find as much information as possible. Trust me; there is a very good explanation about why I am recommending this!

This happened to me once – I arrived at a campsite I had been longing to visit for a while only to find that there were rocks all around. I had so many difficulties staking my tent that I almost called it quits and went right back home. But that experience made me want to learn more about staking a tent on all kinds of grounds.

So, I am coming at you with a quick and easy guide on staking a tent on rock and rocky ground. I will also tell you about the various types of stakes and which you should get for your tent. You will be a real pro at tent staking by the end of this guide. So, let’s get right into the guide and see what you need to know on this topic!


climbing up rocky trail

How to Stake a Tent on Rock or Rocky Ground?

Staking a tent on rocky ground is the hardest thing to do. If you are dealing with rocky soil, you might be able to find a spot where you can put the stake into the ground. But if the entire ground is covered with one large rock, it will be impossible to drive the stake in the rock. You might be able to do it if you use a drill, but the chances are that few people carry one on camping trips.

So, you have to resort to others ways to stake your tent. I have an interesting method that you can try – and you do not need to do any drilling or digging! All you need are some smaller and some larger rocks that you will use with your guy lines.

If you do not know, guy lines are strings that you use to ensure that the high winds do not blow your tent away. Most tents come with these strings attached to them. You usually use the strings with the stakes, but you will be using them with some rocks in this guide! Let’s get into the guide and see exactly what you need to do.

Step 1 – Set up your tent

The first important thing you need to do is set the tent up. Choose a space that is as flat as possible to set the tent. If you have spent a lot of time camping, you should be able to set the tent up within minutes.

Step 2 – Gather small and large rocks

As I mentioned before, you will need some small and large rocks to stake the tent on rocky soil. It does not matter if you have sturdy stakes, plastic, aluminum, or some other kind of stakes – they will not go into the rock. So, you have to go with the alternative option, which is rocks.

Step 3 – Start with the staking

The first thing you need to do is take the guy lines and make sliding loops with each one. The loop should also look like a hook. It should be wide enough to fit some of the smaller rocks.

After making the loops, you will need to grab the smaller rocks. Use one small rock per hook, but make sure that the hook is tight and secure. You should not remove the rock from the hook with ease.

After doing all this, you need to take the small rocks with the hooks and pull as far away from the tent as possible. The smaller stones will now serve as your stakes. Since their holding power might not stand a chance against high winds, you need to secure them further. This is where the larger rocks come into place.

Step 4 – Secure the tent with larger rocks

Go to each rock separately and put a larger rock over it. It should come in front of the smaller rock, facing the tent. If you do this, you will ensure that the smaller rocks will not be able to move when your tent is up.

Even though this might not be the most secure way to staking the tent, it is the best for this soil type. If you suspect that one large rock is not good enough to hold the small rock, add another larger rock for extra holding power. That should do the trick!

How Do You Get Wooden Stakes into the Rocky Ground?

There are various types of stakes that you will come across. If your tent does not come with any, you will need to go to a store or online to get some. In that case, you need to know the best type of stakes that you can get.

Wooden stakes

The type of stakes that you should avoid is the wooden stakes. If you ask me how to get a wooden stake into the rocky ground, I will tell you that you cannot do that. A wooden stake can only go in soft soil that you can easily dig into.

This leads to the question: What types of stakes should you get if you should avoid wooden stakes? There are several types that you need to look into, including aluminum, steel, and titanium. There are plastic stakes, but their durability is questionable, so you should avoid them.

Titanium stakes

The best types of stakes are titanium. They are also the only types of stakes you can use for rocky ground since they are durable, lightweight, and do not bend. Still, it would help if you kept in mind that they are pretty costly and cannot be found everywhere.

Steel stakes

Steel stakes are also great for rocky terrain as they are quite sturdy and durable. The only downside to them is that they are heavy so they might weigh you down a bit. A steel stake can be the perfect choice if you plan to go to a campsite in a car.

Aluminum stakes

Finally, you have the aluminum stakes. They might be durable and cheap, but they are not suitable for rocky terrain. You can try using them on regular soil or frozen ground. You can drive stakes into the ice using a hard object, but do not use too much force as that can damage the stake.

How Deep Should Stakes Be?

If you are trying to stake a tent with actual stakes, you will need to know a few things on how to put them in the ground. If you do not go about it in the right way, you might damage the stakes and cause them to break. To help you avoid that, I will give you a few pointers on how deep to put them and how to go about it.

Stakes can be of all sizes and shapes. There are some shorter stakes, while there are some long stakes that you can drive as far as 7 inches into the ground. If you happen to have those shorter stakes, you should drive them as far as you can.

Make sure that the stake is at least 5 inches in the ground. When you push it in the ground, remember not to drive its head in there as well. The head of the stake should always be above ground.

Another thing that I recommend is that you put them into the ground at a 45-degree angle. Make sure that they do not bend while you are pushing them down. You can use a hammer, a rock, or anything else that you have to push them further down. Please do not use a lot of force when pushing them down because that might lead to some bending or damage!

If you follow all these pointers when staking your tent, I do not doubt that the tent will stay in place for the duration of the trip. Again, if you are camping on rocky ground or ground covered with large rocks, try the method with the stones instead. That one can also be very helpful!


Thank you for sticking with me through this guide on staking tents! Dealing with the rocky ground when staking a tent is no joke. If you want to stake the tent without damaging your stakes or misusing them, do not hesitate to come back to this guide and go over it again whenever you need to.

Let me know if the guide worked for you whenever you try it out. If you know any other tips or tricks on staking tents on difficult grounds, please share them with the other readers in the comment section below and me. Your input on the topic is very much appreciated!

Andrew Mullen

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