Leave no trace


Photo: Erik Rundelius


For many years, we wrote in our catalog about how to use rocks to help hold down tent pegs. For this to work, the rocks need to be quite heavy, and ideally they should be placed on a guy line tied to the tent’s peg point and hooked over the peg, and preferably onto the peg itself. At the same time, we also wrote that you must return the rocks to their original spots. Otherwise, the open area exposed by the removal may encourage erosion, especially in exposed, high-wind area.


Unfortunately, many people do not put back the rocks they use, but rather simply leave them at the campsite. Given how long it takes for mountain soils to recover from damage, this is not a good situation. The “wounds” left by the removing the rocks can be visible for many years, and wind and rain erodes them further.

We at Hilleberg have always advocated the “leave no trace” rule, which means to make sure to leave your campsite looking like it did before you arrived. It was therefore wrong to give a piece of advice – putting rocks on tent pegs – that goes against our basic principles, so we stopped giving that advice.
Instead, we have worked hard to make our tent pegs better, and today we have much stronger pegs that, when needed, can be pounded into the ground. As a result, we suggest that you push in – or even hammer down – the pegs completely into the ground, and at about a 45 degree angle to the surface. We test our tents with a wind machine that is set to run at between 25 to 27 meters per second (55 – 60 mph). We leave the tents up for many hours, and sometimes for whole days, and with the pegs set at that 45 degree angle, the tents sit solidly.

In the backcountry, good ground conditions are not always available, so it can sometimes be difficult to get the tent pegs in properly. In exceptional cases, if you do need to use rocks to secure the pegs, you should only use those that won’t leave a hole behind. If this is not possible, then it is imperative that you return the rock to exactly the place you found it, and leave no “wounds” in the ground.
Please read our user manuals and watch our instructional videos where we provide tips on how to use and secure the tent pegs properly.