Aug 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm #1293183
I know I can use rocks to hold it up if the ground can't support stakes, but it sounds like a whole lot of hassle. I might just go with a bivy or something. Does anyone have input or experience?Aug 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm #1904416
A bivvy can be the easy way out but good luck with that if it starts to rain.(that is rain not drizzle)
People tend to be reluctant to do home tests (and I will never know why…) but see how you get on changing clothes inside one .
By that I mean getting out of your wet/dirty clothes and into the sleeping bag visualising rain coming down on you.
Another way is to look at tents that need a minimal amount of stakes to stand up .
That would also eliminate (for me) "freestanding" tents that need a minimum of 8 to 12 to function.
FrancoAug 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm #1904425
I've used rocks for pitching tarps several times. It's not bad. Give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes to find rocks and girth hitch cord around them. I use #1 Nite Ize biners to connect the girth-hitched rocks to my shelter. Always worked well for me. No complaints.Aug 21, 2012 at 6:11 am #1904465
Rocks work fine and, if you're someplace where stakes won't go in, there will likely be rocks laying about. Heck, in some places (ie windy), you may want to use rocks, anyway.Aug 21, 2012 at 6:12 am #1904466
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
My UL Brother-in-law Dave does not even bring stakes on most trips in the Sierra for his Sublite Sil (Contrail before that). He has 3-4 ft lines tied to each stake point and uses rocks, wood or bushes.
I bring stakes but in my stake kit are 4 ea 4 ft pieces of Spectra line for times I can't get a stake to hold.Aug 21, 2012 at 9:10 am #1904513
@bookLocale: Northern California
I've been pleasantly surprised at how well and how easy rocks work with stakes in the Sierra. Seems like there's always plenty of rocks in granite areas. I use a Big Agnes Fire Creek tent so there's plenty of staking involved too! I mostly get as taut and solid a pitch as when driving stakes into the ground. Usually in these situations it's several rock stakes and several drive stakes in a single pitch. No problemo.Aug 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm #1904699
I make a distinction for my own purposes between ground that is funky for stakes – has too many rocks in the soil – and just plain slabs. On funky ground, I can usually get some stakes in. On a slab, obviously none. I like to camp on slabs – I like the nice clean surface, and the usual benches that accompany the slabs make a nice kitchen/dining room. I agree that it's a hassle to haul enough rocks onto the slab to anchor a bunch of stakes – and I usually have had to dig up rocks, as the loose ones sitting around are not usually big enough. So for slabs, I tend to like a tent that needs minimal staking and does not depend on the stakes to keep it up, just to keep it from blowing away.Aug 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm #1904707
@billwangLocale: SF Bay Area
I have had good luck with a small stick – like the size of a foot long hotdog. I loop the normal tent stake loop around it and then pile rocks both sides of the stick. For some reason the friction of the stick on a slab with rocks on top is much better than just finding a rock. Also it seems to cause less abrasion on the rope than big rocks directly on the tent. Here is photo from a few days ago. I had two such "deadman" anchors on the near side of the cuben haven – one for the vestibule and one from the hiking pole tip.Aug 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm #1904710
This works for me: fix ball bungee chords, the looped kind, to the eyes at each corner of the tent. In a situation that you need an anchor point but can't stake, stretch and wrap the bungee loop around a rock. Makes anchoring quick and easy so long as there are some properly sized rocks around.
I leave the chords permanently attached at each of the four corners of my freestanding tent, just in case. Set up the tent when I'm about ready for bed, then if necessary stake or wrap the bungee loop around a rock or two on the corners facing the wind.
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