Podcast Episode January 23, 2023

Episode 74 | Shelter Stakes for Winter Camping



In this episode, we address winter shelter stakes for frozen ground, hard snow, and unconsolidated snow.

Episode 74: Shelter Stakes for Winter Backpacking

In this Episode:


Shelter Stakes for Winter Camping:

  • Issue #1: Frozen Ground
    • getting the stakes in
    • pulling the stakes out
    • what kind of stakes to use
    • the hammer
  • Issue #2: Deep, Hard Snow
    • long and skinny
  • Issue #3: Deep, Unconsolidated Snow
    • skis, snowshoes, poles
    • deadmen – blizzard buried, fabric anchors, metal plate anchors, stuff sacks, sticks
    • sintering (good for shallow snow)
    • removing deadmen from icy ground
    • guylines around natural deadmen

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Home Forums Episode 74 | Shelter Stakes for Winter Camping

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    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 74 | Shelter Stakes for Winter Camping

    Listen Summary In this episode, we address winter shelter stakes for frozen ground, hard snow, and unconsolidated snow. In this Episode: News: Avalanc

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    I’m curious to know what winter snow conditions are like in other areas of the country. Where I live and hike right now (SE Wyoming and Northern Colorada/RMNP), we have frozen ground in the early season (stake hammer + nail stakes) and by now at the higher elevations, very light fluffy powder snow (I use deadmen sticks at treeline and soft fabric anchors to supplement my skis/poles/snowshoes). When I lived in Washington, where the snow was harder, we used picket-type stakes more often. I rarely use them out here.

    BPL Member


    I just got back from a 2 night trip in Catskills, NY. Originally planned to camp on summit of certain area, but friend I was with did not have proper tent for exposed area.. wind and snow were expected, so we went down into a protected area. The grounds were frozen solid, as were any rocks.. with ice and powder coating of snow. We made camp.. thankfully I always carry my MSR hammer in winter.. we were both able to drive stakes into frozen ground easily and quickly. I was using medium and large DAC V stakes and recently re strung all my guylines with 3mm Lawson Glowire. Worked perfectly.. after 2 nights and 5 inches of snow, sleet and ice,  some wind and gusts.. everything held. In the morning.. 20°F, using the hammer to get stakes out was a beautiful thing.. saved a lot of time for sure..

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