Picture of Snow Anchors
Lets make some snow anchors!  As I found out in our last backpacking trip standard tent stakes don't work all that well in the snow and I really don't know why I thought they would :-)  So I figured I'd make some large surface area snow anchors for my next trip.  Here's a shot of the final product that we'll be making.  For the UL backpacker these come out to 20g/each.

I'll be making these at the TechShop (link below) which has a ton of machinery and resources.  One thing to note, I won't be going over the operation of each tool since you should've previously taken the safety/use classes.  Obviously, this project is pretty simple in which you could do it with had shears and a drill OR a plasma cutter.... Anyways, here's my process.
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Step 1: Buy some material

For this project I'm using 24 ga aluminum since it won't rust and is lightweight.  The downside of aluminum is the oxide surface which allows moisture to cling to the surface and can be difficult to pull out of deep snow/ice.  After some field testing I'll probably re-make these in Titanium but for now aluminum is adequate. 

As for where to purchase material.  Most all general stores have a small stock of aluminum but I prefer Alan steel in Redwood City, CA.  Great prices and low cut fees.

Step 2: Draw out pattern

Picture of Draw out pattern
Alright, now that we have the materials it's time to sketch out the pattern.  Here's a shot of what I'll be doing with an overall dimension of 4"x6"..  Although not necessary, I've dotted out the hole pattern to you give a better idea.  I've also attached a dxf for your convenience if you have access to a CNC plasma cutter and don't want to manually form it as I'll be doing.

scorreia11 year ago
This is also great for beach camping, or any other king of sand use...
this would be great at the beach also
this is a great idea if your camping in places where this kind of thing is needed, another thing you can do if your caught out, is to just tie your line around a log/rock and bury it, that's the idea used for camping on a beach
Thanks. 100% agree that they're not always needed. I find myself snowshoeing where rocks, sticks, logs can't be found.

I have yet to camp on a beach :-)
firestarter0082 (author) 2 years ago
Thanks for checking out this project. A few others have asked the same question so I've added another step that should explain it for the most part.
hjimmy2 years ago
Yes, I have been pondering the same question. How are they used? Where does the rope go? Do your shove them into the snow.? Or dig a hole and bury them? Thanks in advance for more insight. By the way, the 'ible is very good as far as it goes. Jimmy
frugalguy2 years ago
Just one question.... how does one use a 'snow anchor'?