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Topic: Frozen Ground, Tent setup during the winter months< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 8:59 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK, you're on a winter backpacking trip and it comes time to setup your tent.  The ground is frozen solid like a brick and there is no snow cover to use to bury the tent stakes.   If you try driving stakes in the ground but it is like pounding them into a concrete tent platform.

So, what do you do, try using rocks, trees, etc. to tie the tent off???

Please share what you have done in this situation.  Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 9:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Three words Free standing tent.

Or yes rocks or logs would also work


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 10:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rocks and logs. Often a pile of rocks. Because they're on the surface, I often need to put quite a few to compare to a stake in the ground. I will also often make a wedge of a few logs and put the pile of rocks behind them in shifting winds. I've used this method in winds up to 60 mph with success. If I'm near trees, I can also lash to the base of one. That is why I often bring plenty of extra parachute cord in winter.

In winter around here, I wouldn't consider using a freestanding tent without staking it down. Way too often a major windstorm can kick up within just a few minutes out of the blue.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 11:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Freestanding helps a lot but like Tigger says, needs to be staked for security.

I have a major problem here in MN as we rarely have deep enough snow to use snow anchors and even when it is the snow is very "dry" so it does not hold well.

I use MSR Needle stakes often, just getting them an inch works fine. But they discontinued those. Once there is enough snow to take the sled I actually have a set of screwdrivers with hardened tips that I use. Going just a little way into the ice-hard ground works unbelievably well. And the handle makes it much easier to get them back out the next morning.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 6:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Maybe?

http://www.rei.com/product/725165/rei-snow-and-sand-tent-anchors

We dont' get THAT cold. And when we do, we don't go outside. At least not on purpose.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 7:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Stones/ branches/sandbags can be used to hold up a tent.
Something like this :

If only small stones are found just put a pile of them inside a stuff sack
You can also use your stakes to jam them in those rocks/branches.
Make sure the tie outs/guylines don't rub against a rough surface
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 7:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep.  Use a B.F.R.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 7:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I set up a MH Hammerhead 2 tent on a slab rock once on a ridge top in WV. It was the ONLY flat (relatively) ground I could find in the area. That night we had winds of up to 50mph or better. A couple friends of mine pitched their tent on the bald we were close to, several hundred yards from where I was camped down below the ridge. They had a MH Trango tent - a true 4 season mountaineering tent - and some of the guy lines broke with the force of the wind.

My tent set up used some decent size rocks, 15-30lbs or so, as anchors. About every hour I had to get up and pull the rocks to tighten up the lines because the whole mess kept walking across the slab I was on.

Advice if you are exposed and there might be heavy winds - make sure you anchor to something HEAVY or otherwise locked down to the ground (stump, root, branch frozen in a puddle or stuck deep in snow, etc).

Or, just get some real sturdy stakes that you can beat the snot out of and get them in the ground.... I'm thinking a big nail of some kind (steel, although heavy)?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2013, 8:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

One other thing, when I anticipate anchoring is less under my control I'll take an extra length of cord so I'll be able to reach whatever anchor points  I do manage to establish. There's plenty of times when where I want to or can set up my tent isn't all that conveniently located to where I can anchor it: that's when some extra "reach" is mighty appreciated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 1:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In the past when in this situation, I've found it useful to carry a single heavy duty "spike" nail.  With a rock you can usually drive the spike into frozen ground creating a hole that you can insert a regular tent stake in (I favor the longer MSR ground hog stakes) and then pound the dirt down in the hole around the stake to firm things up.  Repeat as necessary with each stake.  Generally works pretty well for me.  A little extra weight but worth it, IMO.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 7:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I carry a marking punch for metal.  It is thick, heavy and can punch a hole in rock if need be.  I use ti as Hikerjer does his nail.  I make a hole and then drive in a stake.  Depending on the size of the punch you use they can be pretty light.  I have never noticed the weight.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 8:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(LordTemplar @ Jan. 04 2013, 7:01 am)
QUOTE
I carry a marking punch for metal.  It is thick, heavy and can punch a hole in rock if need be.  I use ti as Hikerjer does his nail.  I make a hole and then drive in a stake.  Depending on the size of the punch you use they can be pretty light.  I have never noticed the weight.

