How To Anchor Tent In Snow (Easy Guide)

You’ve got your tent, sleeping bag and pad. You’ve got the right clothes to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while camping in the winter. 

But you’re setting up camp on snow or ice, so what do you use to keep your tent from blowing away? 

In this article we’ll give you some tips on how to anchor tents in snow, including using straps and stakes, deadmen with skis or snowboards as anchors plus other ways to secure your tent so it doesn’t blow away in high winds.

Anchoring a tent in snow requires proper techniques and equipment.
Use snow stakes or anchors designed for snowy terrain for secure tent anchoring.
Guy lines play a crucial role in stabilizing the tent and distributing tension.
Regularly brush off snow from the tent’s exterior to prevent snow buildup.
Safety precautions, such as choosing a safe location and being aware of potential hazards, are important when anchoring a tent in snow.

Using Anchor Straps

One of the most important things to remember when anchoring your tent in snow is that you want to get as much weight on the ground as possible. 

Whether you’re using a sleeping pad, a tarp, or just your body, it’s essential to have something in contact with the ground throughout the night so that it doesn’t slide away from you.

The first method for adding extra weight is by using an anchor strap. These are small pieces of webbing that connect two points, like trees or stakes; and they work well for connecting your tent’s corners or side poles directly onto them (as long as there’s enough slack).

You can also use a different type of strap called an adjustable bungee cord: these allow you to tie off one end at whatever height and length necessary.

For example, if there isn’t enough space between two trees but plenty above one another elsewhere nearby then clip one end around each tree while leaving plenty of extra length before tying off both together simultaneously so nothing shifts over time.”

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Staking The Tent In Snow

Use a hammer to drive the stakes into the snow. The stakes are usually made of aluminum or steel and can be very sharp. It is important not to hit them with too much force, as you may break the pole.

Use a mallet to drive the stakes in. You should use a softer, less dense material like wood or rubber instead of steel if you want something that won’t damage your tent poles.

Remove stuck stakes using a tent stake puller (aka “spud wrench”), which is basically just an angled tool that helps remove stubborn stakes without destroying them or hurting yourself in the process. 

If you don’t have one available, try removing it from above by carefully clamping onto either side of it with pliers and twisting until it comes out completely! 

It’s not exactly safe for those who aren’t experienced with this kind of thing but if done correctly there shouldn’t be any damage done to your gear whatsoever.”

Use A Deadman Anchor

A deadman anchor is a large rock or log buried in the snow. It should be placed away from your tent to prevent it from being damaged by falling ice or rocks. 

The deadman anchor will help secure the tent during high winds and heavy snows by preventing it from blowing away with an attached rope line. 

You can also use stakes, but they are more susceptible to being blown away compared to using a deadman anchor, which doesn’t move at all once it’s buried in place!

To enhance the durability of your canopy top, consider reinforcing it with our easy tips for canopy top reinforcement, ensuring that it can withstand various weather conditions and extend its lifespan.

Deadmen With Skis Or Snowboards

If you have a long, sturdy object such as a snowboard or even a ski that’s large enough to reach the ground, you can use it to anchor your tent in snow. 

You’ll want to make sure the object is heavy enough to hold down your tent and not blow away with the wind it might be helpful to tie some items onto it if they are light enough and won’t cause any damage when falling off (e.g., ice axes).

Provides reliable tent anchoring in snowUtilize skis or snowboards as deadmen
Utilizes equipment already available in winter sportsRepurpose skis or snowboards for tent anchoring
Offers large surface area for increased stabilityBury skis or snowboards in the snow
Provides strong hold in challenging winter conditionsAttach tent guylines to buried skis or snowboards
Easy to set up and dismantleInsert and remove skis or snowboards as needed

Create A Snow Trench

Use a shovel to create a trench around the tent. The trench should be at least 2 feet wide and at least 2 feet deep. It should also be about 4 feet long, as this is enough space for you to walk on without getting buried in snow.

Fill in the trench with snow after creating it, so that it’s level with its surroundings. This will help keep moisture from seeping into your tent floor, which could cause damage or make it slippery when wet!

After enjoying your outdoor activities, knowing how to properly fold a pop-up canopy is essential. Follow our easy guide on folding a pop-up canopy to ensure hassle-free storage and convenient transportation.

Use Snow Stakes Or Pickets

Use snow stakes or pickets. These are metal spikes with a small eyelet on the top, so you can use rope to fasten things down. You can find these at any hardware store, and they’re very cheap (usually about $4 for a bag of 25).

Drive the stakes into the ground using a hammer or mallet; if your tent is large enough that you need more than 20 or so stakes, consider using some kind of piece of wood as well the weight will help drive it into the snow better than pounding alone would do.

 If you don’t have either tool handy (or maybe your neighbors won’t let you borrow theirs), try driving them in with rocks instead! This method may take longer than others but will still work just fine if necessary.

Using Big Rocks To Hold Your Tent Down

If you’re not dissuaded by the idea of carrying heavy rocks on your trip, this method can be an effective way to keep your tent from blowing away. It’s best used with a large tent and in areas where there are plenty of large rocks.

When setting up your tent:

Find the biggest rocks that will fit in the four corners of your tent. Try to find ones that are stable and won’t roll away as you walk around them. 

If you’re going to do this method, make sure these rocks are secure before beginning; otherwise, they may move around or even fall out when you go inside later.

