Winter tent stakes
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John S.
(jshann) - F
re: family and kids line on 10/05/2006 10:08:39 MDT Print View

funny schtuff

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Re: Winter tent stakes on 10/05/2006 21:36:39 MDT Print View

Oh, I forgot to mention, when you make your kids sit outside and hold the guylines, you first must duct tape their mouths shut. Otherwise, all you will hear all night is, "Daddy, can we come in now?" "I'm cold!" "Daddy, my feet are numb." Children can be so inconsiderate of adults trying to get a little shut-eye.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Winter Tent Stakes on 10/15/2006 18:42:30 MDT Print View

I use sprinkler risers, drilled to accept some cord. They are 6" long and work well in the dense snow we have here in the Sierra. They might not work as well in lighter snow. The ridges really hold well. They do weigh 0.8oz with string but at $.50 they are cheap.Snow Stake

Johnathan White
(johnatha1) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 11/11/2006 21:54:22 MST Print View

I have used the Vargo Ti Snow Stakes and returned them the same week. Although they are light, they were so small I could not see them holding up to much. When I used them, even the next morning in the teens on 15' of snow, they pulled out with almost no effort. I suppose they would be good just to keep the fly taught off of the tent inner walls but, nothing else. I bought the SMC snow stakes the next week.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 11/11/2006 22:58:39 MST Print View

Hello all,

In Washington, our snow is highly variable but tends to be wet and deep. I swear by SMC T Anchors- http://www.smcgear.net/products.asp?cat=4&pid=56
I use Aircore Pro Dyneema for the cord. I also use SMC stakes deadman style and carry them in a silnylon stuffsack that I also use as a deadman. Add in ice axes and I'm good to go. I've tried the Sierra Designs Snow Stakes but out of all of them, the SMC T anchors are the easiest to place, the easiest to remove in frozen snow, and are totally bomber (they've held solid in dicey snow in over 70mph winds). I LOVE these things! At one ounce each, they aren't the lightest but they'll always be placed in my most critical placements.

Can't WAIT for the winter- it's snowing in the Cascades right now!

Doug

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 11/12/2006 13:34:01 MST Print View

Another vote of confidence for the T-Anchors. They're expensive, but I've found nothing else that holds as well, nor that is as easy to place.

I put loops of spectra line through them, then girth-hitch them to tie-outs on shelters. Ryan's addition of mini-carabiners is a fine idea as well.

Edited by slnsf on 11/12/2006 13:36:19 MST.

G Patrick
(trailgoon) - F

Locale: SoCal
stuff sacks on 12/18/2006 02:09:19 MST Print View

hey,
don't know if you still care, but we use a bunch of sil nylon stuff sacks. fill them with snow, wrap your guy lines around them with a hitch and bury them. back fill the hole, stomp it, wait 15 minutes and they don't budge.

greg the trailgoon
SoCal boy

Job 38:22

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: stuff sacks on 12/18/2006 02:15:05 MST Print View

> we use a bunch of sil nylon stuff sacks. fill them with snow, wrap your guy lines around them with a hitch and bury them. back fill the hole, stomp it, wait 15 minutes and they don't budge.
Well, ys, but imagine the quite common situation where the snow is a little wet in the late afternoon and freezes overnight. How on earth do you get the bags out in the morning? Cary a serious iceaxe and snow shovel?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Winter tent stakes on 12/30/2006 13:43:32 MST Print View

Why can't aluminum tin slightly bent in the shape of the SMC T-anchors with some holes knocked in be used? I know I know...the metal fatigue or weakness of aluminum. Why would that matter when it's buried one foot down in snow that becomes rock after it's compacted (depends on snow type)? It seems the metal strength is less important than having some surface area with holes so the snow can help it stay in place.

Edited by jshann on 12/30/2006 13:47:14 MST.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 12/30/2006 18:38:27 MST Print View

I have been thinking the same thing, or kind of thing John. I am going to try the four corners of a gallon milk bottle, and went to OSH to see what they had in a commercial grade aluminim or light weight item that might secure a tent guy. Found some, will report later. I am thinking of trying super light tent stake to attach the guyline to and poking them through pieces of old aluminum pie pan or the plastic milk bottle corners.

Edited by bdavis on 12/30/2006 18:45:37 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Winter tent stakes on 12/30/2006 19:28:17 MST Print View

Small tough plastic cups with holes in the bottom. Yogurt cups? Let us know your results.

I also thought about half inch wood dowel cut to six inch segments and used as deadman anchors, similar to a stick. I'd leave them, but that ain't LNT I guess.

Edited by jshann on 12/30/2006 19:34:47 MST.

eric levine
(ericl) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Re: snow anchors on 01/25/2007 20:00:29 MST Print View

I tried the Ursalite carabiners with some poly spectra guylines (EZC line) this year and it's superb! Quick and easy, and not enough extra weight to cause guilt.

