Top Tips: How To Strengthen Your Gazebo

When looking to erect your pop up gazebo the priority should always be to it set up correctly.

gazebo strengthening tips

However, there are many other ways to help strengthen your shelter even further.

I’ll go into them in detail below.

Firstly, the guide I have written below provides strengthening tips for lots of types of gazebos such as ;

  1. Pop up gazebos with sides
  2. Canopy only shelters
  3. Already Strong Gazebos
  4. Cheap Gazebos

Below I’ve highlighted a few great tips on how to strengthen your current gazebo and also provided a list of items you can buy to strengthen your gazebo even further.

FREE Strengthening Tips

How to strengthen for FREE?

Poorly built gazebo

Always, always, always try and find the most sheltered area to pitch your gazebo.

Just because you believe you’ve bought the strongest enclosure money can buy, don’t underestimate the power of mother nature…

She’s turned many camping trips or back garden events into ‘You’ve Been Framed‘ classics.

Here goes…

As mentioned above it is always best to find the most sheltered area to pitch you tent.  Once you have done that you’ve given your event a better chance of success.

Now use the next tip below.

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Point it Towards The Wind

Firstly, find out which direction the wind is blowing consistently.  Then point one of the corners of the frame face on into the wind.

See below.

The frame is the strongest point and potentially the weakest point of your gazebo, depending how you approach seting it up.

To ensure that the frame is at its strongest you must have the guy ropes in place, together with leg weights.

By pointing the frame into the wind you will improve the aerodynamics of your structure.

Meaning that the wind will find it easier to pass either side, rather than blowing directly on to the panels and applying unnecessary pressure to the frame and plastic connectors.

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Always Used All Parts Provided

This is the easiest method to apply, the most sensible and also the least done…

When we purchase products we always (not always, but relatively often) seem to insist on only using the parts WE decide we need to use.

The items provided in the package you purchased are required whatever the weather and don’t forget, you’ve already paid for them.  Don’t leave them in the box…

Does this sound like you?  It used to be me but not anymore.

Even on the calmest of days I always recommend using all the strengthening parts that are provided.  They are there for a reason and by now you should know just how changeable the British weather can be…

Here’s a video showing you just how easy it is to add the wind bars.

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Using Leg Weight Bags To Add Strength

I also mentioned the weight bags but here’s another great tip to add extra stability to your gazebo that also makes adding strength that little bit tidier and more organised.

My Best Tip for filling Weight Bags

Leg weight bags

If you have leg weight bags included in your package then they can be a great help to add extra stability and sturdiness to your gazebo legs and frame.

To fill them you can use rocks, bricks, sand, and soil but my preferred method is a little further down this post.

The 4 leg weight bags once filled to the correct level will help keep your gazebo anchored down and prevent the wind from shifting it from side to side, therefore helping to prevent any frame damage.

Leg weight bags are an important factor in protecting your gazebo as they help prevent the frame from snapping and here’s how to use them.

Step by Step guide

Step 1

A few days in the lead up to your event I advise that you buy 4 x 3 litre bottles of water, coca cola or a cheap liquid.  It’s the bottles that you need to keep.

Step 2

Personally, I normally buy coca cola and my family normally empty the bottles well in advance of us going on holiday.

So what I do is rinse the bottles out to prevent them being sticky and attracting bugs and wasps when it comes to using them.

I normally travel with them empty to prevent leaking and adding extra weight to my car.

Step 3

Once the day of your event arrives they are now ready to use.  At a convenient time fill your 4 x 3 litre bottles with water and securely fasten the lid.

Once you’ve built your gazebo simply attach your leg weight bags with the velcro straps and then place the bottles of water inside the bags.

Using this method is much cleaner and tidier and using water will add an extra 12kg in total of additional stability.
Using rocks, sand, soil or bricks do tend to add more weight but can be messier and sometimes harder to find unless you’re transporting them with you.
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Items to Buy to add more Strength

Whether you’ve bought a cheap gazebo or a heavy duty gazebo there are items that you’ve received that can be upgraded.  Here are a few items that can add further strength to your pop up gazebo but at a cost.

  1. Heavy Duty Hard Ground Pegs/Stakes
  2. Stronger Guy Ropes
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Hard Ground Tent Pegs

Buying hard ground tent pegs are a much more heavy duty alternative tent peg that can offer much more stability and strength than your existing pegs that were probably provided with your gazebo when you purchased it.

So, where can I buy tent pegs for hard ground?

Check out below, here’s my recommendation.

Outdoor Revolution Hard Ground Tech Pegs

Click to view on Amazon

Click to view on Amazon

The Outdoor revolution tech pegs offer much more flexibility when it comes to pitching your gazebo, meaning you can easily erect it on a hard surface.

We’ve all attempted to build our pop ups on firm summer ground only to find that our tent pegs won’t go into the ground or at best, will bend when you attempt too.

