Aluminum is not just aluminum

Aluminum is a fantastic metal. It is lightweight, strong and durable. Perfect for use in wilderness and backpacking adventures.. It is therefore also our choice for use in poles and stakes on all our tents. It also reacts little to other substances. But, aluminum in its purest form reacts very readily with the oxygen in the air. Therefore, it is also very 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. However, the strength can be adjusted by adding other metals such as magnesium, copper, and zinc.

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 that it can withstand being slightly bent. But then of-course without breaking. This is an important feature of the center-pole as it is sometimes subjected to great forces and energy that tries to bend the pole. 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, these are not as flexible. If they are bent, the carbon pole breaks. This in addition to that these poles are 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 stiff and sooner or later cracked as a result of the movement it is always 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 stiffer, but at the same time strong where the plug must withstand a certain 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 so-called 7000 series where the aluminum is mixed with zinc, magnesium, and copper. For the poles, we use an aluminum alloy of the so-called 6000 series. This is aluminum mixed with silicon and magnesium which gives a much larger flexible pole where the pole is able to bend quite a bit without breaking it.