Can You Pitch A Tent On Gravel? [Here’s How To Do It Without Tearing It]

Camping is fun. It’s a great way to relax with your friends and loved ones.

So, it’s not strange that you’ll want to put a lot of thought into planning and packing. But you get to the campsite, and you have to pitch your tent on Gravel.

The question that lingers in the air is: can you pitch a tent on gravel? Will it be comfortable?

First hand, the answer is yes, you can pitch a tent on Gravel. And it can be comfortable.

Keep reading to discover how to pitch a tent on Gravel to comfort.

What You Need to Pitch a Tent on Gravel

Pitching a tent on Gravel takes a major camping life hack and strategy. There are a couple of strategies you can adopt to pitch a tent on Gravel.

The first method requires you to use a tarp to pitch the tent. To pull this off, you’ll need some tools.

Here are some of the tools you’ll need.

  • Tarps
  • Tent
  • Rocks- A fist-sized small rock and a larger one for weight.

The Tarps

The first step to pitching your camp tent on Gravel is to use tarps for a successful installation.

The work of tarps is to protect the bottom of your tent from getting torn.

Placing a tent on Gravel can ruin it as the stones can slice the tent open.

An easy way to prevent this ugly incident is to deploy tarps. You’ll have to spread tarps on the floor before pitching your tents.

Now, there are three types of tarps. You can try canvas tarps.

You’ll enjoy certain features like mildew and mold resistance if you get the right canvas tarps from the right brand.

You could also try Heavy-duty polyethylene tarps. The goal is to protect your tent from tears, and heavy-duty tarps come in handy.

The other tarp types are the truck tarps and the painting drop cloths.

The Tent Spikes

The work of the tent spikes is to prevent the tent from getting swept up by the wind.

So, their job is to hold down the tent on the Gravel after the setup.

Without further ado, check out how to pitch a tent on Gravel.

How To Pitch A Tent On Gravel

how to pitch tent on gravel

There are different methods you can deploy when pitching your tent on Gravel.

But first, let’s take a look at this method I call the “Tarp” method.

Gravel Purge

The first step to successfully pitching a tent on Gravel is to scan your chosen area for large rocks.

When large rocks are in the Gravel mix, sleeping comfortably in the tent becomes difficult once it’s pitched.

If there are large rocks in the area, pick them out till the Gravel is smooth. Whatever you do, do not pitch on an anthill.

Deploy Rocks

You’ll need to go rock-hunting for the next step. Look around for smaller rocks about the size of a fist and larger rocks.

Ideally, the smaller rocks should have rough edges and a flat surface.

They’ll be just suitable for the guy lines. Then, place the larger rocks in the tent to hold it down.


Before you start to pitch the tent, lay the tarp first. It’ll protect your tent from ripping apart or getting a scratch or tear.

It’ll also give you some form of comfort.


Get the tent out of where you stuffed them. Roll them out to prepare them for the pitching process.

Inspect the tent to see if the loops can easily be linked with the guy lines. Then, pitch the tent.

Guy Lines

Now is a good time to attach the guy lines to the tent. Please attach it to the loops.

Create makeshift loops using a paracord if your tent doesn’t have enough loops for your guy lines.

The Smaller Rocks

Remember, the smaller rocks you hunted for?

They’ll come in handy in this step. Fasten the rocks to the guy lines.

Stake The Tent

You’ll need the smaller and larger rocks to stake the tent.

Simply stretch out the rope fastened with the smaller rocks and place the heavier rock on the smallest ones to hold down the tent down.

Tug at the ropes to know if the tent has been successfully secured. If it moves, you probably need more rocks to hold it down.

But if it doesn’t move, it’s secure. Proceed to secure the other corners of the tent.

However, if you’d love to use the stakes you packed to pitch your tent on Gravel, it makes more sense to pitch it in an area not too far from a tree.

What You Need To Pitch A Tent On Gravel

tent on gravel

The second method is to deploy a tent footprint. Before exploring this method, check out some of the tools you’ll need to try it out.

  • Tent Footprint
  • Carpet
  • Pad or Cot
  • Water

The Tent Footprint Method

Lay The Tent Footprint

The tent footprint is a good replacement for the tarp. A tent footprint comes in handy because of its effect on the Gravel against your tent.

Aside from preventing the Gravel from making a hole in your tent, it provides comfort as it makes the Gravel feel soft underneath the tent.

Spread the tent footprint on the area you want to pitch your tent. But ensure you dampen the Gravel if it’s mixed with dirt. It makes the tent staking process easier.

Pitch The Tent

After laying the tent footprint on the floor, set up the tent like you would on a regular camping ground.

Deploy Tent Carpet

Although the tent footprint breeds comfort, the tent carpet improves comfort by adding that cushion feeling to it.

Lay the tent carpet inside the tent after setting it up.

Tent Cot Or Pad

Set up your tent cot or pad inside the tent after securing the tent.

While a pad would make you comfortable and reduce the hardness of the Gravel from crushing your back, you can set up a tent cot.

That would put a considerable distance between your back and the Gravel.

