Coach screws (for annexe pegging)

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Camping gadget for grey nomads
Annexe ‘pegged’ down with coach screws!

By Phil Crockart

For many grey nomads, par­ticularly those with significant osteoarthritis, it can be a real issue to bend, kneel or get on all fours … especially when putting those darned tent pegs or annexe pegs into hard ground.

For me, this has been ex­acerbated by my total knee replacement in February and I’m told I am not allowed to kneel for at least a year! To add insult to self-inflicted in­jury, I need another new knee and hip. Yikes!

While life may still throw up plenty of other challenges, I have at least discovered a solution to my annexe peg­ging dilemma. All you need to make the job of fixing tents and annexes to the ground an awful lot easier are some 200mm coach screws and a battery rattle gun.

Now, I own a fine 18V rattle gun (you won’t be too success­ful with a hammer drill) and, after buying a few 200mm coach screws and washers, I was keen to see if the method actually works. Well, blow me over with a feather … it does!

It’s a very simple no-kneeling method of fast ‘peg’ insertion. You can use an extension bar and rattle gun even in hard-baked ground. The things screw into the ground rather than being thumped in with a hammer. I know than in the past the ground has been that hard that I have actually bent 10mm pegs.

The other upside to the ‘screwing’ method is that – even under high winds, rain and all the fury that nature can unleash – the screws hold tight. The theory is that the broad, open screw thread ‘holds’ the ground better than smooth sided peg. They can also be screwed in at any angle (although logic and good campcraft practices tell you different).

When it’s time to remove said ‘pegs’, you can simply reverse the gun and unscrew. I have all my canvas bolted down in this manner even to the point of securing a wind guy to my awning via an ‘L’ bracket and small ‘D’ shackle. Absolute gold!

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