Apr 28, 2021 at 9:39 pm #3710743lisa rBPL Member
This will be my first year using a trekking pole tent (Xmid). I’m wondering if it’s wise to make southern Utah its inaugural trip or if I’d be better off with my old semi-freestanding tent. It’s been several years since I’ve been down there so my memory is a little vague, but I think it’s safe to assume I’ll be pitching in sand/sandy soil and/or possibly hard ground. Knowing wind can be a factor down there and I don’t have any experience or practice with this style tent, I’m leaning towards bringing the old tent, though I’m excited to try out the new…Opinions?Apr 29, 2021 at 2:10 am #3710755Bob ShuffBPL Member
Car camping or backpacking? I’m planning a trip myself, and it seems somewhat common to setup the tent on rock or hardback. In the SoCal desert we often use rocks hold the stakes or in place of stakes. For our car camping stops I plan to bring a free standing tent. For an overnight backpack I was thinking bivouac sacks or cowboy camping.Apr 29, 2021 at 8:26 pm #3710878
I hike in the uintas and in southern utah… I prefer a freestanding in the Deseret/southern utah and use my tarp tents in the uintas.
that said, rocks can help, dead mans anchors with sticks, stakes, buried sand filled stiff sacks etc work well if you are comfortable relying on that set up …..Apr 29, 2021 at 8:33 pm #3710881Apr 29, 2021 at 8:34 pm #3710882Apr 30, 2021 at 4:30 am #3710912Erica RBPL Member
I’ve had a few trips to Coyote Gulch near Escalante, and Salt Creek in Canyonlands.
I too worried about the sand on the first trip. Bought some parachute anchors from REI. Returned them unused. The sand wasn’t an issue for my treking pole tent. I used some titanium shepherds hooks from Zpacks; red hooks, 7″ or so. Good general purpose stake, slips between rocks too.Apr 30, 2021 at 7:51 am #3710927MattBPL Member
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
Learn something new!
Take a (slight) risk!
Have more experience tomorrow than you do today!Apr 30, 2021 at 9:57 am #3710944Brad WBPL Member
Learn to use little rock big rock technique.May 1, 2021 at 7:10 am #3711088obx hikerBPL Member
^^ Or net type produce bags filled with large rock. Easier to tie off bag than rock alone. Weigh zilch. Good for potential slickrock sites. Available Amazon ( where else sheesh?)
PS another good thing about that 4-corners area is there is a huge variety of potential stake (sticks-limbs etc.) material seasoned and dried lying about anywhere there’s any vegetation. There’s also lots of potential hammers in the form of rocks lying about pretty much everywhere.
Edited to add: John’s picture above of the tent in that nice sandy spot with the rock stake-outs is a good example. Rocks all around and in the background about a zillion potential stakes. OTOH Nice thing about rocks in net produce bags is you can just move the bag a little to adjust the pitch.May 2, 2021 at 10:48 pm #3711282KarenBPL Member
Give us an update after your trip!May 3, 2021 at 9:43 pm #3711391lisa rBPL Member
Karen, I’ll have to let you know next year because I’ve had a change of plans and can’t make it down there this year. By then I’ll have some experience with the trekking pole tent.
I use rocks regularly when pitching and have fashioned dead man (dead men?) anchors as well. Having no experience beyond free-standing tent I just wasn’t sure if these methods would be adequate.
And @mhr, really??May 10, 2021 at 2:03 pm #3712022Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Those methods are usually adequate but the more options you have the better. Could be good to have some wider sand stakes too, plus the included V stakes for medium soils, or the included ti hook stakes for firmer soils.May 10, 2021 at 7:00 pm #3712069Ralph BurgessBPL Member
I hike a lot in the Southwest. I rarely bother taking stakes, since they are no use on hard surfaces or sand. Instead, put a ~12″ stick through the guyline loop, lay the stick flat on the ground, put a rock on each end of the stick. This is much more secure than trying to put a rock on a short metal stake. It is solid on any surface, and it’s absolutely secure in any weather conditions – when very windy just use bigger sticks & bigger rocks. It’s more laborious to gather suitable sticks and rocks compared to setting up a freestanding tent, but in the desert you might only need to pitch a shelter 1 night in 5. Most nights you can cowboy camp. So the huge weight saving of a 6oz tarp (with no stakes) over a freestanding tent is very much worthwhile.
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