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Make Your Own Gear: Snow Stakes Revisited
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Make Your Own Gear: Snow Stakes Revisited on 12/30/2008 19:06:37 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Make Your Own Gear: Snow Stakes Revisited

nanook ofthenorth
(nanookofthenorth) - MLife
for those with less tools on 12/30/2008 21:17:46 MST Print View

MEC in Canada has some stakes for us - I'm thinking I might give them a try; they seem almost as light

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
RE:Snow Stakes Revisited on 12/30/2008 22:10:51 MST Print View

Simple things getting too complex, thanks Mike for this article then

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Buttons on 01/03/2009 14:05:37 MST Print View

Roger - love the buttons idea. I've been searching for something new to use with my T-anchors and snow stakes, and that looks like a winner (though I'll have to retie all of the loops on the stakes, a step not needed with the metal clips). I currently girth hitch the loop on the stake to the loop on the guyline, which holds simply and effectively, but can be tough to undo, especially when frozen or tightened by strong loading.

Have had the button system out in extreme winds or other strong loading? Curious to hear how well they hold up, and if there's a minimum thickness and/or material you'd recommend...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
An Update on my Titanium Snow Stakes on 05/22/2010 01:16:52 MDT Print View

In Part 1 of my MYOG article on titanium snow stakes I described how to make the. But, as I found out later, while the stakes themselves were very fine, the way they held the guy ropes had problems. The guy ropes eventually frayed in towards morning in a storm described in When Things Go

So in part 2 (the article at the start of this thread) I described how I modified the stakes to avoid the fraying problem. Basically I avoid all sharp edges. At the same time I ended up with the guy ropes permanently attached to the stakes and hooked on to the tent (when I pitched it) by means of some cute 'buttons'. After using this button method for a while I eventually decided that I should go back to a more conventional design, which is presented here.

First of all, each stake now has a small loop of very tough cord threaded through the two holes and carrying a small and very light titanium hook. The loop still carries the coloured streamer to help me find them in the morning. I think the string used is waxed Spectra fishing line with a breaking strength of 136 kgf (300 lbf) - I don't think I am going to break it! But note that I had to use a well-tightened fishermans knot on this stuff instead of a reef knot, in order to have the knot hold and not run under load. I think a double sheet bend would probably also hold.

Snow stakes with hooks 8520

Next I modified the guy ropes. Remember that each guy rope on my winter tent is attached to the fly at the tent pole sleeve in two places - 'low' and 'high'. The guy rope is now permamently attached at the lower point and is attached at the upper point via a sort of adjustment toggle. These days I use the ClamCleats Mini LineLok CL266 as the toggle. This device is available from a number of sources around the world, and has even been sold here in the Backpacking Light shop. In my experience this LineLok works and holds (provided the string is thick enough) and is easy to adjust under most any weather conditions.

LineLok on snow tent guy rope 8519

However, while the ClamCleats web site shows the LineLok at the tent peg end of the guy rope, I place it at the tent end. So the guy rope goes from the lower attachment point, down to the hook on the stake in the snow, and back up to the LineLok at the upper attachment point. I do this for two reasons:

* It is much easier to adjust the tension in the guy rope when the LineLok is up in the air rather than down near the ground

* Having the LineLok up against the tent rather than flapping around at the end of the guy rope significantly reduces the number of tangles I get in the guy ropes when rolling the tent up and then unrolling it later. Trust me, the last thing you want in a storm is a mass of tangled guy ropes!

Attaching the guy rope to the stake is done very simply by catching the middle of the guy rope through the hook on the stake after I have stuck that into the snow. Then I move up the guy rope to the LineLok and tighten it as necessary. This all goes very fast, and can be done under 'quite adverse conditions'.


Edited by rcaffin on 05/22/2010 01:17:34 MDT.