Provides reliable stabilityPlace large rocks strategically around tent
Naturally available in outdoor environmentsUtilize nearby rocks as anchors
Offers heavy weight to prevent tent movementUse large rocks to hold down tent corners
Requires no additional equipment or setupSimply position rocks around tent
Cost-effective and environmentally friendlyUtilize natural resources instead of purchasing additional gear

Stuff Your Pack Into The Vestibule

Keep it out of the snow and keep it on the inside of your tent. The ground, even with a tarp, is not going to be as dry as inside your tent. 

This way you don’t have to worry about condensation or frost forming on any gear that stays in contact with freezing temperatures for extended periods of time.

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Using Trekking Poles To Secure Your Tent

If you have trekking poles, you can use them to secure your tent in place. This method requires two trekking poles with tips that are wide enough to make a tripod out of, but not so big that they won’t fit into the ground.

If you don’t have trekking poles and do not plan on bringing them, try using rocks or stakes to secure the tent pole in place.

Tying Lines Between Trees

If your tent doesn’t come with pre-installed anchors, it’s a good idea to get some. The best place to find them are trees they’re strong, they can handle the weight of your tent and it’s easy to secure them in place.

To attach a tree anchor:

  • Tie one end of the line around a tree trunk or branch using an overhand knot that won’t slip or slide (like this).
  • Attach an S-shaped carabiner through the looped end of the line as shown below. This will allow you to easily attach another rope later on.

Using Metal Stakes Inside Of Water Bottles For Added Weight

You can also use a plastic bottle to hold the stake in place. Make sure you have a good grip on the stake, so it doesn’t slide out of the water bottle. 

You’ll want it long enough to reach the ground and deep enough that it won’t pop out when you push down on your tent.

These are just some ideas for how to anchor your tent in snow! If you have any other suggestions or questions, let me know in the comments below!

Metal StakesWater Bottles
Provide stability and secure anchoring.Add weight to enhance tent stability.
Made of durable metal materials.Convenient and easily accessible.
Available in different lengths and designs.Can be filled with water or other heavy substances.
Designed to withstand outdoor conditions.Can be easily attached to tent guylines or corners.
Suitable for various camping and outdoor activities.Offers an adjustable weight solution.

Put Something Heavy Inside The Tent At Night To Keep It From Blowing Away.

If your tent doesn’t have stakes, or if the stakes are in bad shape, you can use a heavy bag of rocks or some other object (such as a piece of wood) to keep it from blowing away. 

If you’re securing a big tent, get some help lifting the weight inside so that it doesn’t fall on anyone’s head while they’re sleeping.

If you’re looking to add a captivating backdrop to your outdoor event, our guide on hanging a canopy backdrop provides valuable insights and techniques for creating a visually stunning setting.

Using A Ground Cloth To Prevent Slipping On The Snow

If you are planning on camping in the snow, it is highly recommended that you use a ground cloth to prevent slipping on the snow. 

Ground cloths can be purchased or made from plastic sheeting. They keep your tent dry in wet snow and also help prevent any moisture from seeping through the bottom of your tent into your sleeping bag.

You can buy a ground cloth from most outdoor gear stores. If you want to make one yourself, try using clear plastic sheeting for windows and doors instead of heavy-duty plastic dropcloths (the ones used for painting). 

You’ll need two pieces that fit together perfectly – one for underneath and one for outside – but if not perfect don’t worry about it too much because they’re going to be covered by snow anyway!


That’s all there is to it! We hope these tips help you stay warm and dry when camping in the snow. 

Remember that it’s a good idea to put on your rain gear before going outside because it will help keep you dry from melted snow.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that provide further information on anchoring tents in snow and related topics:

How to Pitch a Tent in Deep Snow: This comprehensive guide from CanvasCamp offers detailed instructions and tips for pitching a tent in deep snow, ensuring a secure and comfortable setup.

Anchoring in Snow: Tips and Techniques: Sportsman’s Guide provides a helpful guide on anchoring tents in snow, covering various techniques and equipment options for secure tent setup in snowy conditions.

Pro Tips for Winter Base Camping: MSR Gear’s blog offers professional tips and insights for winter base camping, including information on tent anchoring, gear selection, and safety considerations.


Here are some frequently asked questions about anchoring tents in snow:

How do I choose the right tent for snow camping?

Select a tent specifically designed for snow camping. Look for features like a strong frame, durable materials, a sturdy rainfly, and a low profile to resist wind and snow buildup.

What type of stakes should I use to anchor a tent in snow?

For anchoring in snow, specialized snow stakes or snow anchors are recommended. These stakes are designed with a wider surface area or a spiral shape to provide better grip in snowy terrain.

Should I use guy lines to anchor my tent in snow?

Yes, using guy lines is essential for anchoring your tent in snow. They help distribute the tension and stabilize the tent, preventing it from collapsing under heavy snow loads or strong winds.

How can I prevent snow from accumulating on my tent?

To prevent snow buildup, regularly brush off snow from the tent’s exterior, especially the roof. Additionally, consider using a tent with a steep angle or a snow skirt to minimize snow accumulation.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when anchoring a tent in snow?

Yes, ensure your tent is properly anchored and stable before entering. Be aware of potential hazards, such as avalanches or falling snow, and choose a safe location for setting up your tent in snow-covered areas.