Staking/Anchoring a Tent in Winter

12:09 p.m. on November 9, 2009 (EST)
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63 forum posts

I will be headed to the Adirondacks in December, and I was wondering what I should consider for staking my tent. As of right now, I just have the standard tent stakes. Should I invest in snow stakes, snow anchors, or just improvise deadmen if necessary?

Thanks,

Brendan

12:34 p.m. on November 9, 2009 (EST)
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32 forum posts

A light-weight and cheap alternative is to get a pack of mesh-bags and fill them with snow, bury and stamp them down as anchors.

10:23 a.m. on November 10, 2009 (EST)
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352 forum posts

Tent stakes in snow don't hold unless you bury them deadmen style. Parachute anchors work very well and are easy to make, just take a 36 inch square piece of fabric and tie a rope to the four corners. After that it's just a matter a stomping your boot in the snow and burying the parachute. Very effecive, light, cheap and packable. Stuff sacs work very well too.


7:54 p.m. on November 11, 2009 (EST)
MODERATOR
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Depends on the snow. I have used snow stakes sold by REI and they hold pretty well in hard snow. SMC makes small snow flukes that work well, according to someone I know who has them. My tent is freestanding, so staking it down isn't a big issue.

10:08 p.m. on November 11, 2009 (EST)
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1,195 forum posts

Franc has a good post and shows tent anchoring in some real snow. It's something I've never had to do here in the southeast and in the mountains of NC and TN. Even in 2-3 feet of snow, I just build up a sweat by clearing the snow off the ground with gloved hands and then set up. In a bad winter windstorm, though, stake type is pretty important.

** The "shepherd's crook" stake will spin in a high wind and release the guyline, this I learned the hard way in a Hilleberg Nammatj tent when an all night windstorm bent a tent pole.

** The big nail-type stakes(Pro Pegs), are much better for winter winds and camping, and they can be hammered in and won't spin. Sometimes getting them out can be rough.

** The standard procedure in high wind is to place a big rock over each stake, this will keep almost any kind of stake in the ground.

10:27 p.m. on November 11, 2009 (EST)
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352 forum posts

Even with a freestanding tent a nice trick is to put a line-tensionning hitch at the tent attachment point. Then you can bury the anchors loose in the snow and if the wind picks up later you just poke your hands out of the tent and cinch everything tight. That way you're anchors will have time to freeze solid in the snowpack.

I used to use my skis as pickets but i delaminated one when it hit a rock so i'm reluctant to try again.

October 2, 2014
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