Tent Ballasting

A manufacture typically engineers their tent anchoring around the data provided in studies for stakes and their holding power. When a tent manufacture designs a tent from the ground up, their engineers produce written specifications for anchoring. These specifications will be conveyed to the tent rental company and its installers in a manual. The staking is then applied to the site-specific situation where the installer takes the following into consideration:


                                   • site wind exposure (valley vs top of hill)

                                      * 5-day forecast

                                   • duration of rental

                                      * soil density (holding power) for staking

                                   • soil water saturation ( drought vs muddy)

                                      * nearby structures (buildings, trees, power lines, etc.)

                                   • size of tent (surface area)

Tent ballasting is crucial and not all customer sites can tolerate staking. In these situations where customer will not allow stakes to be driven into the ground, concrete (dead weight) ballast is used. It is also our policy to use concrete blocks (when staking is not allowed) on all tents measuring 30' and wider. These larger tents present a greater wind surface area.

Water Barrels- while these have been widely used in the past by most competitors (including ourselves on smaller tent installations ) the truth is their holding power is not sufficient, they have a much lower coefficient of friction (very slippery), slides on pavement, and can become a pendulum in a severe wind/weather situation that can lead to injury. Additionally, we have invested heavily in concrete ballast to anchor down all tents and more importantly do our part in conserving water throughout this California drought we are experiencing. Each water barrel was the equivalent of 55-gallons of water that would have simply been drained. If you are interested in learning more about the ineffectiveness of water barrels, our friends at Celina Tent have composed this instructional (and very informative) video for you view.

Dead Weight, 350#

Dead Weight, 500#

Dead Weight, 700#


Tent Stake