How to Secure a Canopy in High Winds

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Whether you set up a canopy to provide some shade at the beach or shelter for your booth at the flea market, you want it to stay where it is, and that can be a tall order on a windy day. In the right conditions, a canopy can act like a sail, and if you don't know the best way to anchor a canopy, it could wind up several feet away from where you set it up.


Anchoring a canopy or a pop-up sun shade is just one way to make sure it doesn't blow away. It's also important to choose a canopy that is less likely to become a sail, to set it up in the right place, and to avoid setting it up at all if you already know it's going to be a windy day.

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Choose the Right Canopy

You're going to have to anchor your canopy to prevent the wind from blowing it over, and part of that process involves attaching guy lines to the fabric and staking the lines into the ground. The lines will pull against the fabric when the wind blows, and it could tear, so choose a canopy with sturdy fabric and a sturdy structure. Make sure the fabric has loops for the lines.


Another feature to look for is a vent opening in the top of the canopy. This is meant to provide ventilation on hot days, but it also creates an opening for the wind. The vent may have a zipper or Velcro strip that allows you to close it, and if so, make sure the zipper is open or the Velcro is disengaged.

Set Up the Canopy Properly

You may not have a choice of places to set up the canopy, particularly if you're selling stuff at a flea market, but if you do, choose a place with a natural windbreak. The leeward side of a row of bushes or trees is ideal, but it could also be next to a building or even a hillside. You might even be able to make your own windbreak by parking your vehicle on the windward side of the canopy.


Most canopies have telescoping legs, and when you set up one of these, be sure the legs are all extended to the same length and that the spring-loaded pins that secure them are engaged. When you attach the covering, be sure to connect it to the frame with the Velcro strips provided. If the canopy has detachable sides, leave them off; they will amplify the force of the wind against the structure.

The Best Way to Anchor a Canopy

There are two ways to anchor a canopy, and you should employ both of them. The first is to tie guy lines onto the canopy covering and connect them to stakes. Beach tent sand anchors that screw into the ground hold far better than those you pound in, and if you're at the beach, these are the only kind you can use. A word of warning: Be wary of bungee cords. The hooks on bungee cords can bend and cause the elastic cord to snap free, possibly injuring anyone who happens to be in the vicinity.


The other way to anchor a canopy is to put a weight at the base of each leg. Circular sandbags are ideal, but anything heavy that fits over the foot will work. If the feet have holes, you can also anchor them by driving tent stakes through the holes but drive each one at a different angle rather than straight into the ground. That way, if the wind is blowing in a direction that pulls one stake out, the others will stay put.



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