From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the earth."
Then He (She?) made the earth round... and laughed and laughed and laughed...!
Lot of good tips already mentioned, but my favorite, when possible: use no stakes. I tie to bushes, trees,roots or logs if I can reach them and if they will allow my tarp to be pitched in storm pitch when needed. I always have the stakes with me, but use as few as possible. The strength of these anchors almost always beats the pants off anything I can do with UL stakes. I often carry some extra line to enable me to reach some natural anchors.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
What Billybob said
Once the roots start coming loose, its time to bail.
I found nothings perfect .. the right (or wrong) gusts .. the right ( or wrong) angle .. something is subject to failure .. I've had stakes pulled and thrown ..to a point where I couldn't find them .. rocks picked up and heaved .. lines break just from the one spot where it's in contact with a rock and vibrating at super sonic speeds .. a corner tear out .. If you're fighting Mother Nature .. she's gonna win a few bouts .. but then that why we go on adventures .. seems the wildest storms and craziest nights are the memorable ..
"The wise man questions others wisdom because he questions his own, the foolish man because it is different from his own." Leo Stein
As gibson indicated... snow stakes work great, I have used these for years to hold tarps, flies, tents and anything else I need to nail down.