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consensus on winter stakes?
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tkkn c
(tkknc) - MLife

Locale: Desert Rat in the Southwest
soft snow stake on 12/22/2007 08:58:53 MST Print View

This is the Bibler version of the soft snow stake Al is talking about. If you are going to make some soft stakes use cord or webbing that does not absorb water.

bibler soft snow stake

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Less weight on 12/23/2007 02:02:00 MST Print View

> shop made silnylon deadmen are much lighter ... Girth hitch this loop through your tent stake out loop, dig an appropriately sized hole, spread the fabric in the bottom of the hole, fill with snow, stomp on it and allow 1/2 hour sintering time to achieve full strength.

It's that 1/2 hour bit which can be a problem. When you are exhausted, it's getting dark and the wind is howling and the snow is falling - well, 'falling' in a horizontal line across the ground (because before that the conditions were quite impossible for camping), then waiting half an hour can be a shade less than optimal. Actually, you can freeze to death in that time.

Xmas Cheers

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: natural snow anchors on 12/23/2007 09:55:48 MST Print View

I use a Hex3 in winter and use "natural snow anchors" i.e. sticks. Keep in mind that this doesn't work in deserts, above treeline, etc. and I dual-purpose things like snowshoes, treking poles that I would have anyway in those conditions.

Don't bury your ice axe, you may need it to get the other anchors out in the morning!

As for frozen knots,(don't try this at home) I'm just stupid enough to hold a mini-bic under them for a brief second to thaw them out.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: natural snow anchors on 12/23/2007 18:40:08 MST Print View

> As for frozen knots,(don't try this at home) I'm just stupid enough to hold a mini-bic under them for a brief second to thaw them out.

Does that work when the storm is still raging on?

joe w
(sandalot) - F
Re: Re: Less weight on 12/23/2007 20:54:00 MST Print View


Edited by sandalot on 09/19/2009 14:53:36 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: soft snow stake on 12/23/2007 22:26:41 MST Print View

I've used soft ancors like this and I dislike them, at least in our Washington wet/hardpack/frozen snow. They are lighter than solid flukes like the SMC T-Anchor but they require more time to get them placed correctly. A T-Anchor, on the other hand, places in seconds.

Walk the area in snowshoes.
Use a shovel to cut a narrow slot for the cord
slide the anchor through the snow at an angle
Tramp down once more to secure the anchor

Much faster than with a soft anchor.

Edited by djohnson on 12/24/2007 09:34:55 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Less weight on 12/24/2007 13:46:36 MST Print View

Hi Joe

> The use of dead branches works great in the Colorado Mtns
Oh, don't get me wrong. I have used dead sticks in the snow and on sand too. But sometimes, up on the high plains, there aren't any around to be used. Just bare snow-covered rolling hills - with a good freezing winter wind blowing across them!

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
RE: winter stakes/anchors on 01/27/2008 19:32:22 MST Print View

I just got in from Cypress provincial park; I tromped out into the middle of a meadow to try out my new Oware USA 10x10 mid.

My SMC T-Anchors haven't come in the mail yet, so I had a chance to experiment with some other anchors. Here are some notes from the field:

1) Snowshoes are *awesome* anchors. They shovel out their own hole, the adjustable bindings give you one more way to control guyline tension, and oh *man* do they have surface area. (Used these for 2 corners.)

2) The stuffsack provided with the 'mid, filled with snow, was a great anchor too. Quick to fill and dump, and seriously lightweight. Also, very low fiddle-factor which is great with frozen fingers.

3) A stick worked great too. Really great.

4) Once compacted, the snow around the anchors quickly set up very hard. If I was pitching in a storm, I might bury the anchors but wait 30 minutes (crouched under the tarp if necessary) to erect the centre pole. Otherwise, no waiting is required and the snow is already really solid after 15 minutes.

5) A trucker's hitch in very fine cord is a great idea in your livingroom, and very trying on my patience in the field. For the next trip, I'm going to try just tying a series of loops in the guyline to give me different placement options for a mini-biner.

6) re-tensioning can be done from inside by lengthening and re-orienting the centre pole. Sweet.

7) Don't count on your snow claw as an anchor for your floorless shelter. Why? Because once you're in there you're always going to be digging/sweeping/reconfiguring the interior. It's tonnes of fun and impossible to ignore!

8) I'd love to try out some of those little "parachute" style sil anchors. The idea struck me as really being the best of all worlds unless I was in rock-hard snow that my shovel couldn't readily penetrate.