Aluminum is not just aluminum

Aluminum is a great metal. It is lightweight, strong and durable, hence a good choice for use on hikes off the beaten track. It is our choice of metal for use in poles and stakes in all our tent models. It reacts little to other substances but aluminum in its purest form reacts very readily with the oxygen in the air. Therefore it is also rare to find pure aluminum in nature. However. This is also an advantage with manufactured aluminum as the surface of the aluminum reacts readily with oxygen and forms a protective film on the surface of the metal so that the metal does not react further with the air. Aluminum in its purest form is not a strong metal. By adding other metals to the mix, such as magnesium, copper and zinc, its characteristics can be adjusted to fit the desired purpose.

It is this alloy that determines, for example, whether your aluminum stake or tent pole should be strong, flexible, rigid, etc. Properties that vary in terms of what it should be used for. A center pole in a tipi should contain other characteristics than, for example, the tent stake The center pole of the tipi should be somewhat flexible so it can withstand being slightly bent (without breaking, of course). This is an important feature of the center pole as it is subjected to great forces and energy that tries to bend it. We want some of the energy from the wind to actually bend the pole slightly instead of cracking it. Although carbon poles are marginally stronger and lighter than aluminum, they are not as flexible. If they are bent, the carbon pole breaks. They are also more expensive.

If we were to use the same aluminum alloy in the center pole as in the tent stakes, the center pole would have been very rigid and sooner or later cracked as a result of the movement it is constantly subjected to. Especially when the tent is exposed to a lot of wind. The stakes, on the other hand, should contain an aluminum alloy that makes the stake a lot rigid but at the same time strong where the plug must withstand bending to a certain extent without breaking. The tent stakes are, as you know, mostly planted in the soil without any movement and do not need the same flexibility as for example a tent pole.

That is why we use different aluminum alloys for different applications. For the tent stakes, we use the industry's strongest aluminum alloy of the 7000 series where the aluminum is mixed with zinc, magnesium, and copper. For the poles we use an aluminum alloy of the 6000 series. This is aluminum mixed with silicon and magnesium which gives a much more flexible pole where it is able to bend quite a bit without breaking.