Message posted by Sceptical Camper on 13/7/2013 at 11:47am
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Most lightweight tents intended for backpacking come with pegs, usually made of aluminium or a lightweight alloy. So first check if you need to buy extra pegs.
At the top end of the market, pegs made from titanium or carbon fibre are very strong and light but expensive. Lower down the scale, aluminium pegs are bulkier and (depending on type) heavier but are cheaper.
I wouldn't use plastic pegs. They may be light but they're bulkier than alloy or aluminium pages and not as strong.
The best compromise I've found between cost, strength and light weight are Clamcleats Aluminium Y-shaped pegs.
The Clamcleats pegs are over seven inches long, very rigid and weigh 16 grams each. The pegs are anodised in a blue colour and include a loop of lanyard to extract them. Best yet, they cost under a fiver for a pack of six pegs. I highly recommend them.
How do you get pegs into hard ground if no hammer?
If the ground is reasonably soft (as it is most places) pegs can be pressed in using the foot, with either a 'towing' action or by 'heeling' depending on footwear. Or you can take off a shoe or boot and use it as a hammer.
If the peg hits a stone, try a different spot.
However, on hard, rocky or sun-baked ground find a stone or chunk of rock. But be very careful as it is easy to slip or miss with the risk of damaging the tent or injuring yourself. If you can find a suitable bit of wood, interpose it between the rock and the peg to avoid mangling the end of the peg.
Whether pressing a peg in with your foot or knocking in with a stone (or, for the matter, with a hammer) always press or strike squarely in line with the peg's direction - aluminium pegs bend easily if hit a glancing blow or if the angle is on the skew.
If a peg doesn't go in reasonably easily, move it slightly to another spot. Don't force the issue by hammering vigorously until the peg is in - you will either damage it or be unable to pull it out again.
If the worse comes to the worst, you may have to use a combination of pegs and improvised anchor points for guy lines such as trees, roots, boulders and so on.