If the ground is too hard for stakes or the stakes are too weak, put the awning near the back of your truck and use bungie cords or tie-downs to cinch it to the truck.

Dear MXA,
I bought a cheap 10 x 10 awning at Walmart. It wasn’t fancy, but it did provide shade. Unfortunately, it kept trying to take off. It came with aluminum stakes, but when I tried to drive them into the ground they twisted into a pretzel. Does anyone make high-quality stakes to hold an awning down?

World’s best awning stake. Plus, it comes in Phillips or straight blade versions.

Nowhere is there harder ground than in the pits in Southern California. It is baked by 330 days of sun a year, compressed by heavy equipment and composed of crushed rock. The MXA wrecking crew used to hammer its fancy awning stakes into the ground, but they used to get stuck, bend when we pulled them out of the ground, or be forgotten at home. Now we use old screwdrivers. They have hardened steel shanks, easy-to-use handles, and are a dime a dozen in toolboxes all around the pits. Don’t use screwdrivers with wooden handles, they will splinter when driven into ground with a hammer. If you’re picky, you can find 6- and 8-inch screwdrivers at Harbor Freight for under $2.

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