Different Types of Tent Pegs Explained

Complete Guide: How to Choose Tent Pegs

Let’s start from the beginning. First of all, a peg is a “mooring pin” that you can use to secure your tent, tarp, awning or whatever you want.

Alternatively, tent nails, linen nails, rope nails, earth nails or tension nails are also common to set up a tent properly. Whereby these mean rather simple tent nails. The “real” herring on the other hand is elongated, tapering at the bottom and often folded or angular or U-shaped. It is precisely this shape that lifts the peg from the tent nail.

Buying guide tent pegs: wood, aluminum, steel

The materials: Our buying guide for tent pegs will tell you where their specific advantages and disadvantages are.

Wooden Tent Pegs

Tent pegs made of wood or the common wooden stake are the archetype of all pegs. It is a real natural product. Unfortunately, wooden pegs are prone to moisture. If the herrings stay in the ground longer, they will rot. Wooden pegs show further disadvantages with their high weight and large dimensions. On the plus side, there is a tight fit and they do not deform.

Wooden Tent Pegs

Advantages of Wooden Pegs:

  • Natural product
  • Firm seat in the ground
  • Do not deform

Disadvantages of Wooden Pegs:

  • Susceptible to moisture
  • Heavyweight
  • Large dimensions


Plastic Tent Pegs

Plastic tent pegs are relatively new to the market and can actually take a lot, depending on how much polymer it contains. For a meadow long plastic pegs, they are less suitable for harder soils or rocks.

Plastic Tent Pegs

Advantages of Plastic Pegs:

  • Lightweight
  • Low prices
  • Good for soft floors

Disadvantages of Plastic Pegs:

  • Not necessarily durable
  • Unsuitable for hard floors


Aluminum Tent Pegs

Aluminum tent pegs are also quite light compared to wooden, but still durable. Therefore, aluminum pegs are the ideal compromise for longer trekking tours.

However, since aluminum pegs bend easily, they are not suitable for rock.

Aluminum Tent Pegs

Advantages of Aluminum Pegs:

  • Lightweight
  • Relatively durable

Disadvantages of Aluminum Pegs:

  • Pegs – bend quite easily
  • Softer than steel


Steel Tent Pegs

Steel tent pegs are the strongest, but also the heaviest pegs on the market. But steel pegs are cheap, and especially as tent pegs, it is almost indestructible.
Steel Tent Pegs

Advantages of Steel Pegs:

  • Very stable
  • Cheap prices
  • Virtually indestructible

Disadvantages of Steel Pegs:

  • The heaviest variant
  • Sheet steel is less durable


Titanium Tent Pegs

Titanium tent pegs are also extremely robust and light compare to steel pegs. In fact, titanium pegs are the lightest pegs around. However, Titanium pegs are the most expensive on the market. You have to pay up to 20 dollars for a (!) Titanium herring.
Titanium Tent Pegs

Advantages of Titanium Pegs:

  • Extremely light
  • Extremely robust

Disadvantages of Titanium Pegs:

  • Extremely expensive


Types: Nail, Rock Herring & Screw Peg

It continues with the types of tent pegs and their profiles. You can get this in stores …

Tent nail

The tent nail is a cheap round steel and is usually included as a standard. This type of tent pegs are good for the campsite meadow, but stones and even roots can be too much. The tent nail is also not an option on soft or damp floors. So get yourself real herrings.

tent nail

Advantages of Tent Nails:

  • Very affordable prices
  • Easily hammered into the ground
  • Easy to pull out of the ground

Disadvantages of the Tent Nail:

  • Easy to bend
  • Little hold on soft/damp floors
  • Poor hold on wind and storms


Rock herring

The rock herring is basically not much more, but it is longer and, above all, more stable – because it is made of top-grade steel. Sometimes rock pegs are even provided with a thread, which you can literally screw these pegs into the rock.

Rock herring

Advantages of Rock Herring:

  • Great for hard / rocky soils
  • Does not bend even when hammered in

Disadvantages of Rock Herring:

  • Relatively long (pack size)


Screw peg

The screw peg goes a step further and is pimped with a thread from top to bottom. Accordingly, you can screw this peg into the ground like a screw.

Therefore, screw pegs are sometimes even provided with an Allen key, which sometimes makes this peg a bit unwieldy. Because you need tools. For this reason, you get screw pegs made of plastic or steel and therefore suitable for almost all ground floors.

Screw peg

Advantages Screw Peg:

  • Extremely good hold
  • Easy to screw into the ground

Disadvantages Screw Peg:

  • Sometimes tools are required
  • Sometimes quite expensive


Buying guide tent pegs: V-pegs

Peg with a V-profile

The peg with a V-profile or folded peg is held in an angle or V-shape. The peg can withstand higher forces – especially on loose or damp ground – which promotes the stability of your tent.

However, you should pay attention to the material the manufacturers use. V-pegs are made from cheap sheet metal buckles quickly. Sharp edges are also a risk of injury, especially barefoot at night. So pay attention to the material thickness (at least 1 mm) and spend a few dollars more.

