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Denali Securing Your Tent

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Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby chickentikka » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:17 am

What do you guys recommend to secure your tents? (If it matters, I've got two tents: ev2 and a northface mountain 25).

Books and trip reports say snow stakes, but aren't exactly very specific about them. Would love a recommnedation as I have not found anything on amazon or backcountry.com that really impressed me or looked much different than the steaks that came with my tent.

I've also seen things like this:
Image

They look cool but heavy. Not sure I'd want to buy one for each guy line as well. Even 4 would seem like a lot.

Appreciate your advice and help.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby pvnisher » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:53 am

I use a variety of things for snow. If there's an approach and I've used trekking poles, but don't need them for summit day, I will bury and use my trekking poles. If below treeline I'll use sticks. I also have used a stuff sack packed with snow (guy line tied around it).
I also have a few 12" long X-stakes with a hole drilled in the middle, and these guys from Sierra Designs.
http://www.sierradesigns.com/p-109-snow-sand-stake.aspx
I've seen folks use a water bottle, too. Basically anything strong that you can tie a line to and bury.
I haven't been to Denali, but it seems like you wouldn't need those metal/cabled deadmen except for a big cook/group tent or something.

Dig a hole/slot for your chosen anchor, put the thing in, then pack snow on it and stomp it down (work-harden). SOmetimes I'll even pour a bit of water on it. By stomping on it you kinda squeeze some water out of the snow (like squeezing a snowball). When that freezes you'll have trouble getting it out in the morning, but it'll be stronger than your guyline.

If I'm not expecting any snow I'll generally use my shovel as an anchor for the point into the wind. That blade isn't going anywhere.

I used to use my ax and shovel as anchors, until they were frozen in so solid I couldn't get them out, and of course all my metal tools (ax and shovel) were buried! So if you use shovel or ax as an anchor, don't use both!
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby splattski » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:05 pm

I used the Mountain Hardware version of 'snow anchors' on Denali (and other places):
http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Snow-An ... lt,pd.html

When I was younger and cheaper, we used to bury plastic shopping bags and tie to the handles. But they tend to shred when you try to remove them, which violates the rules of No Trace.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:24 pm

chickentikka wrote:I've also seen things like this:
Image
.


That is a Deadman. You want snow stakes, which in the US are usually referred to as 'pickets' and in some Himalayan countries, fwiw, as 'snow bars'. Google 'MSR Coyote' to see the availability and prices. The middle length is the most popular, though the others have their uses, obviously, depending on just where you're going. They are also used as running pro by rope teams on suitable terrain, unlike deadmen.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby pvnisher » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:14 pm

Damien- The picture that chickentikka posted is of a deadman (fluke), sized down to make it better for tents. It's like the regular snow anchor ones, but smaller. I suppose it would still work for snow pro, but in the small wouldn't be ideal.
And snow stakes and pickets (like MSR Coyote) are different things.
You do not want to carry a quiver of pickets (or flukes) just to anchor your tent.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:03 pm

pvnisher wrote:Damien- The picture that chickentikka posted is of a deadman (fluke), sized down to make it better for tents. It's like the regular snow anchor ones, but smaller. I suppose it would still work for snow pro, but in the small wouldn't be ideal. 
And snow stakes and pickets (like MSR Coyote) are different things.
You do not want to carry a quiver of pickets (or flukes) just to anchor your tent.


Snow stakes and pickets are the same thing. Eg. Coyotes or the SMC or homemade version or whatever. No one suggested a 'quiver' of them, but two or four to add additional anchorage to a 2-4 man expedition tent is pretty common, especially if you don't have skis. This is in addition to the 8-10 regular tent pegs holding your tent down. For a snowy expedition like Denali those 8-10 pegs are best i they're the relatively wide aluminum kind, not the toothpicks that come with most tents.

Deadmen/flukes, of any size, are rarely used anywhere. Anything buried like that is a pita to dig out after a few days, and in the case of 17K camp on Denali, you may not be able to dig deep enough to bury one anyway.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby 96avs01 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:00 pm

splattski wrote:I used the Mountain Hardware version of 'snow anchors' on Denali (and other places):
http://www.mountainhardwear.com/Snow-An ... lt,pd.html


These work great.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby pvnisher » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:16 pm

Damien Gildea wrote:Snow stakes and pickets are the same thing. Eg. Coyotes or the SMC or homemade version or whatever. No one suggested a 'quiver' of them, but two or four to add additional anchorage to a 2-4 man expedition tent is pretty common, especially if you don't have skis. This is in addition to the 8-10 regular tent pegs holding your tent down. For a snowy expedition like Denali those 8-10 pegs are best i they're the relatively wide aluminum kind, not the toothpicks that come with most tents.

Deadmen/flukes, of any size, are rarely used anywhere. Anything buried like that is a pita to dig out after a few days, and in the case of 17K camp on Denali, you may not be able to dig deep enough to bury one anyway.


I think we're in agreement about the actual "thing", just the nomenclature. When I hear "snow stake", I picture the 1 inch wide, 12" long perforated stake which one uses for tent anchoring in the snow. But you're right, some call pickets, "stakes", too.

Flukes and deadmen are used frequently in Scotland and the UK where there isn't enough snow for a picket.

I did a quick google search and came up with this quote about pickets:
"Also known as "Pickets". Much used by Americans for belays in alpine/Himalayan situations but of dubious holding power compared with a Deadman"
http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Winter-Climbing-Equipment/Ice-Protection/Snow-Protection/Coyote-Snow-Stake-MSR-CP

Anyway, to each his own!
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby splattski » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:29 pm

If you get a day/days like we did on Denali where it blows 50MPH+ without let-up, you'll want a bunch of snow anchors, plus some of these:
http://www.backcountry.com/nite-ize-fig ... t-line-kit

Even behind a good snow wall, when the wind howls you'll want to guy your tent out nine ways from sunday. I used the snow anchors both on the ground and in the snow wall, then guyed out the fly in multiple directions. It really stabilized the tent and helped reduce the noise.
The lines were the best- no knots needed, never a slip, easy to adjust, and because they're held on by line tension, it's easy to slip them through the snow anchors without using biners or some such heavy, cold contraption.

My $.02
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby chickentikka » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:45 pm

Wow, thanks you guys rock. I don't feel embarrassed now asking the question as it does seem like there is a wide dispersion of opinions.

I guess I'll probably buy a bunch of pickets and maybe a snow anchor or two and just see what works. Looks like you guys can go long Amazon.Com this quarter.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby 96avs01 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:50 pm

The MH cloth pouch style snow/sand anchors will be much lighter than carrying pickets just to anchor your tent.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby chickentikka » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:59 pm

Yep, I'll bring those too.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby ScottyP » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:08 am

We used snow parachutes with great success. Also, poles, snow shoes and axe make good dead mans.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby Josh Lewis » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:12 am

pvnisher wrote:I also have used a stuff sack packed with snow (guy line tied around it).


This works much better than snow stakes. Just make sure the snow is well packed in.
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Re: Denali Securing Your Tent

Postby Kahuna » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:40 am

Simple.

As Damien stated, use these. They come in two lengths, 24 and 36":
Image

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/snowshoes ... ts/product


These can, should and will also be utilized for "Running Belays".
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