60 Second Bomber Tent Anchors in Snow

| July 22, 2009

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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Category: 02 Gear, Tips & Technique

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (2)

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  1. Charlie says:

    In quite varied conditions in the Cascades, we’ve had good luck simply deadmanning consolidated pieces of snow into consolidated snow. Most of the time, it takes the adze of an axe to get the rope out of the snow in the morning. The simple addition of a deadfallen twig can add stability before the rope freezes in. Biners work well as deadmen in the right snow as well.

    I always back it up with a few real stakes/skis/axes for some of the lines, especially if we expect any meaningful weather.

  2. Polly says:

    Nice video. I thought a BMD as a tent stake was always the best bet.

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