If you attend festivals and set up a large tent or shade area, you probably know that rebar is used for much more than traditional construction projects. Rebar can be one of the cheaper, more effective tent stakes that you can make. The ribbed surface of rebar makes it grip sand or dirt better than smooth tent pegs, and since you can purchase it in different thicknesses and cut it to various lengths, you can customize your tent stakes to stand up to the weather of whichever festivals you attend.
If you use rebar to secure a temporary structure, it is important to make sure that the top of the rebar is clearly marked so people do not run into it. Ideally, the naturally sharp top would be covered with something to lessen the chance of injury if someone stumbles into your rebar by mistake. Below are eight options for creating unique, safe rebar toppers.
Welded and Bent Tops:
The candy cane top is one of the most common ways to bend rebar. It involves leaving an extra 8"-12" of rebar at the top of your stake and then folding that section over 180 degrees so it looks like your stake is a giant candy cane. This design gives you something to secure your tent to, an easy way to pull the rebar out of the ground when you are finished, and protects people who might run into your rebar.
The hook top is similar to the candy cane, except it is bent around 120 degrees near the center of the rebar. At the festival, you will pound both ends of the rebar into the ground, and tie the tent strings to the center of the rebar. This adds greater security to the stake and hides both ends of the rebar.
A circle top is also like a candy cane top except the hook at the top is bent until it forms a full circle. The idea behind this is that strings will not fly off of the stake even if the stake twists while it is in the ground. Also, the sharp end of the rebar is touching the smooth side of the rebar, protecting people who might run into it.
A flat top is achieved by heating the top end of the rebar, hammering it into a flat piece, and then bending the flat piece perpendicular to the stake. The idea is that you use less rebar while still having a top that is easy to pull out at the end of the festival. Ideally, this type of rebar would be hammered into the ground until the top is flush with the ground.
The quickest solution for marking rebar is a tennis ball. Simply puncture the tennis ball with a knife and then slide the tennis ball onto the rebar after it has been pounded into the ground.
Doll heads already have a hole in them, so they slide easily onto rebar. They can be an interesting conversation piece.
Small stuffed animals not only draw attention to your rebar but also provide some cushioning. You need to make sure you use stuffed animals with batting inside as opposed to beading, which will leak out over the course of the festival.
Solar Powered Lights
Solar powered garden lights often fit onto rebar of various sizes. You simply have to remove the stake the light comes on and attach it to your rebar. As a bonus, your rebar will be visible at night.
There are many uses for rebar at festivals, but if you choose to use it, make sure you do so responsibly. Remove the rebar when you pack up your camp and make sure it is clearly marked while it is in the ground.