Anchoring Tents to Asphalt

Self-supporting tents have a frame and keep their shape even without tie downs. The tent needs to be anchored to the surface to prevent being moved or blown in strong winds. Even if some of the tents need to be anchored to give them rigidity so that they can withstand wind and snow, they can use our asphalt anchors.

We receive calls regularly, asking clarifications whether our anchors can be used to prop up tents into asphalt. The answer is "it depends on the type of tent". In our world of asphalt anchors, tents are of two types: Self-supporting tents, (good) and collapsing tents (bad).

Collapsing tents require external cables to hold their shape. Without these cables, they will collapse. The cables are under constant pull. This class of tents should not use asphalt anchors.

The reason for the difference is that asphalt can not resist constant forces applied for long period of time, especially at elevated temperatures. Thus the cables under constant pull used in collapsing tents will eventually cause the asphalt to yield. Self-supporting tents, on the other hand, require the stabilizing forces of the anchors only intermittently -- when the wind blows, or when it rains or snows. Even bumps by vehicles and people are relatively short in duration and the asphalt can readily resist such forces.

Note that our BoltHold asphalt anchors can resist constant forces -- but at a derated value. Typically, we specify 25% of the pull force rating for constant forces. Thus the SP18 anchors, rated at 2,500 lb., can withstand 600 lb. of constant pull.