Is it Safe to use Water Barrels to Anchor Tents?
The short answer is no. While staking is the preferred method of anchoring tents, there are occasions when staking may not be possible (underground utilities, pavement, rooftops). As an alternative, Sportsplex Rentals uses concrete weights instead of water barrels.
A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds so a 55-gallon plastic barrel full weighs approximately 480 pounds. However, plastic barrels are smooth reducing the amount of friction therefore a water barrel has a holding power of only 40% of its weight thus the effective weight of the full barrel is only 192 pounds.