There you have it. You’ve successfully pitched your tent on Gravel. Contrary to what you might have assumed, pitching a tent on Gravel is not that difficult.

The best part is that you don’t need too many tools to pull it off. If you don’t want to pitch the tent on Gravel but have no choice, consider hanging the tent.

The only extra tool you’ll need is a strong object that’ll hold the tent in the air and off the ground.

Pros Of Pitching A Tent On Gravel

pros of setting tent on gravel

You might indeed get discouraged at pitching your tent on Gravel. But that’s not the end of the world.

Guess what? Pitching your tent on Gravel has its upsides. It would be nice to find out some of its advantages.

So that the next time you arrive at a camping site and the only option confronting you is to pitch the tent on Gravel, you’ll do it with pride.

Check out some of the upsides to pitching your tent on Grave without further ado.

Protection From The Rain

You could get elated camping on dirt, but let’s face it, it’s not entirely the best. The reason is that your joy of camping could be stolen in minutes at the start of rain.

The dirt would quickly turn to mud the moment the skies unleash its tears in the form of rain on the earth. And just like that, the camping experience would be ruined.

On the contrary, pitching your tent on Gravel protects you from getting bullied by the rain- if it ever falls.

Gravel absorbs water. Additionally, I recommended making the tent floor waterproof. So, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

You can hide inside the tent while it rains without worrying about getting surrounded by mud.


When you pitch your tent in Gravel the best way, you’ll realize it can become one of the most comfortable places to sleep on the campsite.

To achieve maximum comfort similar to the type you get from sleeping on your bed, you’ll need to pitch your tent with specific tools.

I’m talking about using a good tent footprint or tarp, a pad or cot, and a tent carpet.

With these forces combined, you won’t have to deal with rocks grinding your back while sleeping.

Your mattress would also protect your body parts from suffering the effects of sleeping on hard rocks.

Saves Your Car

Again, camping requires you to park your car close by. So, when it rains and you’re camped on dirt, the mud can quickly gather around your car tires.

While you might not feel it instantly, you might have trouble trying to drive out of the mud.

But you won’t experience this with gravel camping.

Cons Of Pitching A Tent On Gravel

While there are tons of benefits attached to pitching a tent on Gravel, there are also disadvantages.

Check out some of these downsides to gravel camping.

Newbie Troubles

The first downside to pitching a tent on Gravel is a lack of knowledge of the necessary.

If you’re only familiar with pitching tents on dirt, it might be difficult for you to pitch a tent on Gravel successfully.

That would result in a terrible camping experience.

For instance, pitching your tent on Gravel requires a unique stake different from the stakes you’d use to pitch a tent on a distinct surface.

Stake Trouble

One issue the average tent pitcher might face with pitching on Gravel is staking the tent.

Sometimes, you’d have problems staking one side of the tent into the Gravel.

Other times, you might get nothing right. You could end up bending the stake in the process, or the stakes could get stuck in the Gravel.

Honestly, pitching a tent on Gravel is not that simple. Trust me; you do not want to deal with a bent stake.

Not everyone has what it takes to fix it.

Wind Problem

You’ll only enjoy your tent in Gravel if you pitch it well.

If not, the wind could take your tent for a ride and never return it when it blows.

Tarp Problem

As a newbie to pitching a tent on Gravel, you’d hate your trip and start saving up for a new tent if you don’t have tarps or tent footprint.

These two don’t only make your tent comfortable; they protect your tent from damages the Gravel might inflict on it.

Without tarps or tent footprints, the Gravel would dig a hole in your tent or damage it in ways you can’t imagine.

The implication? You’ll have to get a new tent.


How Do You Protect A Tent From Gravel?

There are two ways to protect your tent from Gravel, and they are not interchangeable. The first is to pitch the tent on a tarp.

The tarp prevents Gravel from making holes inside the tent.

But you’ll also need tent spikes or stakes to hold down the tent so the wind won’t uproot it and throw it someplace you’ll never find it again.

Can I Pitch A Tent On Gravel?

Yes, you can pitch a tent on Gravel. But you’ll need the necessary tools and the skill to pull it off well.

That way, you’ll enjoy your camping experience.

Is A Rock Peg Great For Gravel Cramping?

Rock pegs are a better option for gravel camping than stakes.

While the stake can bend or get stuck in Gravel, rock pegs won’t bend or break because of their strength and durability.


Can you pitch a tent on Gravel? After reading this guide, you know that the answer is a resounding yes.

However, it’s a challenging task to undertake. You’ll need skill and the right tools to pull it off.

Nevertheless, no one would ideally love to pitch their tent on Gravel.

But when there’s no option, this guide has provided everything you need to have a pleasant gravel camping experience.


Photo of author

Fred Hoffman

Hey, I'm Fred Hoffman, founder of The True Wilderness. I've been exploring nature since I could walk, and my passion for it never ends. My mission is to show people that there's more to life than just the city. There's a whole world of beauty waiting for them out there, and I hope to inspire as many people as possible to get out and explore. I love to share the experience I've gathered throughout my life to make everyone's outdoor adventure smooth and enjoyable.

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