To help avoid disaster, your camping tent should be staked using all stake loops available. Wind is your number one concern, dome tents are not unlike that of a curved wing of an airplane, air passing over the tent can create lift. Cabin style tents are like a wall and can have major forces applied against them. Staking can help provide a safe and secure area for your family.
Wind is the main reason why you need to stake your tent, for without the stakes your home away from home could become a kite in the lightest of winds and destroy itself as it tumbles through the campground.
Lets take a look at how to properly stake
Figure 1 shows the proper way to stake all tents, stake should be pointed underneath the tent and pressed or hammered into the ground at a 30 to 45 degree angle. This provides the maximum holding power.
Figure 2 shows an acceptable, but not recommended way of staking down. You may be required to use this method in extremely hard ground or where space is limited.
Figure 3 shows a unacceptable way to stake your tent. NEVER stake your tent with the stake pointing away from the tent. As you can see, when wind is forced upon the shelter, the stake is easily pulled from the ground. The second reason not to use a stake pointing in this direction is floor pull. This stretches the tent floor and puts undue stress which can rip the floor loose from the side walls or cause the loops to rip away from the tent. Remember, damage from improper staking is not covered by your manufactures warranty.
Lay out your tent flat where you intend to set up. Stake one corner and move to next corner, pull each corner lightly, Never stretch, Never pull tightly against loop, and then stake this corner. After all four corners are staked, check to make the shape is correct, if not, re-stake until shape is proper. You should be able to pull up tent easily at the center, between stakes, about 3 inches for small tents, and about 6 inches for large tents.
This ensures your tent floor is not to too tight. Finish installing stakes through remaining loops. When raising poles, be CAREFUL not to stretch or put undue stress against any part of the tent. Staking your tent properly will make your tent last longer and provide you with years of use.