If you do enough backpacking, you will probably run into tent platforms. These wood platforms are constructed in overused back country sites, where constant use has eroded away the soil. Tent Platforms are OK if you have a self standing tent, but they are pose a problem for tents that need to be staked down. I carry Tent Platform Anchors whenever I expect to use a platform platform.
What are Tent Platforms For?
Many mountain campsites have platforms. You’re required to set up on a platform if space is available. Most caretakers will only let you sleep in the dirt overflow area if all platform space is taken. The platforms help prevent erosion and destruction of the fragile mountain ecosystem. Camping on plants kills them. Plants help hold back soil. If the plants die, the soil washes away. You can’t camp on rocks. Platforms make sense.
The Problem with Tent Platforms
If you carry an ultralight style tent like my Tarptent Notch, setting up on a platform may be a challenge. Most of trekking pole tents need to be staked out to stand up. Tie down options on platforms are often limited or in the wrong locations. I have used literally all my bear-bag line trying to tie out a trekking pole tent on a platform. If you’re not good at geometry or engineering, this may be a major hassle.
Tent Platform Anchors
You can make your life a lot easier by carrying a few tent platform anchors. Tent platform anchors can be wedged or hooked into the slots on the platform. They can provide a tie-down point just about anywhere. A handful of these and some light guyline will make your life a lot easier.