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  1. #1
    Registered User Sidetrail's Avatar
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    Question Using free standing tent in the Whites

    I'm a thru hiker currently in MA with a Zpacks Duplex tent. A friend of mine from NH told me I was going to have trouble using the tent in the White mountains on their tent pads because it's not free standing. I know Zpacks sells the poles to make it free standing but I don't really want to spend $125 or carry them. Anybody know if this is really an issue?

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    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    I have a LightHeart gear SoLong 6 - non-freestanding and did just fine. The platforms have gaps wide enough for your stakes or to loop your guy lines around them to keep the tent up.

    I also had extra line to run a stake from the ground up through the crack to the tent.

    A little ingenuity and initiative will work. Just try to get there BEFORE dark !!
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    I've read that some have used little hooks like this to screw into the wood platform and attached tent guy lines to the hook.

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    Registered User KDogg's Avatar
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    I had the same worries last year but you will be fine. I used a duplex in the whites with no trouble. Each of the platforms generally hold two tents and have gaps in the slats. Put your stakes underneath them with the guy line between the slats. That will take care of the corners and one side. On the other side use rocks that you will find at each platform. Put the stake under the rock and tighten your guy line. Use several rocks if they are available. You can also tie off to the other tent if possible.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Wildman View Post


    I've read that some have used little hooks like this to screw into the wood platform and attached tent guy lines to the hook.
    Poor form to use these. Please do NOT use screws or nails in these platforms. They can tear up the platform, creating split wood and splinters that snag light fabric and tear it not to mention tearing up feet and hands. There are a few different ways one can secure things to a platform that do not include damaging mechanical devices.

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    You can always stealth camp if you're not into platforms, being corralled, etc.

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    I camped only once on a wood platform on my AT thru and there were a few screw anchors on the edges. Stakes dropped sideways through the gaps worked for the rest. My Tarptent Contrail only needs four stakes so that may have helped. If that hadn't worked, I had enough time left in the day to go find a stealth site, which is what I did the rest of the nights in the Whites.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bansko View Post
    You can always stealth camp if you're not into platforms, being corralled, etc.
    Many places in the Whites do not allow stealth camping and it's actual a violation of 16 USC 551.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5363715.pdf
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bansko View Post
    You can always stealth camp if you're not into platforms, being corralled, etc.
    No you can't. Please do not do this and only use designated sites. Tent platforms are provide for a reason and it took a lot of work to get them there.

    I carry half a dozen 1.5" long roofing nails (these have a large head) and tap them lightly into the wood platform planks. In the morning I pull them out with a tent stake. It doesn't damage the wood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I carry half a dozen 1.5" long roofing nails (these have a large head) and tap them lightly into the wood platform planks. In the morning I pull them out with a tent stake. It doesn't damage the wood.
    How does inserting nails into wood NOT damage the wood?

  11. #11
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    Many places in the Whites do not allow stealth camping and it's actual a violation of 16 USC 551.
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5363715.pdf
    You are 100% correct, of course.

    That said, that particular brochure is flawed in that on a casual raeding it conflates recommended LNT practices, with the summaries of the "Supervisor's Orders" which have the force of law.

    Why is this important?

    It may not be for most, given the actual Supervisor's Orders are many, and the practical considerations of camping in the Whites can make the designated sites VERY attractive.

    On the other hand, if you pass a fellow hiker who has pitched his tent below treeline and well away from a man-made structure or road which is outside of a Wilderness area, don't be too quick to assume he is camping illegally-- even if his camp is just a few feet from the Trail.

    In point of fact, there are a whole bunch a places along the AT where you can camp off-trail legally, just as there are plenty you can't -- or wouldn't want to even if you could.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Wildman View Post


    I've read that some have used little hooks like this to screw into the wood platform and attached tent guy lines to the hook.
    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Poor form to use these. Please do NOT use screws or nails in these platforms. They can tear up the platform, creating split wood and splinters that snag light fabric and tear it not to mention tearing up feet and hands. There are a few different ways one can secure things to a platform that do not include damaging mechanical devices.
    Yup. Besides it's currently an in fashion offensive symbol that denotes....???

    Might be a good idea to have some extra length guyout cord.

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    Have you ever been in the situation where it was difficult to retrieve tent stakes from under wooden platforms? At $2-3 a Ti stake, which is what some of mine cost, losing them and having to reorder missing ones starts adding up.

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    I can report a great "stealth" spot at Garfield Pond. Or not so stealthy, since it is obviously well-used, and there are spaces for several tents. You really can't miss it. I stayed there along with six or eight others. There were at least five or six tents set up. Quite nice, actually.

    Heretofore I've been mostly of the opinion that stealth spots are next-to-impossible to find in that neighborhood. So this was a surprise.

    It's possible that the relevant authorities are simply tolerating this scenario, but not likely that they'd have missed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Have you ever been in the situation where it was difficult to retrieve tent stakes from under wooden platforms? At $2-3 a Ti stake, which is what some of mine cost, losing them and having to reorder missing ones starts adding up.
    Yep...I've used chop sticks for this on a dock...multi purpose I suppose....can also eat with them and use as fire wood....


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    Suggest you carry a length of string for each tie out on your tent. You can use your pegs or sticks jammed between the boards for anchor points. That's what I did with my SMD Solo. Just takes a few minutes extra to figure out how to rig it.

    Also I did see a few platforms with nails or hooks in the sides.
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    here are a few good pics showing my cricket tarp on a platform at osgood tentsite north of madison:
    <a href="https://ibb.co/bOsnVQ"><img src="https://thumb.ibb.co/bOsnVQ/IMAG3032.jpg" alt="IMAG3032" border="0"></a> <a href="https://ibb.co/eM6EAQ"><img src="https://thumb.ibb.co/eM6EAQ/IMAG3033.jpg" alt="IMAG3033" border="0"></a> <a href="https://ibb.co/kBdSVQ"><img src="https://thumb.ibb.co/kBdSVQ/IMAG3034.jpg" alt="IMAG3034" border="0"></a>

    doable with some ingenuity. Care ful with your titanium stakes with the platforms though as previously mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eblanche View Post
    here are a few good pics showing my cricket tarp on a platform at osgood tentsite north of madison:
    <a href="https://ibb.co/bOsnVQ"><img src="https://thumb.ibb.co/bOsnVQ/IMAG3032.jpg" alt="IMAG3032" border="0"></a> <a href="https://ibb.co/eM6EAQ"><img src="https://thumb.ibb.co/eM6EAQ/IMAG3033.jpg" alt="IMAG3033" border="0"></a> <a href="https://ibb.co/kBdSVQ"><img src="https://thumb.ibb.co/kBdSVQ/IMAG3034.jpg" alt="IMAG3034" border="0"></a>

    doable with some ingenuity. Care ful with your titanium stakes with the platforms though as previously mentioned.


    can't seem to edit my post...

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    How does inserting nails into wood NOT damage the wood?
    Presumably magic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Presumably magic.
    Trail magic to be precise.


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