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how to secure a canopy tent

What is the best way to secure (anchor) an outdoor tent canopy?

When stakes are not a viable option for securing a canopy from dangerous winds, people will look to heavy items to tie off too. We have all seen tents tied down to ice chests, wagons, even unoccupied chairs on the beach – with mixed results. When professionals need to setup a tent, they require a more secure and competent-looking approach. Enter: Tent Weights!

Gravity – always holding us down. In the case of tent weights, that’s a good thing. Adding 40 lbs of weight to each tent leg will effectively hold that tent down on even a gusty day.

You have several tent weight options to consider:

1. Bucket of concrete – Easy enough. Go to the hardware store and buy (3-4) 50-pound bags of concrete, 4 plastic 5 gallon buckets, and some long anchor bolts. Mix up the concrete, pour into your buckets and then set the bolts. Once the concrete dries: viola! Tent weights. Expert Tip: find solid black or white buckets. Nothing is uglier than the bright orange or blue buckets with giant hardware store logos surrounding your space.

2. Metal Plates designed to fit over the foot and around the leg of your tent and can stack for added weight. Because metal is so heavy, these weights require less space to store and use.

3. Water Barrels/Bags. We've seen people use sealed containers to be filled with water at the location they are needed. Instead of hauling around weight or handling sand, a faucet and drain provide the weight. Water is about 1/3 the weight of concrete or sand – so these containers need to be quite large compared to other options.

4. Sandbags. Specialty canvas bags filled with sand that attach to each tent leg.

And the Winner is:

Sandbags win when weight is needed as a tool…every….single….time.

In film and video production rigging sandbags hang from overhead structures, tripods, and light stands. In aerospace sandbags are used for precision weight in the laboratory and then as indestructible wheel chocks on the tarmac! Increasingly gyms are setting aside the barbells and lifting sandbags instead.

What about securing things from the wind? Next time you see a road construction sign, or an inflatable bounce house, or a temporary chain link fence, you might notice sandbags holding them down. Professionals always prefer sandbags for portable weights. But why?

It all comes down to force. Heavy things being moved around often, tend to bump into walls, vehicles and other people. When those weights are rigid, such as concrete buckets or metal plates, damage is almost certain. In the best case, only the weight itself is damaged as it is set down. Transporting requires strapping down or otherwise securing the weights which would otherwise break anything they rolled into. Sandbags behave very differently. The material inside can shift and the bag is soft resulting in a malleable weight. No damage in even the most hurried hands. Toss them into the truck or van and go. Sandbags won’t roll around or need extra securing.

Concrete buckets, metal weights, water barrels, and sandbags are all useful tools for securing an outdoor canopy. Because they are soft, durable, and easy to transport, however, sandbags tend to be the best option.

And what is the best sandbag solution in terms of stability, safety, portability, ease of use, appearance and reliability? The answer to that is simple. Apex Tent Canopy Sandbags. Not only are they the BEST way to anchor any outdoor canopy tent, they're manufactured here in the USA, our turnaround is quick and standard shipping is free!

Click here to buy or learn more.