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Winter tent stakes
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John S.
(jshann) - F
Winter tent stakes on 03/02/2006 17:42:09 MST Print View

What do y'all use for winter tent stakes. The SMC snow stakes at 1 oz. apiece ain't lite dudes.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Winter tent stakes on 03/02/2006 17:47:34 MST Print View

if you are on snow

you could make a dea^d man with a rock or stick or something

Edited by ryanf on 03/02/2006 17:49:53 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 03/02/2006 18:00:45 MST Print View

I would not go out in winter without stakes because rocks or sticks might not be available in six foot of snow : ). I am surprised there are no titanium snow stakes shaped like the smc stakes but maybe shorter. Those used as deadman anchors would be good.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Re: Winter tent stakes on 03/03/2006 23:34:45 MST Print View

Vargo makes a Titanium Ascent stake that comes in at 10 grams per stake, but I have no experience with them.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Winter tent stakes-Titanium MYOG on 03/04/2006 01:05:20 MST Print View

If I copied the SMC T-Anchor/ 1oz snow anchor out of some Thru-Hiker 0.016" titanium they would weigh about 0.7oz each, maybe a little less.

If you could make them yourself they would be cheaper than the $30 per 4 the SMC ones cost.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Winter tent stakes-Titanium MYOG on 03/04/2006 05:19:18 MST Print View

I had forgotten about the snow/sand fabric anchors too. Some of those made of the newest lightweight fabrics would be very light.

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
msr blizzard stake on 03/04/2006 06:16:43 MST Print View

These are a little lighter.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Winter tent stakes on 03/04/2006 06:20:56 MST Print View

These look like they would be easy to make.

Fabric Snow Anchors from Campmor

Fabric Snow Ancors from Mountain Gear

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Winter tent stakes on 03/04/2006 08:07:19 MST Print View

Montbell snow anchor

Edited by ryanf on 03/04/2006 08:07:54 MST.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Winter tent stakes on 03/04/2006 08:08:38 MST Print View

>These look like they would be easy to make.

Now even I'm motivated to get some Cuben! In a color other than white...

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
snow anchors on 03/04/2006 09:15:00 MST Print View

I just bought 12 Vargo Titanium snow stakes. I will report as to how they perform in a few weeks. They are a little pricey though.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: snow anchors on 03/04/2006 10:06:02 MST Print View

Depends on how convenient you want your snow anchor to be and in what kinds of snow conditions into which you are setting it.

Generally, for the Rocky Mts in the winter, snow is pretty dry and fluffy. Trying to set something like the Vargo or SMC or MSR Blizzards can be challenging. It gets easier as the snow density increases towards spring.

Fabric stakes are the other end of the spectrum, and work well enough. Unlike metal stakes, which you can release from softer snows simply by grabbing the cord and yanking, once you've dug down to near the stake, you don't have that option if your fabric stakes are made with ultralight materials.

I usually take T-Anchors. They are easy to set, don't need to be set deep, and quick to pull out - because they don't need to be set deep (unlike narrow snow stakes like Blizzards etc.).

Since 95% of my winter backcountry travel is on skis, I have four very effective and very easy stakes already (2 skis, 2 poles). Snowshoes are also very effective, jammed down 2/3 of the way into a soft snowpack they work great.

I've moved away from the "ultralight" fabric stakes because they are a pain to deal with, and winter time is short, so I want my shelter pitch to be quick, especially when taking a tarp or 'mid style shelter.

My setup, for an Alphamid, for example is this:

5 T-Anchors. These anchor the corners and pole guyline. I have AirCore Pro guylines attached to each corner guyline tie out - short ones, but with the adjustable cam tensioners in place on the tarp end, and an overhand loop on the other. Each T-Anchor has about a 1-foot loop attached to it, with an Ursalite carabiner. Then, to pitch the shelter, I lay out the corners, attach all the T-Anchors with the carabiners, and set the T-Anchors. Raise the pole and set the pole guyline T-Anchor. Bootpack each T-Anchor for about 15-30 seconds to sinter the snow effectively around it. Tighten the tensioners. Use skis as stakes to prop the doors open, poles as stakes to raise the back sides of the Alphamid. Carve out the shelter, cook dinner, etc., then before going to bed all the tensioners get retightened now that the T-Anchors are well-set into the snow.

