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How To: Pitch a Tent Anywhere, Anyhow

Pitching a tent is almost always about versatility. Instead of tying guys and auxiliary stake-out loops permanently to your tent, using convertible guylines and rock out loops. Here's how:
Photos by Jennifer Howe / howephoto.us
  • For the stake-out points, tie up a series of loops using 30 to 36 inches of cord for each loop. (AA battery shown for scale.)
  • Pre-tie your guylines using a simple overhand knot on the tent end of the guy.
  • Loop these pre-tied cords through the stake-out and guy-out points of your tent.
  • Loop these pre-tied cords through the stake-out and guy-out points of your tent.
  • On difficult staking ground they can be used to let you vary staking points, or loop heavy rocks for anchors.
  • If only smaller rocks are available, you can combine multiple rocks for more security against wind.
  • The guylines can be stripped for lighter weight, or combined together to reach more distant anchors.
  • The guylines can be stripped for lighter weight, or combined together to reach more distant anchors.
For the stake-out points, tie up a series of loops using 30 to 36 inches of cord for each loop. (AA battery shown for scale.)
Image 1 of 8

For the stake-out points, tie up a series of loops using 30 to 36 inches of cord for each loop. (AA battery shown for scale.)

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

One of my favorite tricks for winter especially! Thanks for posting.
— debmonster

This is all good and well for rocky outcroppings or tree-lined mountain tops. But what about pitching a tent on a beach in loose, blowing sand??
— InOrlando

I can pitch a tent anywhere - just ask my wife.
— Ace

Good question. Pitching a tent on a beach is just like pitching a tent in the snow - stakes are useless. You have to use a "dead man." This works great in sand, snow, loose dirt, and even gravel. Find something relatively solid like a book sized rock, a stick the diameter of your thumb or greater, or even a stuff sack or bag filled with sand, rock, or snow. Dig a hole the proper distance from the tent where you want your guy line or tent corner to be anchored. Tie the loops they mention in the slideshow around the rock, stick, or bag and bury it. Then pile more sand, rock, snow, gravel or dirt on top and stomp it down (especially if you are using snow.) You now have a bomber anchor! If you had to, you can use a fanny pack, jacket, or even a bunch of tent stakes tied together as a dead man. I have used this technique for camping on sand bars and gravel islands on river trips or for bivouacking on mountaineering trips. Nothing works better. You can even buy pre-made dead men (little nylon parachutes) at mountaineering shops but it is more fun to make your own. But on beaches, rocks or sticks work great.

I hope this help.

A fellow reader.
— alyeskaguide

Good question. Pitching a tent on a beach is just like pitching a tent in the snow - stakes are useless. You have to use a "dead man." This works great in sand, snow, loose dirt, and even gravel. Find something relatively solid like a book sized rock, a stick the diameter of your thumb or greater, or even a stuff sack or bag filled with sand, rock, or snow. Dig a hole the proper distance from the tent where you want your guy line or tent corner to be anchored. Tie the loops they mention in the slideshow around the rock, stick, or bag and bury it. Then pile more sand, rock, snow, gravel or dirt on top and stomp it down (especially if you are using snow.) You now have a bomber anchor! If you had to, you can use a fanny pack, jacket, or even a bunch of tent stakes tied together as a dead man. I have used this technique for camping on sand bars and gravel islands on river trips or for bivouacking on mountaineering trips. Nothing works better. You can even buy pre-made dead men (little nylon parachutes) at mountaineering shops but it is more fun to make your own. But on beaches, rocks or sticks work great.

I hope this help.

A fellow reader.
— alyeskaguide

What do they mean "The guylines can be stripped for lighter weight"?

Thanks
— Dan K

Thanks for the "dead man" instructions, alyeskaguide!
— m


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