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Thread: Soil Anchors

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jsaults's Avatar
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    Soil Anchors

    I recall reading in another thread about a hanger who was looking for a secure ground / soil anchor for a hammock stand. Here is my solution:

    I have tried the old reliable three-stakes-in-line method that we all learned in scouting. But due to the angle (30 deg or so) of the diagonal line running to the monopod / bipod / tripod there is a lifting component on the stake nearest the support. I once woke up annd discovered that the two stakes nearest the hammock had been partially pulled from the ground.

    I reverted to a load-equalizing system that dates back to my climbing days. I use three big honkin plastic stakes of the type sold at Lowes or at Gander Mountain. I guess that the yellow Reliant stakes could be used, but they are harder to drive. An equalizing sling (minimum 12 feet long after being tied, preferably 20 feet) is strung as in the diagram shows. The sling is looped around the stakes and each of the three loops is clipped through the carabiner. This equalizes the stress on each stake.

    I use three stakes, but two or four could be used as well. Depends on your level of security I guess.

    No, this is not an ultralight system. I use it for campgrounds and parks where trees are lacking or local enforcement disallows tree-hanging.

    BTW, I am using bipods fashioned from 1" EMT conduit. As I said, not for backpacking!

    Jim
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Poppabear's Avatar
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    I can be a little thick in the head at times. I am having trouble getting a handle on your system. Do have any pictures of it in use? It would sure help my feeble mind.
    Terry

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jsaults's Avatar
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    Just remembered

    I do have one pic. Hope this makes it clearer.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Poppabear's Avatar
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    Jsaults, Thanks for the picture I really appreciate it. That sure helps me get my mind wrapped around you idea. It just so happen that I read your thread. Just after reading SwingingBagpiper's thread on a two pole portable hammock stand. Your soil anchor seems to address the problems with stakes slipping or not holding that SwingingBagpiper detailed in his thread. I believe that I am going to borrow both of your ideas and see what I can come up with a workable easy to set up portable hammock stand.
    Terry

  5. #5
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Just spoke to my engineering GF and reviewed TeeDee's lecture to me on stakes and guy lines.

    The upshot is that if you are having the guy line pull the stake up and out of the ground, then you have the wrong angles on the stake and the guy line.

    Stakes should be driven into the ground at such an angle that the angle the guy line makes with the stake is actually pulling the stake into the ground instead of out of the ground.

    Worst case should have the guy line at right angles to the stake. If the angle the guy line makes with the top of the stake is greater than 90 degrees, then the guy line will be pulling the stake into the ground instead of out of the ground. This requires longer guy lines than most people usually use.

    Also, the guy line should always be at ground level.

    The only thing you cannot cure with this is if the ground is too soft to retain the stake and the stake is essentially pulled through the ground and out. There are other cures for that - talk to anybody that camps in sand or loose snow.

  6. #6
    New Member matto's Avatar
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    I wonder if something like this would work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Truehart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiredFeet View Post
    Just spoke to my engineering GF and reviewed TeeDee's lecture to me on stakes and guy lines.

    The upshot is that if you are having the guy line pull the stake up and out of the ground, then you have the wrong angles on the stake and the guy line.
    Ok, that makes sense.

    Stakes should be driven into the ground at such an angle that the angle the guy line makes with the stake is actually pulling the stake into the ground instead of out of the ground.
    That makes sense, too, somewhat. If youíre pulling the stake into the ground what do you need the stake for?

    Worst case should have the guy line at right angles to the stake. If the angle the guy line makes with the top of the stake is greater than 90 degrees, then the guy line will be pulling the stake into the ground instead of out of the ground. This requires longer guy lines than most people usually use.
    OK, now youíve lost me. Are you talking about the inside or outside angle? Pictures would probably help, preferably edited with MS Paint . From what you just said, Iím seeing the guy line pulling the stake straight out of the ground and itís supposed to be doing the opposite? Also, Iím seeing shorter guy lines not longer.

    Also, the guy line should always be at ground level.
    What?

    The only thing you cannot cure with this is if the ground is too soft to retain the stake and the stake is essentially pulled through the ground and out. There are other cures for that - talk to anybody that camps in sand or loose snow.
    That makes sense.

    I realize that Iím most likely not seeing things correctly (99% sure thatís the case). Iím one of those visual/hands-on learners. Thatís why as an engineer I prefer to be in the plant than in a cube. I am capable of understanding verbal teaching. It just has to be stated in just the right order with just the right words.
    ~We all start at the bottom~

  8. #8
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    I think he is sayin that the angle between the stake and the guy line needs to be less than 90 degrees (inside) so that the force of the pull is in the direction of driving the stake into the ground. This is a concept that never ocurred to me but makes perfect sense.

    As far as loose ground like sand or snow, I have had good luck with SMC T-anchors. I set the rocks on top just in case, but they hold very well. In the snow, they set so well I had to dig them out with an ice axe.




  9. #9
    Senior Member Jsaults's Avatar
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    Clarification (I hope)

    I agree that the angle formed between the guy line (to the pole / bipod / tripod) and the stakes - viewed from horizontal - should be less than 90 degrees. A long stake certainly helps in loose ground and sand, and the ones I bought at Lowes taper from a point to their widest part at the head.

    Also, having the gut or strap as close to ground level minimizes the rotation on the stake. Just because the stake has a hole in the head doesn't mean that it should be employed.

    The proof of the pudding they say is in the eating. I have successfully used this load-equalizing anchor to offset the pull of the hammock, estimated at 300# based on the 30 degree angle of the guy lines,

    As I sail, the beauty of this anchor is that it places more or less equal tension on each stake. Yes, I realize that in the real world each stake does not withstand exactly 100#, but then there is that pudding thing. And every time I have used this anchor the pudding has tasted just fine.


    Jim

  10. #10
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't define my terminology !

    Looking at the stake and guy line from the side, you will see 2 angles between the stake and the guy line:

    1. one angle is measured from the guy line to the top portion of the stake which is above the guy line
    2. the second angle is measured from the guy line to bottom portion of the stake which is in the ground.


    The angles are supplementary, i.e., they add to 180 degrees.

    The first angle should be 90 degrees or greater.

    The second angle should be 90 degrees or less.

    With those angles, the friction between the guy line and the stake and the forces are pulling the stake into the ground.

    You want the guy line attached to the stake right at the ground. Think lever - with the guy line above ground level, the portion of the force on the stake from the guy line that is perpendicular to the stake has a lever arm to pull on the stake. The higher above ground level, the longer the lever arm for that portion of the force and the better the force can rotate the stake out of the ground. With the guy line right at ground level, the lever arm is essentially zero, not quite, but very close - TeeDee got into a lot of calculus here which "integrated the forces between the ground and the stake" to compute the pivot point for the ground forces on the stake (I know that is what he did because my engineering GF just said so - she said she could follow what he did, but couldn't reproduce it - a mathematical physicist's world view is just soooo very different )

    The worst possible guy line/stake arrangement:

    The stake is high out of the ground, the guy line is attached at the top of the stake, yielding the longest possible lever arm and the first angle above is less than 90 degrees so that the guy line is essentially pulling the stake up.

    I see people doing this all the time with those shepherds hook stakes. The stake pulls out with the first wind gust and they wonder why.

    Those nice cords attached to the tops of stakes are really meant for pulling the stake out of the ground and not to tie off to.

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