If I have time and want to ski, I can grab the skis and poles without collapsing the shelter, which is very convenient. The skis and poles prevent you from having to carry 9 T-Anchors.

T-Anchors weigh 1 oz each or so. Guylines and Ursalite carabiners add a fraction to that. The convenience is terrific.

T-Anchors could be lighter. I made some out of thin sheet 6000 series aluminum that came in at 0.4 oz apiece. They lasted about a season, getting pretty bent up when pulling them from hard snow.

Some folks will be tempted also to use their snow shovels as a stake. I wouldn't if the weather forecast is iffy. You need the flexibility to be able to dig at night in a big storm, and just having a shovel around camp is very convenient. Carol and I were both digging out our shelters during the night in our recent trip to Yellowstone in the midst of a grand storm.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: snow anchors on 03/06/2006 14:19:55 MST Print View

Thanks for the replies. Yep, I'd probably damage the fabric anchors while trying to find them in the snow upon packing up. I'll check out the t anchors.

Gary George
(Maaax) - F

Locale: Central California
stakes on 03/21/2006 18:48:16 MST Print View

I use wooden shingles. Light weight, wide surface area, especially in the sierra's where the snow has been so dry. I bury them as deep as possible, then if it freezes overnight, I just cut my guy lines loose and leave the shakes to decompose.

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
winter stakes on 04/01/2006 19:40:38 MST Print View

I have always used twigs or branches deadman style with great success, even in the driest snow. No extra weight, usually available (know where your headed) and with work hardening of the snow, even faceted (or sugar snow can set up strongly. When breaking camp, simply pull your cord and leave the stick. Or dig a Quinzee, Quigaloo, or other snow shelter.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Re: Winter tent stakes on 04/01/2006 20:58:08 MST Print View

Deadmans suck. There's just not enough weight provided by sacks. SMC snow stakes are better.

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Mini Parachutes on 04/08/2006 02:46:25 MDT Print View

Skis and poles can work as stakes, but I like the flexibility of skiing w/o having to break down my tent.

For 1/5 the weight of the 1oz. commercial fabric anchors, I cut a 7" square of silnylon, stitch a small cordlace loop at each corner and tie 2mm cord to the loops to form a mini parachute looking device and girth hitch it to my tent loops. I've used them in snow for many years and found them to be bombproof and easy to install and remove (requires much less time than getting dressed in the middle of a windy night to restake a collapsed tent).

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 04/15/2006 22:14:08 MDT Print View

I disagree that deadman suck, where are you regionally? I have used them in the NE and west with great success. In snow from 6" - 6'. I will admit, in 6" of facets, I am really working hard to work harden (ie compact & metamorphasize) the snow - no pun intended. There is definately a point where a rigid stake of some sort would be more useful, but when there is snow >6" (and not all facets) then deadmen work great. My .02

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Snow Anchors - freezing on 10/04/2006 20:54:49 MDT Print View

Depends on your snow conditions, doesn't it? Ice and powder - vastly different.

Here in Australia the snow is often wet in the late afternoon, and freezes overnight. Now try getting a UL peg out of the ice! Or a fabric bag...

I often use square anchors in OUR snow, but I carry an old Titanium knife to dig them out with! If I can find dead sticks - great, no worries.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Snow anchors on 10/04/2006 22:31:25 MDT Print View

I use the same system as Ryan Hutchins. From the very start of my trip I look for dead twigs 5 or 6 inches long, and take them with me. The key is to not tie the guyline to the twig, just loop around it, stamp the snow hard, then attach the loose end to a tied loop on the guyline. If I never see any twigs on the way in, I make my wife and kids stay outside and hold the lines.