There have been any number of occasions when I’ve arrived at a pitch, only to be confronted with awning pegs still in the ground, left there by the previous occupants.

Having hammered in their pegs, they find that they can’t get them out when they are ready to depart, so they just leave them behind.

The pegs are invariably in the way for the next occupants of the pitch, and the main option has been to hammer them right into the ground until they are flush.

However, I too have been forced to abandon pegs that have locked themselves solid in the ground and won’t come out for love nor money. So, what to do?

The problem

The main culprits are the widely used (because they are good and work well) 25cm nail-style pegs with a plastic collar on top.

These are made from hardened steel, and are the only type that perform well in hard ground conditions – the bent-wire type just curl up and die.

There are commercially available tent-peg pullers, but they only seem to cater for the curly wire or plastic variety of peg. The nail type are not catered for (or if they are, I have yet to find one).

With that in mind, this project details what I consider to be a practical solution to the problem.

The right kit for the job!

This tent-peg puller is of robust design (bordering on being over-engineered, for which I make no apologies!) and will extract a nail-style peg with ease, irrespective of the type of ground that it’s been hammered into.

This tool has three fulcrum points, allowing it to deal with pegs that put up a fight until the last inch.

It has been designed for nail-style pegs, but could be adapted for use with other pegs by profiling the lever end accordingly, or having multiple levers if an assortment of pegs is used.


  • 0.5m of 20mm x 20mm x 2.5mm wall thickness box-section mild steel
  • 1m 25mm x 25mm x 3mm mild steel angle section
  • Three M8 x 55 steel bolts
  • Nine M8 steel nuts
  • Two M6 x 12 steel bolts
  • Two M6 nuts
  • Two M4 x 6 cap-head screws
  • One 22mm bicycle hand grip
  • Spray primer and matte-black paint


  • Hacksaw
  • Square with 45-degree facility
  • Marker pen
  • Cordless drill and metal bits
  • Centre punch
  • Hammer
  • Two mole-style grips
  • Round and flat files
  • M4 tap and tap wrench
  • Two 13mm spanners
  • Two 10mm spanners
  • 3mm AF hex key
  • Thread lock
  • Masking tape

Other essentials

  • Skills required: basic metalwork
  • Time: three hours
  • Cost: around £20

So, if you think you’re up to it, check out the gallery at the top of the page for our step-by-step guide!