DIY snow anchors for tents

Discussion about making bushwalking-related equipment.

DIY snow anchors for tents

Postby telemarktim » Tue 13 Jul, 2021 2:57 pm

Hard alloy titanium wire can make excellent lightweight tent pegs (shown below) to use with lightweight backpacking tents.

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These pegs work well when camping on soil, but have inadequate holding strength when camping on snow, particularly when the air temperature is above freezing point.


If camping in trees, sticks can make excellent pegs with great holding power if they are put ‘T-bar’ style into a boot hole and covered with more snow and gently tamped down. If you choose or are forced to camp above the treeline, where the winds are the worst, an anchor made from the end of a soft drink can or plastic bottle or a small fabric bag can make a superb snow anchor.

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It can be buried in the snow in a T-slot that can be cut with the tail of skis (Fat telemark skis are best of course!) or a snow shovel. Alternatively, a ‘boot stomp hole’ can be made and filled in with kicked snow on top of the anchor. In all cases, gentle tamping with the boot will make an infinitely strong anchor. The strength of the hold of the anchor become apparent when it is time to pack up the next morning. The anchors require a good kicking to crush the snow to retrieve them.

The cord can be protected by lining the hole in the aluminium disk with an ‘eyelet’ that is made from the wick holders that are used to make tea-light-candles. I also punch a hole in some SS foil scrap and make small washers to go against the eyelet flange to prevent it from pulling through the aluminium. “A lovely little tinkering job to do, in front of the fire on a cold winter evening, in anticipation of going skiing.”

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These deep set anchors will even work well when there are strong winds that can rapidly melt the snow surface and expose normally strong and wide aluminium snow pegs. The cords on my snow anchors are long so that they can be set down deep. They have adjustment fittings and locks that allows it to pull down tightly on the tent guy cords.

Plastic anchors are another option and a melted hole in the disk makes the edges benign so that it will not cut the cord.

Image.

Lastly, for the ‘ultralighies’ and ‘ultracompacties’, little sewn bags of polyester (~4g from discarded knackered tents that abound in curbside rubbish) can also make similar snow anchors when filled with a compacted snowball and buried.

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This last option is a nice one to carry if you hope that you will never need to use them.

For more details please see:
https://timtinker.com/ultralight-snow-anchors/

Tim
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Re: DIY snow anchors for tents

Postby Bill P » Sat 24 Jul, 2021 9:35 pm

Brilliant Tim! I have some yoghurt tub lids that i intend to trial this winter.
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Re: DIY snow anchors for tents

Postby telemarktim » Sun 25 Jul, 2021 2:38 pm

Bill P wrote:Brilliant Tim! I have some yoghurt tub lids that i intend to trial this winter.

Hi Bill, I don't know what type of lids you propose to use, but I think harder stiffer plastic will work best. Please let me know how yours go. Tim
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Re: DIY snow anchors for tents

Postby andrewa » Sun 25 Jul, 2021 9:13 pm

Yep. Great post. Yoghurt lids would also be fine.

Im enjoying your innovative posts, Tim. Thanks,

Andrew
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