Securing Your Tent: Ropes, Ratchet & Stakes

An event tent is as strong as it’s weakest link. Let’s not forget that this type of structures need to withstand the elements and keep people and items underneath them protected. This is possible due to the anchoring system that binds our tents to the ground.

What is an anchor?

It is an accessory used to secure a pop-up tent, party canopy, or any shade structure to the ground –  and even to buildings. There are several types of anchors. Let’s take a look at three most common kinds.

Types of tent anchorings

Shade structures are secured by using either rope tie downs or ratchet assemblies (consisting of ratchet buckles and straps). While each method of anchoring is efficient, they are significantly different.

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Ratchet

Rope tie downs anchor a tent by connecting the tent top to the floor. A length of the line is usually linked from the hook of each stake up to each inside corner of the canopy. Ropes are the cheapest anchoring system that you can find; it is the eldest way to securing a shelter, and the most common type of tie down in the tent industry.

Ratchet buckles are an innovation in the tent industry that ensure the cover stays tight in nearly any weather. A ratchet buckle is attached to the stake anchor and then fastened to a strap that is linked to the tent top. As a result, it is easier to tension the structure than with traditional ropes system. Additionally, it is a stronger method, achieves a higher level of rigidity and requires less maintenance than ropes. Also, ratchets assemblies can be tightened by a single person. However, ratchet buckles are more expensive than ropes.

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Tent stakes & anchors

Stakes anchors are used for both methods of tent anchoring (rope system and ratchet buckles). They must be driven into the ground at a distance half the height of the side pole (approximately until 6” of the stake is left exposed), so they will create a 45-degree angle, which generates vertical forces equivalent to the lateral forces on the tent stake. As a result, you will get the strongest point of reference.

Take into account that there are various styles of shade structures and each one has its installation process. And so, there are many ways to anchor them into the ground. All tents require anchoring, but the type of anchoring is determined by the style of the shelter and the surface where it is to be installed.

Securing your tent

There are other factors besides the anchoring system to consider for the safe and proper function of the tent:

  • Correct sizing of the guy and stake: the breaking strength, stretch parameters, stake break-out force.
  • The consistency of the ground, and its surface
  • The wind conditions
triple 20x30 ohenry tent, exterior view

Tent Anchored to grass ground

All the above elements have a dramatic effect on the ability of a tent to remain erect. A professional event tent company will properly setup and secure your pop-up tents, canopies or any other event components.

For further information on tent anchoring, accessories, custom tents, and much more, stay tuned to our blog.

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