In general, tents are only as secure as their anchors. In the past, I’ve used all sorts of tent stakes including a crop of sawed off ski pole tips, ice axe shafts and sections of tomato stakes. While skis, poles and pickets make great anchors, when you pull them up to use them for the day, there’s nothing left holding the tent down. Bummer.
After accidentally leaving some of the doily little 6″ aluminum stakes in my tent one time, I discovered that while they don’t work at all when they are pounded in like nails, they work really well when clove or girth hitched and buried as mini deadman. The stakes are attached to the tent via a loop of thin accessory cord, which unlike buried stuff sacks or fabric deadmen, can take a direct hit with a shovel. After a few hours of setting up, these little units become VERY solid in the snowpack, especially if they are set when it is warm, and then the temps drop. Fer’get it – they aren’t going anywhere. By attaching the accessory cord to the tent with a Trucker’s Hitch, you can keep tensioning the tent as it settles.
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