Tent anchors on ice?

Goober

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Jul 22, 2012
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Anyone have any suggestions for anchoring a tent on glare ice? Looking at camping out while ice fishing. Usually there is enough snow that it isnt such an issue, but right now our lakes are glare ice, like groomed ice hockey arena slippery. So I need something that screws in. Any ideas? I'm thinking of taking a rachet/socket and some 6" lag bolts.
 

justin davis

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Screws and an electric screw gun if you can afford the weight. I usually use 40 d penny nails when pitching my tipi on ice or frozen ground.
 
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crazy_davey

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I have used ice climbing screws, ice pitons to anchor tents to ice many times before, but those times were in a mountaineering situation when we already had the gear. I am assuming you don't want to spend that kind of money, mind you ice pitons are cheap sometimes on ebay etc.

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The US Army used to use some tubular pound in ice pitons that can also be found really cheap if you look in the right places. If you are thinking you might do this more in the future the few bucks might be worth the money.

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If you do take lag bolts, take a cordless drill and drill bit with you and pre drill the holes because if you just try and put in the lag bolts the ice will most likely just break and chip but I could be wrong as I have never actually tried it. I guess it would all depend on the condition of the ice at the time you put them in.

Good luck!
 

TheRambler

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Ice screws work best, but really all you need is a freestanding tent with weight inside. It's the same as setting up on a rock slab. Good quality 4 season freestanding tents work great this way, just keep your unused gear inside to add some weight, and if you can put a few rocks in as well even better. Carrying a screw gun is an option all be it a heavy one. A nut driver for regular lag or eye bolts would be much lighter than a screw gun/drill if weight is an issue. Nail stakes work ok , but IMO screws are better.
 

crazy_davey

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Ice screws work best, but really all you need is a freestanding tent with weight inside.

I guess it depends where you are. Around here, I have seen tents blow away with rocks as anchors and gear inside on more than one occasion. But, most folks don't have winds like we do here in southern Alberta. If I was setting up a tent on a lake around here it would be with ice screws for sure as I have seen the wind actually move vehicles across ice in the SA wind(100+km's per hour on a regular basis in the winter).

Pretty sure the OP doesn't have to deal with that so something much more simple will probably work.
 
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Goober

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Central Wisconsin
I guess it depends where you are. Around here, I have seen tents blow away with rocks as anchors and gear inside on more than one occasion. But, most folks don't have winds like we do here in southern Alberta. If I was setting up a tent on a lake around here it would be with ice screws for sure as I have seen the wind actually move vehicles across ice in the SA wind(100+km's per hour on a regular basis in the winter).

Pretty sure the OP doesn't have to deal with that so something much more simple will probably work.



The wind is not that incredible here usually, but right now the ice is so slick and polished, we have 4-wheelers blowing around. So I do need to anchor.
 
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Goober

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I don't really want to cart along a drill either. I like the looks of the military hollow drive-in stakes. Can you really drive those into solid ice? I'm not talking frozen ground, but frozen lakes............I do some remote camping on the lakes in the Boundary Waters, so I want something that requires man-power only, and is (relatively) light. Some form of ice screws appear to be the way to go. Thanks folks!
 

mtnkid85

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Just do some searching around on ebay for some cheap ice screws, youll be fine with even the stubby 11cm screws since youll be on such good ice. Id think with a little work you should find some used around the ~$20 mark. Grab 4 and youll be set.

Oh yea, yes you really can drive those Pound Ins into ice, theyre also called Snargs. Driving them in isnt the hard part, the hard part comes when you need to pull them back out.
 
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crazy_davey

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Mtnkid is correct, they are also called snargs and yes they pound in and quite easily. The core comes out the center. I have a bunch of them made by Camp USA and they have a mild thread on them so when you want them out they unscrew easily.
 
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