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Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground....
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Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.... on 09/08/2011 10:37:25 MDT Print View


I have a lightheartgear solo non-free-standing tent which I recently took the the Sierras. I generally like the tent, but found on several occasions that I had difficulty setting it up because I could not get my (very lightweight Ti shepard hook) stakes in the ground. Yeah, I guess I could get beefier stakes, but I'd like to avoid that. In any case, there were areas where, I think, even a stronger stake would not help.

REI makes Snow and Sand Tent Anchors, but these are not lightweight.

I'd appreciate hearing from people who have found good (ultralight) ways of dealing with this problem.



Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.... on 09/08/2011 11:07:47 MDT Print View

You can tie your guylines to some small tree branches, and then place big rocks on the branches to hold them in place. It is a lot easier to tie to a branch than it is to a rock.


Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.... on 09/08/2011 11:08:44 MDT Print View

Use some cord to tie off to large rocks, etc..., though the method above can work fine if the branch is right-sized, and the rock is movable yet heavy enough to provide a stable anchor.

Edited by hknewman on 09/08/2011 11:10:11 MDT.

Eli .
(Feileung) - F
. on 09/08/2011 11:19:53 MDT Print View

I've also seen people put plastic bags on large rocks and tie off to the

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.... on 09/08/2011 11:19:55 MDT Print View

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
all depends... on 09/08/2011 12:39:44 MDT Print View

If the ground is not completely rock, adding some water to soften the ground and then put the stakes in will sometimes do trick.

Dan Magdoff
(highsierraguy) - F

Locale: Northern California
staking out in hard ground on 09/08/2011 12:42:41 MDT Print View

I do most of my backpacking in the sierras and alot of it is above tree line and camping on granite. To stake out my double rainbow which is a non-free standing tent, I simply get a piece of cord for each corner of the tent. Tie it to the tent with a bowline, and then tie a taughtline hitch on the other end which creates a big sliding loop, that wont slide when force is applied. Get a heavy rock for each corner and slip the loop around it and slight the knot to tighten the slack up. If you are in the sierras, there should be no problem finding a few good sized rocks anywhere you go. Make sure the line leading from the rock to the tent comes from the bottom of the rock as opposed to the top of the rock. Hope that helps!

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Ti on 09/09/2011 00:16:43 MDT Print View

Ti has quite a bit of springy-ness to it, so you can grab a rock and try to pound those ti hook stakes it. It's not that hard to tell when you are approaching the strength limits of the stake and risking bending one. Normally you'll quickly get a feel for how hard you can pound (and it's surprisingly high with most ti-hooks) and then you'll be able to tap them into the ground with a little patience. It's amazing a little tapping with a rock makes...the stake just weaves it's way into the ground between the rocks.

Justin R
(5150Bronco) - F

Locale: Bay Area, Ca.
Options on 12/13/2011 01:00:37 MST Print View

Great info. I am looking to do the lost coast and appreciate the ideas.

I like the stick and rock on top idea, but not sure how that would hold up. This idea is great though and similar ideas are cool. Like filling bag or something with water?

I am looking to figure out how to stake out 9 guy lines in sand for my next trip.

Any more suggestions would be great! Thanks.

David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Sand stakes on 12/13/2011 01:52:44 MST Print View

How about some of those wooden paint stir sticks for sand stakes? Light and free or almost free at the hardware store. You could sharpen the end if you wanted to get fancy. Otherwise, just use found sticks for deadman anchors. Take about a 14 inch stick, loop a line around the middle and bury it. I use longish shoe laces for the loop line and tie em the same way. When leaving, just pull the shoe lace out and leave the stick buried. Works in snow too.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Re: Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.... on 12/13/2011 03:30:31 MST Print View

Just use a deadman. Easy and it works well. See my post and Steven McAllister's post in the above thread for an example of what that is.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Re: Staking out a non-free-standing tent on very hard ground.... on 12/13/2011 06:29:05 MST Print View

I was concerned about this when I went to the Sierra's so took a free-stander - I like to camp high and not in trees....hence the 'bushes and shrub tie-off methods won't play.

If you use walking poles just 'de-section' them, thread through peg loops/guy's then weight with boulders; that works pretty well as long as you don't have too many pegging points to cover.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
nm on 12/13/2011 06:52:00 MST Print View

should not post before coffee.

vvv thanks Marc vvv

Edited by kthompson on 12/13/2011 12:58:03 MST.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: somebody teach me how to do those cool links on 12/13/2011 07:00:44 MST Print View

Try this

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Going stakeless on 12/13/2011 07:09:49 MST Print View

One thing, round stakes verses stakes with fins will help greatly with removal once they are in the ground. Twisting the stake (easiest with hook stakes) will help break the freeze.

Edited by justaddfuel on 12/13/2011 08:48:23 MST.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Going stakeless on 12/13/2011 08:05:12 MST Print View

how many times are people going to post the same links....

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Beefier stakes - REALLY on 12/13/2011 09:28:03 MST Print View

Just get some MSR Groundhogs. They are VERY strong and weigh little more than your Ti stakes. I've used them for years and haven't destroyed one, despite pounding on them with rocks.

Plus they hold well in softer ground & forest loam.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Options on 12/13/2011 13:27:46 MST Print View

> I like the stick and rock on top idea, but not sure how that would hold up.
It works fine. Used it many times.
In bad weather, you just add more rocks ...
Yes, you do need some good length strings on the corners so they can stretch out far enough to take lots of rocks, but that's a few grams at the worst.


Justin R
(5150Bronco) - F

Locale: Bay Area, Ca.
Re: Beefier stakes - REALLY on 12/13/2011 22:14:52 MST Print View

do you have a link?


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
In sand use a deadman on 12/13/2011 22:45:53 MST Print View

For your sandy Lost Coast trip, do a deadman. Stretch out your guyline. Near the end, dig a trench in the sand perpendicular to the guyline. Bury a stick with the guyline tied in the middle. For a small tent and slightly wet sand, a 12-inch stick 6 inches down is plenty, but do one and test it in your conditions.

The same idea can be scaled up. You can hold a 2000-pound boat in the current if you bury a log.