These pegs are simple but very effective and when you take a closer look you can see why these stakes are so effective.

Why do these stakes go into the hard ground so easily?

Basically, these strong pegs are heavy duty nails with additional attachments that can be easy tapped or twisted into the ground.

The bottom of the shaft where the pegs are inserted into the ground is ‘nail-like’ sharp at the end which makes it easy to penetrate the surface.  Whilst the thread leading up from the insertion point ensures that in high winds the peg isn’t dragged out of the ground.

Why should I buy this product?

Here are my pros and cons of this product.

PROS:
  • Very Heavy-Duty
  • Robust
  • Durable – Last for Years
  • Better grip
  • Won’t bend
  • Simple to use
  • Storage box included
  • Built-in peg cleaner
  • Ideal for gazebos, tents & awnings

CONS:
  • Decent guy ropes needed**

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** This product is very good but you must have decent guy ropes that aren’t going to snap.

There’s no point in having ridiculously strong pegs when your guy lines will snap or fray easily.

Check out these strong guy ropes below.

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Geertop – Strong Guy Ropes

I highlighted the importance of having strong pegs to improve the strength of your gazebo and its stability.  Although, having strong guy ropes and strong pegs go hand in hand.

So here’s my top choice of strong guy ropes.

Geertop Reflective Guy Lines

With the Geertop 4 guy lines, you will also receive 10 tent pegs.  These are great pegs but in my opinion not as good as the above-recommended product, but still very good in their own right.

Why would I buy these strong guy lines?

Geertop is a well-known brand in the camping and hiking community and this product is well up to their normal high standard.

The guylines are 4mm thick which is more than adequate for tents, gazebos and other types of pop up shelter making them a great buy.

The lines are made up of 18 durable wires instead of the regular 16 wires and this adds considerably to the load bearing of the ropes.

One important aspect of these 4 guy lines is that they are reflective and therefore can help prevent accidents when the light outdoors begins to fade.

The lines have 2 very reflective wires interwoven into the ropes which greatly increases visibility, however, they reflect light and do not actually ‘light up’ of their own accord

So what will I receive should I buy?

As mentioned, your receiving 10 tent pegs,  4 very strong guy lines as well as a durable pouch to keep them in.

However, here are the specifications of the items you’ll receive

Guy Ropes Specifications

  • Guy Line) Inner Material: Nylon
  • The load-bearing strength of each Line: 440 lbs
  • Length of each Guy Line: 13 feet
  • The weight of each Guy Line: 0.08 lbs
  • The diameter of each Guy Line: 0.16 inches

Tent Peg Specifications

  • Tent Stake Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Length of Each Stake: 7.1 inches
  • The weight of Each Stake: 0.026 lbs

View on Amazon

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How do I use Guy ropes effectively?

I’ve spoken about effective windproofing above by explaining the use of the wind bars, weight bags and buying better pegs.

However, the guy ropes are just as important as the above, if not, even more important.

  1. The Wind bars help to support and protect the frame
  2. The Weight bags anchor the gazebo legs
  3. The Guy ropes help ensure that it isn’t blown away by pinning it to the same position.
First of all, let’s be honest the style of a pop-up gazebo is basically like a parachute with poles.

So, therefore, should the wind pick up and none of the previously mentioned pieces of equipment are in use then it will just lift up and blow away.

Therefore, this is where the guy ropes show their importance.

How to attach the guy ropes?

When attaching the guy ropes always ensure that they are angled at 45 degrees, as shown.45 degree angle

By attaching guy ropes incorrectly will not only potentially ruin your event but could seriously injure one of your guests or even a passerby.

It’s not worth the risk, just use all the equipment because that’s why it’s supplied in the first place.

Having the guys angled too steeply will not protect the frame legs and will still leave the frame open to swaying and even buckling.

Whilst attaching the guy lines too horizontally will take up too much room and on campsites, this is not always possible and the lines may be tripped or driven over.

What to do when the wind really picks up?

Quite often even the best of weather reports or reporters can get the weather wrong.  In the video below Michael Fish reassures his audience not to worry about the forecasted weather as it wouldn’t happen.

and typically this happened below.

It’s ok Michael, it was only the worse hurricane since recordings began.

Anyway, as I was saying, if the weather does deteriorate and the wind picks up and your gazebo has sides attached then its a case of ‘batten down the hatches’.

That’s right, contrary to lots of opinions the best way to withstand strong winds is to lower all the sides, close the doorway and add any extra supports that you may have such as extra;

  1. Guy Ropes
  2. Roof support bars
  3. Move furniture close to the edge of your gazebo to prevent sides and frame from buckling
  4. Evacuate the gazebo should the wind pick up too much

Hope this has helped you understand more about strengthening your gazebo.

Cheers

Shaun