Toughstake in winter use
I will start a rolling review about Toughstakes in winter use.
(I think the Review department is for Hammock reviews - It is under 'Hammock gear'-title - and so I did put this here. If I'm wrong please move this to the review section. Maybe the review section should be It's own title and under that there could be sections for different kind of gear)
My initial curiosity rose from the fact that these normal old style snow anchors are bit cumbersome to use.
The main problem with these is the digging involved. Usually the first installation does not succeed - the anchor point is bit off - and then the stake needs to be dug out and in again. Multiply this to four or ten times and it is lots of extra digging involved in simple tarp hanging. And if snow is very powdery then it is not so easy to get a good fixation with broken structure of the snow bank.
I reasoned that with Toughstake-peg I could leave the digging and just push the stake in and if in wrong place it is easy to do again.
I was partially right put not totally satisfied. But during my DangerBird testing recently I did come up a great innovation and made a decision to write this review. And I did order more Toughtstakes also, currently I have only four of them.
But it is not review time yet. More field testing will be needed.
In the mean while I would like to ask others: Have You used these and what is the success rate? Have anyone had those stainless steel versions? I'm personally interested about snow use, but sand is of course the other place to use these - any luck in that?
The medium size Toughstake seems to be at least equal but probably better compared to the old style snow beg (used as a dead man anchor style) in fixation force.
Tought stake: 13,5 inch; 4,2 oz (119 g); Guy wire weight 0,88 oz (30 g)
Hilleberg: 12 inch; 1,8 oz (50 g)
So the Toughtstake is triple the weight - is it worth it. We will see... ;)
I agree having to reposition deadman anchors sucks. SMC use to make tent snow flukes you can push into place with an ice axe. Similar to these. http://smcgear.net/tent-stakes/t-anchor-4-pack.html They were too pricey for me to experiment with, maybe that's why they stopped production.
The tough stakes look like they would work with the type of snow we get in the Cascades.
Looking at the site I realized they use the same concept as the pickets I use Mountaineering. http://www.yatesgear.com/climbing/ice/index.htm
I'm gonna order a four pack. Thanks for sharing!
Once I decided to go stakeless, my perspective completetely changed. Using, finding, creating other tie off points becomes second nature. Less things to carry and lose is a bonus. In the snow, it is even easier to create a dead man anchor with a log. Others use manufactured items to bury, but run the risk of losing them.
This in one possibility. But I do not like the idea to cut several tree branches to be used as a tarp tie off points - daily. When there is 3 feet (or more) snow and ice there is no access to ground and already dead trees which lie there.
Originally Posted by DuctTape
There is also living plants, bushes and small trees inside snow. Those could be used as a tie off points, but they will be damaged.
If selecting tarp site very carefully one can use surrounding bigger trees, but usually there are no such place that all guy lines could be tied to trees. And selecting camp site purely for surrounding trees makes the site selection very limited. There are more important reasons for site selection: Wind direction, water source, view... to name few.
And then there is those times when one needs to put up shelter for example on lakes ice, no trees, no nothing to use. Only skis and ski poles, but after that You can not move around in that 3 feet of snow. So using skis and such equipment is no good solution either.
Skiing and pulling the pulk in heavy snow without any trail is also very hard. After days work building the camp should be as easy as possible. And there is always the possible emergency situation, no ability to use time and effort for log hunting.
Summa summarum: "Stakeless" is fine option, but not for me and not for those trips I plan to do.
I agree it may not be for everyone, but one does not need to cut branches. Winter sees a lot of dead branches to fall. There is plenty of dead and down sticking up out of the snow. When one gets good at locating firewood in the deep snow, it is the same thing. Takes little time when one is used to it. Happy hanging.
You are probably right, I spent too little time in the woods and too much time testing gear in my garden. :( It is my constant grief, but I'm gradually trying to change that. At this point my philosophy is that I try to make hanging and hiking as easy as possible in the hope that I can do it more. And hopefully at some point my wife would join me too. :mellow:
Originally Posted by DuctTape
After I posted, I noticed your location. I wondered if a difference might be in our forests. Some trees tend to drop branches more often. Some forests are more mixed species. etc... Anyway, I have a similar philosophy as you. It is all about the enjoyment. I am also hoping my wife will eventually join me as well; I am not very hopeful though. She tells me not to hold my breath. :(
Originally Posted by voivalin