OK so this got me thinking about how great of an idea this is. But I wondered if I could fine something in Ti that would work

I think i found it

Should work well.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 10:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rayestrella @ Jan. 03 2013, 11:17 am)
QUOTE
I use MSR Needle stakes often, just getting them an inch works fine. But they discontinued those.

Wow I didn't know they were discontinued.  Thanks for the heads up.  I just ordered a dozen on eBay, because they are my favorites.

I've never had any problem driving them into frozen ground.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 10:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(eggs @ Jan. 04 2013, 8:05 am)
QUOTE

(LordTemplar @ Jan. 04 2013, 7:01 am)
QUOTE
I carry a marking punch for metal.  It is thick, heavy and can punch a hole in rock if need be.  I use ti as Hikerjer does his nail.  I make a hole and then drive in a stake.  Depending on the size of the punch you use they can be pretty light.  I have never noticed the weight.

OK so this got me thinking about how great of an idea this is. But I wondered if I could fine something in Ti that would work

I think i found it

Should work well.

hmmmmm...that looks interesting. Let me know how it works out for ya.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 11:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rayestrella @ Jan. 03 2013, 11:17 am)
QUOTE
I have a major problem here in MN as we rarely have deep enough snow to use snow anchors and even when it is the snow is very "dry" so it does not hold well.

Around here I typically deal with frozen ground and no snow cover, so unlike your avatar a sled isn't going to help with the heavier gear.

I've used the equivalent of needle stakes in the past for the tent. The fly I can usually stake out to roots, rocks, and trees.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2013, 10:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TrailTromper @ Jan. 04 2013, 9:57 am)
QUOTE

(rayestrella @ Jan. 03 2013, 11:17 am)
QUOTE
I use MSR Needle stakes often, just getting them an inch works fine. But they discontinued those.

Wow I didn't know they were discontinued.  Thanks for the heads up.  I just ordered a dozen on eBay, because they are my favorites.

I've never had any problem driving them into frozen ground.

Vargo also makes some nail stakes:

http://www.vargooutdoors.com/Titanium-Nail-Stake-Ultralight


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 05 2013, 6:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(eggs @ Jan. 04 2013, 8:05 am)
QUOTE
OK so this got me thinking about how great of an idea this is. But I wondered if I could fine something in Ti that would work

I think i found it

Should work well.

I wouldn't be surprised if spindle uses one of those to knit and conduct rituals with.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 05 2013, 7:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(STICK @ Jan. 04 2013, 10:38 pm)
QUOTE

(TrailTromper @ Jan. 04 2013, 9:57 am)
QUOTE

(rayestrella @ Jan. 03 2013, 11:17 am)
QUOTE
I use MSR Needle stakes often, just getting them an inch works fine. But they discontinued those.

Wow I didn't know they were discontinued.  Thanks for the heads up.  I just ordered a dozen on eBay, because they are my favorites.

I've never had any problem driving them into frozen ground.

Vargo also makes some nail stakes:

http://www.vargooutdoors.com/Titanium-Nail-Stake-Ultralight

I saw those on the Ti site I was on and they are a few cents cheaper

Ti Stakes


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 05 2013, 6:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

TrailScouter

If I'm going to be camping where I know I can't use stakes, I bring long guy lines for stake out points. This past summer, for example, we spent 5 nights on the ice of the Malaspina Glacier .. and stakes don't go into glaciers. But guy lines, some big hefty rocks, and no problems. I used a Shangri La 5 for the cook tent, and tied it off to rocks each night. Tents were all free standing, but still anchored out to rocks. Big rocks.

Cheers

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