Iceland: Tents

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Pegging down a tent in Iceland can apparently be challenging, but since the foul weather had us staying in a couple of extra huts than we’d planned and even speeding up the journey by a day we didn’t get much chance to find out.

I normally carry titanium “shepherd’s hook” tent stakes. They are extremely light and strong and manage to wheedle their way into all kinds of stony ground that other stakes have trouble with. I’ve also found them surprisingly secure even in conditions that have seen poles bent and other tents destroyed.

But if you really need to put some force behind them – you can’t. Whacking them with a rock won’t work.

So I also carried six Alpkit Tikes. But to be honest I never really had to test them properly and since then I’ve seen a couple bend on a friend’s tent.

iceland-2008-144-small So I’ve just taken delivery of the much praised Y Pegs from Clamcleat. Mentioned by *PTC, and also by a very good BPL article (sorry, subscription only – but it’s well worth it).

In case it was simply too rocky to get a stake in I also carried some modified Exped Snow & Sand Anchors (click the “english” button lower left, then under Products -> Tents -> Tent Accessories). They were simply modified by having the unnecessarily and completely inexplicably heavy gear-cord removed and replaced with some of good old backpackinglight.co.uk’s Dyneema.

But so far – they’re still unused. I’m just waiting for a chance to try them out in snow…

Though one of the Iceland crew has just moved out to Dubai for a while so may well be trying his out in sand shortly!

Edit 30/03/2010: I can’t believe that I originally forgot to mention we used the slightly modified Terra Nova Voyager Superlite in Iceland. However, since we were moving partly hut-to-hut I think if we did it again we’d use the Terra Nova Laser Competition that we squeeze into. Whilst I’m mentioning it, you might find some of the Tent Tips I posted useful in Iceland.

15 Replies to “Iceland: Tents”

  1. Hi there. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve have been thoroughly enjoying your series here on Iceland. It’s a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. I love your blog and follow along regularly.

    Peace to you

  2. I have used stakes similar to the Alpkit tikes and have also had them bend. So I do not use them anymore. Similarly I have bent a few Easton Alloy pegs as well

    I agree about the Y pegs, I have a collection of them which seem to work in most situations. I usually carry a couple of 4mm titanium nails for extra “oomph” into challenging ground.

    Your choice of peg very much depends on your knowledge of the ground to be camped upon. New hiking areas require a diversity of options in your armoury of pegs.

  3. fw – Thank you for such a kind comment. Especially since I try to keep the postings interesting even though I think the subject matter could be rather dry and even a little too in-depth at times!

    It’s good to hear that the effort is at least making the posts readable – thank you.

  4. Roger – Ah – glad to get another “thumbs-up” on the Y pegs. I’ve got some of the Titanium Nails on back order as well. They look to be very handy bits of kit.

    And quite agree re. the diversity of pegs. I now plan to carry four of the Y pegs along with the Titanium Wires. I’ve yet to work out where the Titanium Nails fit in… :)

    Have you ever used anything like the sand anchors?

  5. Not sand anchors as such, but aluminium snow pegs about 10″ long and about 1″ wide, they worked in the few times I used them. They also worked in snow in Oz.

    Ti nails are for creating small holes in very hard ground which is then used for the Y stakes or the like.

  6. Ah – the tent is a modified Terra Nova Voyager… the subject of a non-Iceland posting that’s still to come :)

    Very glad you find this useful. It is very gratifying to know I’m not just filling the web with stuff that no-one is going to use!

  7. Those Y pegs can be superb and I’ll carry a few if I have concerns about the terrain I’m going to be hiking through. Over Christmas I camped on ground that I could only get Y pegs into – couldn’t get them all out though!

  8. Big fan of the Y’s (not the Clamcleats, but very similar). I’ve got a couple of snow anchors, but increasingly I find myself using plastic carrier bags instead. And I’ve become rather good at chipping wee bollards out of ice as well – there are few things more satisfying!

  9. I’ve only seen the carrier bags technique mentioned on the Needle Sports site up until now.

    Good to hear of someone using it before I try it out myself!

    I’m hoping there’s a little more snow left in this season that we might catch…

  10. Andy – I’ve heard a couple of people mention not being able to get the Y pegs out again. It seems that trying to lever them out can just snap them.

    I’ll have to see how they go…

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