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How to Hold Down a Canopy Tent on Concrete? [3 Effective Ways]

How to hold down a canopy tent on concrete

Last updated on April 11th, 2023 at 07:12 pm

Staking a canopy tent firmly on grass is a breeze. But holding it down on concrete is a challenge for many. But not anymore! Thankfully, there are several straightforward methods that you can adopt to ensure your tent does not blow away.  

The main focus should be on adding weight to the tent legs. Tent-weight bags are the easiest ways to do so. You can also fill buckets with sand or water and attach them to the tent legs. Moreover, you can opt for exercise weights or cinder blocks which make for affordable alternatives. 

This article gives a step-wise procedure of how you can hold down your canopy tent on concrete flooring. 

Holding down a canopy tent on concrete 

How to hold down a canopy tent on concrete

Your canopy tents come in handy in several events such as football games or a simple neighborhood barbecue party. The last thing you need is your tent blowing away when the wind blows. During extreme windy conditions, it can easily catch you off guard as your shade is tossed away. At this point, not much can be done.  

To prevent such an occurrence, your tent should have something holding it down. This article focuses on staking it on concrete. These options are not only inexpensive but are also easy DIY projects that you can make at home. 

1. Quick-fix tent weights

The quick-fix options include cinder blocks, exercise weights, and tent-weight bags. 

What you need 

  • Store-bought tent-weight bags 
  • Cinder blocks 
  • Exercise weights 
  • Rope/bungee cord 

Cinder blocks 

Typically, one cinder block weighs approximately 13kg. To set it up, use a rope that goes around the block, and then a knot is tied at the top corner of the tent frame. Alternatively, with the rope still attached to the frame, you can tie the block to the tent leg. 

Cinder blocks are convenient for use at home events. You can cover them up with sheets so your guests do not scrape themselves. However, it is important to note that some events do not permit the use of cinder blocks as tent weights as they pose tripping hazards. It is therefore important to consult with the event coordinator. 

Exercise weights 

The exercise weights in your at-home gym can come in handy if you are looking for an alternative. Stack them next to the tent legs, and pass a rope through their centers. Tie knots at the top corner of the tent frame and around the weights. However, these may not be allowed in some public events. 

Tent weight bags

Tent weights come as a relief to many. There are manufacturers who make tent-weight bags specially tailored for canopy tents and are made available in the market. The bags require sand filling and are then attached to the legs and frame of the canopy tent. Although they are more expensive than other options, they are time-saving. 

When going for these tent weights, particularly for a public event, ensure that their weight meets the event’s requirements. Follow the directions on the packaging for setup. 

2. Filling large buckets with water, gravel, or sand.

Using bucket weights is a cheaper alternative to tent weights. They come with the advantage that they can be kept empty until needed. Moreover, they are convenient if the gravel, sand, and water are easily accessible at the proposed location of the tent setup. Buckets with handles are recommended for their convenience and ease of use. 

What you need

  • 4-8 buckets (19l)
  • Filler of choice 
  • Rope/bungee cord 

Step 1: Take buckets to location 

Prepare your buckets (19l) and take them to the tent setup location.

Step 2: Fill buckets

The type of filler material will depend on the event’s weight requirements, usually a maximum of 18kg (40 pounds) per leg. 

For water, fill the buckets to the brim to attain 18kg in each.  

12l of sand will be required, which fills 2/3 of the buckets. 

For gravel, you will only need to fill the bucket slightly more than half. 

Step 3: Use concrete for more permanent weights

Some people opt for permanent weights over temporary filling. If you are one of them, prepare the concrete by mixing water and dry cement in their correct proportions and half-fill the buckets. An advantage of these is that they are available for use anytime they are needed.  

Step 4: Attach a rope to the bucket handle 

You can use a rope or bungee cord to clip or tie knots to the bucket handles respectively. The ropes and bungee cords should be long enough to reach the tent frame. 

Step 5: Connect to a tent frame 

Stretch the ropes to the tent frame and tie another knot there. Tie another rope from the buckets to the tent legs to prevent spilling or swinging. 

3. PVC Pipe tent weights 

You will need a few supplies to make these. This method achieves 40-pound weights. You can opt to make smaller ones for 20 pounds.  

What you will need 

  • Water 
  • Mixing container 
  • Rope/bungee cord 
  • Fast-drying cement 
  • PVC primer and glue 
  • PVC pipe (4 pieces, 36 inches each)
  • 4 5/8-inch eyebolts 
  • 5/8-inch bolts, nuts, and washers
  • Gloves, eye protection, and power drill 
  • 8 4-inch diameter PVC caps 

Step 1: Drill holes

Take 4 of your pipe caps and mark their centers using a marker. Insert a 5/8-inch drill bit into the power drill and drill holes through the centers. For safety, ensure you use gloves and eye protection when operating. 

Step 2: Attach eyebolts to caps

Attach one eyebolt for each drilled hole and twist 5/8” nuts on both sides of the cap, sandwiching the eyebolt. A washer is inserted on the inside end and a bolt is twisted to secure it. 

Step 3: Glue caps to pipes

PVC glues include a brush in their packaging. Moreover, they often require a purple primer liquid to be used before applying the glue. Follow the instructions on the packaging, after which you can attach the caps to the top of each PVC pipe. Let the glue dry as per the instructions on the packaging. 

Step 4: Fill the pipe with concrete 

Prepare concrete by mixing water and cement in the correct ratios. It is important to note that cement sets quickly so you should be quick. After filling each pipe, lay them on the eyebolt against a wall so they can dry. 

To make it easier, you can have a friend help you out. One of you can fill the pipe with concrete using a trowel, while the other holds the pipe upright, tapping it occasionally on the ground. Also, you can consider mixing the cement in two batches so you are not rushed.

Step 5: Drill holes in the remaining caps 

Drill small holes in the remaining caps to be used at the bottom of the pipes. The holes are to let the air out during gluing. 

Step 6: Glue the caps at the bottom

Once the concrete has dried completely, attach the caps at the bottom using glue and primer and let them dry. With that, your weights are ready. 

Step 7: Connect weights to the tent 

With one of the best tents ever assembled, use ropes or bungee cords and tie them around the eyebolts. The other end of the rope or cord is stretched to the top of the tent frame. 

Final Thought

A canopy tent being blown away or falling on guests can be chaotic, to say the least. Without the right mechanism for holding it down on concrete flooring, this can be the case more often than you’d like. However, what better ways to improvise than the ones outlined above? They will save you a great deal of embarrassment and disappointment. 

Happy Camping!

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