Good question! If you’ve spent any time researching, you know there are a wide variety of materials used to make tent stakes. The following are a few you may come across.
Steel – Strong and heavy, steel is a great option if you plan on car camping. It’s also durable, so it’s perfect for pounding into the ground. Finally, steel is a good material to purchase if you think you are going to encounter heavy winds.
Aluminum – Aluminum is the second strongest material on this list. This is not always the case, but pegs made of this material are known for their hardiness. Aluminum is lighter than steel, but still a bit heavy for some backpackers.
Titanium – Although titanium is known for its strength, most of the pegs are too thin to take advantage. If you are able to find thick titanium, I say go for it. However, most of the tent stakes of this variety bend easily and are best for low to low-moderate winds.
Carbon Fiber – The lightest of the four, carbon fiber is becoming a favorite among many popular brands. These are great for anyone going on multi-day treks. You can even find some carbon fiber pegs coated with aluminum for a little extra stability. Regardless, these are best used in lighter wind conditions.
Plastic – No list of material would be complete without the dreaded plastic tent stake. These are by far the cheapest in cost and quality. I recommend you avoid these at all costs! If you decide to buy plastic anyway, use boiling water to unbend them instead of purchasing new ones.