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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Staking out a tarp in snow

    I might get a chance to hang this weekend. The thing is, I've never been out when there's snow on the ground. As a result I'm not quite sure how to go about staking out my tarp. Do I dig a hole and try and put the stakes in the frozen ground? Or can they hold in the snow? Or is there some other way? I have groundhog stakes.

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    wildewudu's Avatar
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    I use the SMC snow stakes for staking into snow. They work great and I've been using them for years in deep mountain snow. I got mine originally from REI several years ago, and it looks like REI is selling a new hi vis version:

    http://tinyurl.com/cmbhekf

    Alternatively, you could stuff snow into a stuff sack, tie your guy lines to the sack, and then bury it. A stick/branch buried sideways or snow shovels, or whatever you've got that will stay buried could work.

    I've tried all the above and they all work great, though I do enjoy the convenience of the snow stakes. They slip into the snow easily enough and you don't even have to tie a knot with them. Just slip a loop into one of the holes then pull the looped end over the top of the stake and pull. Makes it a simple affair to "untie" for packing.

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    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Branches buried horizontally in the snow works very well as long as the snow is deep enough. When you bury the branch just tighten the tarp lines a bit and let the snow set for 20 minutes or so then you can tension them.

    bill
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Looks like I'll probably need to go with the sticks. I'm not positive how much snow is on the ground. The NOAA map looks like 18+in. I'm hoping to get set up while it's still above freezing and once the temp drops I would think the snow would set up nice. I'm just hoping I'll be able to get whatever back out of the snow in the morning.

    I'm trying to picture the bury, set, tension process. I'm used to tying to the stake and then putting that in the ground at the desired tension. The tensioning later is the part that is escaping me at the moment.

    Worst case scenario, how hard is it to drive a stake into frozen ground?

  5. #5
    DuctTape's Avatar
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    Been using sticks, saplings, branches for years now. Nice not carrying stakes. Another trick is to freeze the branch in when there is little snow is to pour some water onto the branch and let that set.

  6. #6
    renegadepilgrim's Avatar
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    I use my snowshoes and trekking poles...but then again, I've been snowcamping in at least 2 feet or more of snow this winter, so there's more options. I also keep forgetting my stakes, which is why I have had to improvise.
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  7. #7
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Staking out a tarp in snow

    Don't tie the line to the stick that you bury. Just loop it around the backside of the stick and bring the tag end up above the snow. Then tie a tautline hitch above the snow.

    This method will pay off if the snow pack turns to solid ice overnight, you won't be able to get to the stick but you can untie the hitch and extract your line.

    The same thing applies to a parachute anchor.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mouseskowitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    Don't tie the line to the stick that you bury. Just loop it around the backside of the stick and bring the tag end up above the snow. Then tie a tautline hitch above the snow.

    This method will pay off if the snow pack turns to solid ice overnight, you won't be able to get to the stick but you can untie the hitch and extract your line.

    The same thing applies to a parachute anchor.
    Thanks. That's kind of what I was thinking but wasn't sure.

  9. #9
    hikingdad's Avatar
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    Depending how much snow there will be you might have better luck with some really big nails/spikes from the hardware store. This is a trick shown to me by CryOTheWild on a few different trips were the ground was frozen and there wasn't too much snow. Just pound them into the frozen ground....works really great.

    I'm not sure what they are actually called, but they are probably 8-9" long and 1/2" in diameter.

  10. #10
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouseskowitz View Post
    Looks like I'll probably need to go with the sticks. I'm not positive how much snow is on the ground. The NOAA map looks like 18+in. I'm hoping to get set up while it's still above freezing and once the temp drops I would think the snow would set up nice. I'm just hoping I'll be able to get whatever back out of the snow in the morning.

    I'm trying to picture the bury, set, tension process. I'm used to tying to the stake and then putting that in the ground at the desired tension. The tensioning later is the part that is escaping me at the moment.

    Worst case scenario, how hard is it to drive a stake into frozen ground?
    Looks like you'll have enough snow. Don't worry about it, its a simple process. Just another tool in the toolbox. A piece of a branch about a foot long will do.
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

    www.birchsidecustomwoodwork.com

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