View Full Version : Platforms in NH

Mother Nature
08-12-2010, 15:42
I just returned from an abbreviated trip to the Whites. Will return later.

My tent is non-free standing and had a rough night in a torrential downpour trying to set up my tent on one of the platforms there.

I thought of bringing some small open-eyed screws to put in between the too-narrow boards. My tent stakes won't fit and the space is too small to slip rope through and fix from below.

Anyone had ideas?


08-12-2010, 16:07
I certainly won't claim to be an expert, but try these ideas:

Bring a bunch of extra rope
Tie guy-lines to adjacent trees and even large rocks
Tie guy-lines around the corners of the platform

Mother Nature
08-12-2010, 16:26

Thanks for the reply as that was the tact we took. Smokestack and I had extra rope and that was the technique we tried... it just wasn't working. We needed something to stake down the fly better. The wind was howling around 40 mph and the rain was coming down sideways.

08-12-2010, 16:30
Where were you tenting? Garfield ridge? Mizpah Springs? Imp?

08-12-2010, 16:33
I know of several folks who bringscrew in cup hooks for such an occasion.

08-12-2010, 16:55
Obviously, I don't know your itinerary, but couldn't you just wilderness camp? Just a suggestion. I know sometimes I get into the mindset of "I have to make it to camp XYZ," and then I realize the regulations allow for camping as long as you're not above the treeline, 1/4 mile or whatever from a camp, etc.

VinO VampirE!

Mother Nature
08-12-2010, 17:19
Where were you tenting? Garfield ridge? Mizpah Springs? Imp? Kinsman Pond Campsite. Well built tent platform but not enough space between boards. The spaces had silted in and the platform became a standing pond.

We didn't wilderness tent as we were going very slow assisting a visually handicapped backpacker.

08-13-2010, 09:33

08-13-2010, 11:11
Note that there are few places to officially camp along the AT through the Whites. Of the official sites, many use tent platforms to try to minimize damage from overuse. Even hammocks had to be positioned above a platform, which limited your options (at least this was the case at Liberty Spring in 2006).

I like the cuphook screw idea...

08-13-2010, 11:15
Just a point about the cuphooks... I had a caretaker in 1998 tell me that they weren't allowed. Of course, people do use them from time to time anyway, and some leave them there. The caretaker said he left those in the platform since the damage had already been done, and it would prevent others from being added.

So, at least in 1998, and according to that one caretaker, using your own cuphooks aren't allowed. Though it's rarely, if at all, enforced. I have no idea if that's still the case, though I imagine it is.

08-13-2010, 13:57
Just camp elsewhere. When I go backpacking and camping I like to get away from people so I don't use campsites. I also like to bushwhack in the National Forest so I can get off of the beaten trail and see things that most people don't. And it you were going slow helping someone out you could just stay on the trail as long as you like instead of calling an early day because you made a camp and the next one is too far away.

08-15-2010, 09:04
Kinsman Pond Campsite. Well built tent platform but not enough space between boards. The spaces had silted in and the platform became a standing pond.

We didn't wilderness tent as we were going very slow assisting a visually handicapped backpacker.

Ah, I see. That's really great that you're taking a person who would otherwise not be able to experience the wilderness.

I guess my only suggestions would be (a) bring a free standing tent and (b) bring long, long guy lines or be ready to tie some square knots and give yourself some more length. When I know I'll be camping at a tent platform, I've found that's what I have to do to really make things work right.

Good luck!

Appalachian Tater
08-15-2010, 09:36
Tent platforms should have decent-sized eye bolts on the underside of the edge at reasonable intervals so that hikers can set up tents on them securely without damaging the wood with screws or by trying to wedge stakes between the boards. It would also prevent people from disturbing the surrounding area by gathering rocks and branches to use as tie down points and weights.

I don't understand why this isn't standard practice. Tent platforms and the campsites where they are located take a lot of money and effort to build and maintain and it seems this would be an obvious way to increase their effectiveness at protecting the area and to make the platforms last longer as well as performing better while in use.

Especially in heavy use areas like the Whites that also get bad weather with strong winds, this would be helpful. Even though I have a free-standing tarptent, it is necessary to secure it to the platform or ground during those storms.

08-15-2010, 11:46
I have used a small loop of spider wire fishing line. Put a nail, tent stake or stick through the loop under the boards and tie your guy line on top. It is very strong and abrasion resistant--be careful not to entangle your fingers in it. Also, wire leader will work. And fish hooks are sometimes useful, with care, you don't want one flying around on the end of a flappng tent fly guy line--don't ask...

I have seen a heavy wire device shaped with a circle on top a straight part under the circle about the depth of a two by four and the ends flared out to hold under the boards. I think it is meant for use on wooden decks. They are too big for backpacking but perhaps one could fashion a lighter one.

Freestanding tents still need to be tied down when you are not in them. I have seen some very nice tents floating on Lake Michigan.

08-15-2010, 15:54
Similar I think to what grayfox describes above, I found I could often use a stake (or strong stick or whatever) underneath/behind a vertical side board on a tent platform and put a cord loop around that, pulling the thin cord through a crack between boards so that the stake was held in place by cord tension. That plus other ideas above worked for me.

It seemed like the norm for me was that I always had to run one long cord out well beyond the tent platform to a stake down on the ground for one corner to get the tent into a reasonable, taut configuration. A bit more time consuming and somewhat of an obstacle in walking around, but it worked.

Bare Bear
08-18-2010, 12:31
I used sticks tied to line. The line slipped into the crack then pull sideways until it catches. I broke some line at times removing them but usually the sticks give first.
I like Taters idea best though, preset eyebolts underneath the edge.