Whether you are providing a water station for a beach race, hosting a sign-up booth for a surf competition, or simply having a large family gathering on a secluded beach, there may come a time when you have to securely set up your canopy on a beach. Beaches are far from the ideal place to set up a canopy. The open space near the water tends to be windier than most other areas, and the sand creates an unstable surface for canopy legs with little grip for traditional stakes. All of this can result in an unstable canopy that could tip at the first strong gust of wind. To keep your canopy in place, you should consider using one or more of these three beach-friendly methods to secure your canopy.
Use Rebar For Staking
Rebar is a steel rod that has ridges along its length. It is usually used to reinforce concrete construction, but a few lengths of rebar can make excellent heavy-duty stakes for your canopy. On a sandy beach, you will want to use 3' lengths of rebar. This ensures that the rebar will be able to grip wet, more compact sand deeper on the beach. You will need two stakes for every leg of your canopy.
Before you leave home, you may want to bend the end of the rebar into an L shape. This can be done using two lengths of pipe that have an internal diameter large enough to fit around your rebar. You should bend the last 5"-6" at a 90 degree angle to the rest of the pipe.
When you are on the beach, you hammer the rebar into the sand with a large mallet and secure your canopy the same way you would using canopy stakes. You may need to use the mallet or a second piece of rebar to pry the stake out of the sand when you are ready to take down your canopy.
Tie Sandbags to Your Tent Legs
Sandbags make a quick, easy weight that you can tie onto your canopy legs. You will need two 5-gallon plastic feed bags and two 3'-4' lengths of rope for each canopy leg. When you are at the beach, fill each bag with sand. Be sure to leave enough space in the bag so that it bends easily around the leg of your tent. Wrap one filled bag around a canopy leg and secure it with a piece of rope. Next, wrap the other bag around the same leg, overlapping the opening of the first bag, and secure it with the second length of rope.
Suspend a 5-gallon Bucket from Your Canopy
A 5-gallon bucket makes an excellent weight when you suspend it from the top of your canopy. You should make sure that the buckets have well-fitting lids to avoid spilling any sand during strong winds. You will need one bucket for each canopy leg and a carabiner to attach the bucket to the canopy. When you are at the beach, you should fill the bucket with sand, secure the lid, and then suspend the bucket from a horizontal bar near the canopy leg. Before using this method, you should check with your manufacturer to make sure that the canopy structure can support 40-50 pounds of weight. Some canopy structures will have a hole drilled in the corners specifically for attaching suspended weights. If you're having trouble finding this kind of canopy, then you can look online for custom made canopies at sites like http://pedalindustries.com/.
Ideally, when you secure your canopy in a windy, unstable environment, you will use multiple methods in order to prevent any accidents. Using rebar as canopy stakes combined with suspended weights is the most stable method for securing your canopy while you are on the beach.