Peg with a V-profile

Advantages Peg with V-profile:

  • Good for loose / damp soils
  • Cannot rotate in the soil

Disadvantages Peg with V-profile:

  • Cheap products tend to kink
  • Sometimes very long (30 cm)
  • Sharp edges (risk of injury)


Fluted V-peg

The fluted V-peg is based on the “normal” V-shaped peg, but it is wider and fluted. This tent peg is therefore ideally suited for sandy soils or meadows. Because it is not so easy to pull out of the ground because of its corrugation. The fluted herring is also a great option in strong winds or storms.

Fluted V-peg

Advantages of Corrugated Herring:

  • Very good for sand and meadows
  • Difficult to pull out of the ground
  • Good for storm bands

Disadvantages of Corrugated Herring:

  • Not suitable for stony soils
  • Care should be taken again with the material


Buying guide tent pegs: Y-profile & snow pegs

Cross-section of the Y-profile peg

The cross-section of the Y-profile peg is a kind of half star. Because the Y-peg has a third strut compared to the V-peg. This makes the Y-peg into an all-rounder that is suitable for almost all floors with the exception of rock.

From then on, the Y-peg is mostly made of aluminum, which promises little weight. Nevertheless, the Y-profile is considered very stable and twist-proof.

Y-profile tent peg

Advantages Herring with Y-profile:

  • All-rounder for (almost) all floors
  • Usually very light (aluminum)

Disadvantages of Herring with Y-profile:

  • Sometimes quite long
  • Not suitable for rock


Snow herring

The snow herring or snow fish is specially designed for snow (as well as sand). It is half-round (U-shape), extra-wide (3 to 5 cm) and extra-long (25 to 50 cm) – and has holes.

On the one hand, these serve to save weight. Second, to give the snow ring more support. Because the compressed snow freezes in the holes, which makes the anchoring more stable.

Snow herring

Advantages of Snow Herring:

  • Ideal for snow
  • Can also be used as a T-anchor

Disadvantages of snow herring:

  • Extremely large


T-shaped peg

The T-shaped peg actually looks like a T at the top. This shape makes the herring extremely impact-resistant and virtually indestructible. T-pegs are mostly made of steel. Its size of up to 40 cm and its material make it damn heavy (up to 300 g each).

Accordingly, pegs with a T-profile are more for campers and not an option for trekkers.

T-shaped Peg

Advantages Herring with T-profile:

  • Extremely impact-resistant
  • Practically indestructible
  • Suitable for almost all floors

Disadvantages of Herring with T-profile:

  • Sometimes very long
  • Sometimes very heavy
  • Not suitable for trekkers


Practical tip: find out beforehand

Now you’re probably asking which herring is the right one for your next camping or hiking tour? If you don’t know the conditions – in other words: the floors – you should use Y-pegs. A few rock nails are also good in the mountains.

However, if you know the conditions, you will of course pack the appropriate tent pegs.

But sometimes you also have to improvise. You may not even be able to cope with rock pegs in the mountains. Then trees, rocks or boulders have to be used to brace your tent.

In the snow, T-anchors are again an option, i.e. pegs dug crosswise. The holes in the snow peg prove to be practical here because a cord with a carabiner is often attached to the central one. So you can countersink the snow herring as a T-anchor.

Another tip: You don’t have to buy a set of every herring now. Instead, you’ll find sets that contain different pegs including a practical tent hammer, peg jack and guy ropes.

How to use the pegs properly!

Finally, a few tips apply for the correct use of the pegs are always good. Because the best tent pegs will not do you any good if you set them incorrectly.

So how are you doing right? So…

45 degrees

The most important rule is, do not sink the pegs vertically into the ground. But at an angle of 45 degrees, at which the sunken end points to the tent. In this way, the pegs hold optimally in the ground and therefore keep your tent stable.

Tent seam

Tent seam also set the pegs so that the guy ropes line up with the tent seam. This is how you prevent creases in the tent.

Tenting hammer

By the way, a tenting hammer is good to help here. These are also equipped with a peg puller at the lower end. So you can easily pull the pegs out of the ground again.

100 percent

Sink the pegs 100 percent, i.e. completely. First, you avoid nasty stumbling blocks at night. Second, pegs with a hook on the top will no longer rotate like this.


If you want to anchor a (free-standing) dome tent optimally, brace it crosswise. So first one corner, then the opposite. This is how you distribute the tension evenly. In the case of a (not free-standing) tunnel tent, you first tension the rear end, then the front, and finally the middle.

You generally unfasten zippers in a criss-cross pattern. This is how you keep them tension-free. So you can open it without any problems and, above all, close it again.

Why tent pegs are so good?

By the way: pegs are good for a few other and quite practical things when trekking and camping. For example…


Sunk you around a little fire, have a few pegs in a circle you have a prima Cooking for pot or pan.

Peg puller

If one of the pegs has a hook or a hole, you can use it as a peg puller for other pegs.


You can also open coconuts with a herring and a tent hammer. Or a bottle of wine.


Pegs are primarily used to secure the tent while camping or hiking. After all, this should (and must) be stable in the wind or even storms. When not in use, you can use a couple of tent pegs for other purposes. So storing a stable set of tent pegs is always a good idea.

Do you have any other ideas? Then post a comment!

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