How to Anchor a Canopy on Concrete – When Your Tent Stakes Don’t Work

It’s important to anchor down your pop up canopy just in case it takes off in a sudden gust of wind. But what do you do when you’re on concrete and can’t peg-down using the tent stakes that came with your canopy? Unless there are permanent fixtures around to attach a rope to, you’re going to have to find or make weights that can keep your canopy firmly on the ground. The solutions below will help show you how to anchor a canopy on concrete.

Canopy anchoring ideas for concrete

You can either buy commercially available canopy weigh-bags or weights, or make your own cost effective solution at home.

Solutions you can buy

1) Canopy weigh-bags

Tent weigh-bags (some people say ‘weight-bags’) are a great product to accompany your pop up canopy as they are lightweight and versatile. Sometimes manufacturers even include these as part of your pop up canopy purchase. Store them with your canopy, and you’ll have an easy anchoring option anywhere you go. There are a heap of different designs, but the best feature a strong nylon or canvas bag that you fill with ‘heavy stuff’ and attach to the canopy with a rugged velcro strap. This heavy stuff can be anything that is at your event location (e.g. sand or gravel), or also something you bring along. I’ve made a quick video to show you how convenient and easy these bags are to use. Note: I’m referring here to ‘dry’ filler bags, and putting the containers you can fill with water in the next category.

how to anchor a canopy on concrete - a canopy weight bag attached to a pole
Canopy weigh-bag

2) Canopy leg weights

The advantage of buying purpose-built leg weights is that they are molded to slot into, or around, a canopy leg. This means that they look good, and are easier to attach than home-made weights. There are various designs but most commonly these look like metal or plastic ‘Pacman’ plates that fit around the canopy’s feet, and are able to be stacked to tailor the weight to the conditions. Leg weights are often made of steel or other metal with a groove and can be stacked on top of each other to adjust to the right weight. Tent weights are a great often for when you need a lot of weight, but they do require significant transporting requirements as they are heavy. You’ll see these used in semi-permanent event spaces like market places or sports grounds, where a stash of weight plates can be kept locally.

3) Canopy water drums/container weights

You can buy drums or containers that are molded to fit around the feet of your canopy, which you can then fill with water as a ballast. These are somewhere between weight bags and leg weights for portability; they can be a bit awkward to carry to the beach as they don’t pack down, but are obviously light when they are empty, and so are easy to carry.

How to anchor a canopy on concrete – DIY solutions

1) Reuse containers to make weigh bags/weights

Here are some common household items you can fill and then secure your canopy to:

  • Buckets filled with sand or gravel
  • Milk or juice jugs filled with water/sand

2) Heavy weights

You can tether your canopy to heavy items you might already have like:

  • Exercise weights
  • Bricks, and other leftover building/DIY material

3) Make your own weights concrete anchors

If you are setting up a canopy for regular sustained periods (e.g. market stall) it may be beneficial to make a more permanent leg weight solution that you can use again and again. A very simple option is to pour concrete into a plastic container.

A neater option is to pour concrete into a length of PVC pipe, allowing for a hook to be set-in at one end. This makes fairly cheap and smart looking weights that you paint to color match your canopy tent – perfect for market stall setups. This video by Chad Schimmel has some good instructions on how to build this.

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