Eric Parsons
(EricP) - F

Locale: Alaska
anchors on 01/29/2007 10:38:52 MST Print View

Homemade stakes work great. I got a 10ā€™ piece of thin aluminum angle at home depot, sawed it into 1ā€™ pieces, drilled a hole in the middle (for deadman style) and at top (stake style) two loops of P-cord. Maybe not the lightest but dirt cheap.

In Alaska we are pretty much always carry shovels so removing deadman fabric anchors is a no brainer. Even very small pieces will hold a lot of force. I used cordura and 3/4 webbing in the past but want to see how Si nylon and p-cord will hold up. Iā€™m pretty sure my beat up shovel blade will shred them quickly.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: "Winter tent stakes" on 01/29/2009 17:03:50 MST Print View

I picked up a 4 pack of SMC T-anchors and plan on making my own additional stakes from some thin aluminum sheet. I have a few questions:

Does it matter which direction you face the SMC T-anchors? That is bend side pointing toward the tent like:

> ---- TENT (think this is how SMC pictures the config)

or:

< ---- TENT

Also, SMC recommends 3-4mm thick cord, which seems unnecessarily thick. How thin have you gone? and what type of cord did you use?

Thanks!

Edited by brianjbarnes on 01/29/2009 17:04:52 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Winter Tent Stakes - Why??? on 01/29/2009 19:46:04 MST Print View

I'm sorry - you can ALWAYS find a rock or a stick for a deadman. Really.

This is a web-site dedicated to lightweight backbpacking, right? If you truly wanna save weight, take no stakes at all - zero. Traveling in a snowy environment does NOT require a commercial stake of anykind. Sticks and rocks and some piece of your unused gear will ALWAYS work - - even in faceted snow, you just need to wait a little longer.


The one exception is huge glacial ice fields. I camp for 30-days in a row on big alaskan glaciers and I use ICE instead of commercial snow-stakes. If I can't find ice, I bury tiny stuff sacks full of snow.

Please - read this article:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/ditch_your_stakes.html

Edited by mikeclelland on 01/29/2009 19:58:55 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Winter Tent Stakes - Why??? on 01/29/2009 20:08:32 MST Print View

> you can ALWAYS find a rock or a stick for a deadman.
In fine mild sunny winter weather this may well be so. But what about here?
Snowy River valley, snow
Please remember that we could see for maybe 2 yards in the storm the evening before this morning. We had to feel our way by walking around to find a level spot. Just how long should we have spent looking (quite hopelessly) for stick and rocks?

Ice? None around, just half-frozen snow and spindrift. And a 50 mph wind.

> some piece of your unused gear will ALWAYS work
A nice idea if you have lots of unused gear. We don't. Most every bit of gear we had was used that night.

The next night was spent on a saddle on the top of the Range in a wind which was getting over 80 mph at times. Rocks? Sticks? One jests.

Different places, different needs.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 01/29/2009 20:09:42 MST.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
winter stakes on 01/29/2009 20:39:13 MST Print View

I've worked 30-day expeditions in alaska for a decade, and I've worked as a guide out of talkeetna, during all that time I've experienced some horendous weather, and the small stuff sacks work perfectly for holding a tent down in all kinds of snow.

I will add that I am working mountaineering courses, and we have a LOT of available gear to burry.

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: RE: "Winter tent stakes" on 01/29/2009 21:01:55 MST Print View

Brian -

>--tent is the recommended configuration for the T-anchors, but I've used them both ways and they've been rock solid regardless.

I've been using Kelty Triptease for the attachment loop and have had no problems so far.

Agreed that sticks, ice, rocks, and sacks can make fine anchors and save weight...but I sure like the ease and effectiveness of the T-anchors. I don't mind carrying the extra weight as a trade-off for savings in time and peace of mind.

Edited by slnsf on 01/29/2009 21:02:55 MST.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: winter stakes on 01/29/2009 23:14:54 MST Print View

Mike,

I tried the stuff sacks last winter for a crappy windy campsite in warm temps where my plates were pulling/melting out. They worked great. They were pretty big sacks though (tent and mat size)

How small do you think you can go?

Rod

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: winter stakes on 01/30/2009 02:25:17 MST Print View

> I am working mountaineering courses, and we have a LOT of available gear to bury

There's the big difference in styles, and needs.

Sue and I travel by ourselves, with no extra gear. When we pitch our tent in the snow the weather is often poor, there may not be anything around us immediately useful, we are tired and hungry and low on energy, and it is late and getting rather cold. I don't think we have ever camped anywhere near another group: we have to be self-sufficient.

There have been times when Sue has helped me stamp out a platform while shivering and poorly coordinating. OK, we are pushing it a bit fine at times, but we think we know what our limits are. I make sure we can get that tent up fast and Sue inside it into shelter. So for us, a handful of good snow stakes is the optimal choice.

But for other people, other styles, under other conditions ...

Cheers

PS: if you are just starting out in the snow, DON'T push your limits! Play safe. We did too, for many years.