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Useful Points in Pitching a Tent in the Snow

Mar 12, 2008
Setting up camp in the snow is an altogether different and challenging experience from that on regular terrain. The following things must be considered then before going right along on setting up a camping tent in snowy terrain:

Choosing the location. Two of the most important factors first are to anticipate the likeliness of camping above the snowline and ensuring the most suitable anchors. One must also anticipate possible hazards that could happen anytime especially with snowy weather that almost no one can predict. Such hazard is avalanches that can gradually happen on slopes at 30 degrees and at alarming distances. It is also important to note that what you are setting up camp on might be ice over water and any moment might break apart. Some might be enticed to camp under trees as they can provide good shelter from blustering winds, but we would advise one to consider before doing so since they tend to gather snow and branches might break off from the weight of too much of this.

Choosing the site. If calm weather is to be expected, then one should choose the flattest and the safest site possible. However, if a storm is to be expected, then ways in protecting one's tent by using the surrounding terrain should be very much considered. Natural windbreakers like a cluster of trees or a formation of rocks and strategic positioning of the camping tent should be just about safe.

Preparation of the site. Snow in the area that one has chosen should be compacted and made as level as possible although this should be bigger than the footprint of the tent itself. If one decides to pitch on a slope, you should dig in more to make a level platform by using the snow from higher up to level off the slope further down.

Anchors. Since one needs more reliable anchors than one does on ordinary terrain, one should be able to exercise one's judgment on how to have these. Normally, snow pegs are suitable to use in compacted snow, but quite a lot of people do not carry these as they tend to be heavy and rather expensive. Snow equipment such as skis and ice axes make good anchors although alternatives should be considered in order to suffice. Plastic and fabric bags are actually the easiest and cheapest options as one can fill them with snow or rocks; however, take note that you may have to use carabineers to attach these to the pegging points.

Site improvement. Snow walls could very well protect one's tent, but we suggest building these a few meters away from the tent as snow that is windblown tends to accumulate behind them.

Things that may happen during the night. It is also interesting to note that during heavy snow, if there's not much wind, snow of course will settle on the roof and you might have to knock them off but making sure to clear them away from the area of one's tent. If not, accumulated snow that you have knocked over the roof of the tent might build up and push on the sides of your tent.

With these important things in mind, one could very well save his or her life while camping on snowy terrain.
About the Author
Rachel Nunez is ready to answer your questions about family camping tents . For more tips and information about family size camping tents, check out http://www.family-camping-tents.info .
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