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.