Many state parks, national forests, and national parks have campsites with wooden tent platforms. If you’ve ever tried to set up a tent on one of these, you know what a challenge can be if you have a tent that’s not freestanding and requires tent stakes to erect. While these wooden platforms often have metal anchors or loops located around the perimeter, they’re only useful if you remember to carry extra guylines that are long enough to reach them. Even then, it can be a real clown-show to secure your tent against wind and blowing rain so they don’t get swept away.
However, most wooden camping platforms are covered with parallel boards that have gaps between them to prevent water from pooling on top when it rains. If you can anchor some sort of removable hardware between the boards and under them, you can attach your regular guylines to it and erect your tent as you would on the ground.
Here’s an example of a tent anchor that I discovered for this purpose and that I now carry when I know I’ll have to pitch my tent on a wooden platform. The picture on the left shows the top and bottom of the anchor, while the one on the right shows how you’d place it in the gap between two boards. Sorry about the lack of focus on this extreme closeup, but you get the idea.
There are a lot of ways you can use these, depending on the thickness of the guylines you have. For example, you can wrap your cord around one of the ends as I’ve done or pass it through one of the holes at the end to secure it.
Weighing 8 grams each, these tent anchors are light enough that you can carry a few of these them in your stake bag if you know you may need to sleep on a tent platform. The bright red color makes them easy to spot if you drop them on the ground or they fall through the cracks in the boards and you need to retrieve them.
Plus they only cost 11 dollars for 10 anchors, so they’re really easy on the wallet. I think they’re a great low impact solution and really like them for this purpose.
- Do You Need a Tent Footprint for Backpacking?
- What are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Trekking Pole Tents?
- How to Prevent Tent Condensation
- How to Pitch a Tent on a Wooden Platform
- How to Dry a Wet Backpacking Tent