Fixing Tent Peg Problems
Tent pegs for hard Australian ground.
We’ve got some pretty hard ground here in Australia with the outcome being a lot of bent tent pegs. Some people carry a power drill with them, but we think we might have a better way of addressing this problem.
First let’s start looking at the basic design.
Traditionally, tent pegs are made with a straight piece of steel rod, chopped to whatever length, with the head is simply bent over to create a hook. Nice, easy and very cost effective – you could with basic tools probably make these at home.
However, where your hammer strikes the top of this peg is actually along the hook, which is slightly off centre from the spine of the peg. This dramatically affects the energy travelling along the spine of the peg as it is hammered in.
As you can see in this illustration, the impact point is already taking the energy and encouraging the peg to bend. This is also lost energy when you are trying to make the peg go into hard ground.
In this next illustration, you can see that the second peg has central impact point.
Therefore all energy is effectively passed straight along the spine and point. No energy is lost laterally, avoiding bending the peg, but best, it means 100% of your effort is directed straight down and into the hard ground – exactly where you want it to be
When you consider this, it’s not too dissimilar to hammering a nail into a piece of wood. A straight bit of metal going into some pretty damn hard material, when done correctly, very effective at making headway.
Still, a poorly struck nail by a hammer into a hard piece of timber…even a strong nail can bend
The correct method for hammering your tent pegs into the hard Australian ground.
To avoid this happening with your tent pegs, there are a couple of key rules.
Patience. Some of the ground we have in Australia is just shy of solid rock. While a solid bit of granite will requires a totally different approach to securing your tent or awnings (we’ll talk about that later), hard ground is very do-able as long as you practice some patience - tap not smash with each strike. If perhaps there is a solid object underground, too much force will bend just about any peg. Chisel away and you’ll have success!
- Use a Brass Head Hammer such as a Strike Hammer. Brass is a softer metal than the steel of pegs and absorbs the impact of each strike. Each strike will carry forward momentum and energy, but if your hammering action or strike point is slightly off, the Brass Head will come to the rescue and absorb the impact. This means that your peg will be exposed to less negative forces thus prolonging its life.
With the right tools, bent tent pegs are a thing of the past.
Now that we’ve got the pegs into the ground, next time, we’ll look at getting pegs out!