Size matters – DIY big 10 inch tent spikes!

It’s true what they say.

Size does matter!

Remote camping in South Florida and the Everglades means anchoring your tent into either clay marl mud or sand most of the time. However the tent spikes or pegs provided with tents often don’t take this terrain into account. The pegs may look fancy and come in different colors, and they may even be titanium or some exotic shape. When it comes to holding down your tent however, they are often inadequate. In my experience of years of camping, the best and easiest to use are the round aluminum ones. They won’t rust, they are easy to secure just with your foot or small rock and they also pull out without fuss when packing up. If and when they get bent up, the soft aluminum is also very easy to straighten out in a shop vise, and will last a long time.

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My big 10 inch spike vs average size 6 inch common aluminum peg.
Size matters!

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The thing is that the common 6 inch long tent spike is just too short to really hold well, especially in sand. A sudden wind gust can then send your whole tent cartwheeling across the beach!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Working with a bench vise, pliers and maybe a mallet it’s easy to bend up the spike.

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You can buy longer spikes, and the steel variety are readily available, but the aluminum ones are hard to find and then pricey. I decided to make my own set by starting with a 1/4″ x 3 foot round aluminum rod which is easy to find in hardware stores and inexpensive. Just make two cuts to split the rod into three sections. Measure off about two inches on the end and use vise grips and a mallet in a shop vise to bend the hook.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Be sure to leave an adequate bending radius else the rod will snap!

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I start by bending the neck first and then forming the hook itself. Just pay attention to leave enough of a radius in the bend, otherwise the rod will snap! After forming, this results in a 10″ spike. You will need only two rods to make a set of six tent pegs!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Use a bench grinder to make the point.

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The final step is for form a pointed tip. A bench grinder makes this easy, just use eye protection and don’t get too crazy. You’re not making a spear head so the tip only needs to be made into a dull point!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

10 inch tent spike works excellent in sand!

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These longer spikes hold well in sand, as seen here at North Nest Key in Florida Bay! 🙂

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

You can drive the peg into the sand with your foot, a rock or Jedi mind tricks – “You will go into the sand and hold my tent”!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Big 10 inch tent spike, tarp and tent.

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Many Everglades ground sites and also the interiors of most of the islands are of the clay marl mud type and these spikes really hold well! 🙂

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Big 10 inch spike ready to drive down into marl clay type mud, but there may be some small rocks in the way. You can always try again!

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Everglades marl mud has a hard crust, but is soft underneath.

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Shown here summer camping at Little Rabbit Key in Florida Bay.

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Flex Maslan kayakfari.com kayak canoe camp tent spike peg everglades florida bay big 10 inch humor aluminum size matters kayakfari

Big 10 inch spike with 67% more holding power!

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Camp with confidence! 😉

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! BLESS

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© 2016 Flex Maslan / kayakfari.com / awakenthegrass.com . All original photographs, artworks and music in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Flex Maslan, unless otherwise noted. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is strictly prohibited.

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I hereby disclaim any sponsorship, endorsement, nor association with any product or service described herein. The photographs, depictions, products, and ideas presented on this site are for informational purposes only. Your results may vary, and I do not imply nor guarantee the effectiveness, suitability, design or operation to adhere to any standard. I assume no legal responsibility for the implementation of anything herein presented! Use any and all information at your own risk! By using any and all information from this website, you accept the final liability for any use or possible associated misuse! 

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With that said..
Blessings friends!

:)