View Full Version : Snow camping and using SST pins

02-02-2005, 05:34 PM
Got an 8 man and was wondering about snow camping and SST pins, particularly how practical it would be in Wis. If you have a foot of snow is that enough to get a base for the pins, so far Iíve just been digging down and pounding spikes? Once you stomp out a foot print how long to you have to wait for the snow to set? I figure this is dependent upon temperature so if you have any ideas of time per temperature that would be great. What about loose snow and temperatures in the mid 20ís (not warm enough to make a snow ball), will the snow still set or are you out of luck? How much tension do you put on the tent as you attach it to the pins? And if you screw up and pull out one of the pins then what? Finally any reason why an arrow wouldnít work? I got a bunch of them in odd sizes in about 5/16 diameter. Whew I know! Appreciate any help or best guesses you folks care to provide. Thanks, Mike M.

02-03-2005, 07:20 AM
From my experince with a 12-man I need 3' of unconsolidated snow as a minimum for SST pins(note I do not have SST pins I cut conduit to experment with) In firm snow 2'they work fine but digging at that depth isn't much of an issue. Arrows are too flexible with out enough surface area except in the firmist of snow.

Yes, the snow will set, but it takes more work and it will be an on going project inside the tipi as it continues to pack out from your feet, gear etc. I pack untill I get board and then gather wood for 30 min. pack again, break up wood and than set up the tipi. Note: I am generally alone as I set up the tipi for my family the night before they come in, with a couple of guys you may be able to really pack it out realitivly quickly. Mid-winter can be a bit of work but what else do you have to do with 14 hr of dark? Now, spring is great! One can sculpt sleeping spots etc. just like your favourite snow cave, just a lot more pleasent! By the way if I head into tundra country I will purchuse the SST pins and if I have a need where I can not sled my gear or purchuse a smaller tipi that will be carried on my back during the winter I will probably get the lighter wieght SST pins as well. As far as being tight I try to get it just as tight as I would on firm ground. Have fun!

02-03-2005, 02:11 PM
Eric thanks for all the info. I'll find something to use those arrows on. Looks like I'm back to the spikes for a while. Mike M.

02-03-2005, 08:11 PM
Check John Gookin's (NOLS Cirriculum Director) new book: winter camping, you'll find it useful concerning your questions regarding packing/stamping out a platform for your shelter. Should be at a local library by now. HTH

02-03-2005, 08:35 PM
Stamping out a platform in a foot of snow?
Why bother? You can quickly shovel it off to bare ground. You're going to have to stake down to ground anyway.