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PostPosted: December 1st, 2022, 9:26 pm 
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Location: Edmonton area
Hi all! I'm curious to know how many other folks set up the guy-lines on their tents/tarps as I do, since I've only recently come to realize that my way is apparently backwards to the norm.

If tents come with attached guy-lines, they are normally tied (bowline or fig 8) to a guy-line loop on the tent or fly, and then they run down and around a tent peg, and are connected again to the line from the tent, using line tensioners. This makes a loop around the tent peg, the size of which is increased or decreased to change the tension on the line.

I long ago realized that setting up guy-lines that way makes for 2 potential problems. First, the loop in the guy-line that goes around the tent peg does not slide easily around it sometimes, because of duff, small branches, etc. that tangle in it, as it is nearly in contact with the ground, or sometimes just under it.

Second, the ability to tie off the guy-line to a handy branch, tree, rock, log, etc. is made more difficult when you are dealing with the loop end of the line. It can be done, certainly, but quick release knots can hang up easily with so much extraneous cordage all over the anchor because of the loop in the line.

But worse than that is the fact that after you tie the loop end around anything, you lose the ability to change
the tension on the line.

I string my guy-lines differently; backwards in fact. I tie a small bowline in one end of the guy-line cordage, and pass the other end through the guy-line loop on the tent fly, bring it about half way back to the bowline, then using a taut-line hitch, I tie it to the portion of the line leading up from the tent peg, thus forming a loop.

A tent peg goes through the bowline end of the line, or into a bight dropped through the bowline, and the tensioning is done up and away from the dirt and branches, so that the taut-line hitch slides easily and unhindered. And, you can tie to a branch or tree instead of a tent peg if opportunity presents itself, and still be able to adjust tension on the tent, that way. I use taut-line hitches instead of sliders on my guy-lines as I find all the plastic and metal doohickies jam with dirt, crack in half, can't be replaced, and don't hold well.

Does anyone else string their guy-lines so that the end is at the tent peg and not the fly?
Can anyone see a downside to this practice?

Thanks folks, cheers.

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PostPosted: December 1st, 2022, 9:57 pm 
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Joined: April 2nd, 2019, 5:09 am
Posts: 34
hello fellow frozen person also in Edmonton area haha
I have done both kinda - to me sometimes it's easier (car camping - relatively clear ground area) to have static tie at tarp / then use a taut-line (or tensioners) from the stakes but on my hammock tarp I use a marlin spike at the stake then use a taut-line from the tarp side (am trying line-loc 3's but have had difficulties with freezing rain / wet snow etc) although same would be the case for taut-line hitches - but your point about not holding well has been my experience with moderate winds with LL3's. Maybe it's my cordage too - a reflective guyline


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PostPosted: December 1st, 2022, 11:24 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Burns Lake, BC
I leave guylines permanently attached to the tent and tarp.
4 corners of the tent get 12'ers, the two side guylines get about 8'.
This way if I need them, they're already there and ready (folded up on themselves and tied in an overhand knot).

All of my pegs have a 2" loop of paracord attached to them so using a taut hitch is easy and so is running the cord through the loop and coming back to do a trucker's hitch anywhere along the line.

Having all of these guylines attached means that I always have some cordage that I can rob for another use elsewhere.

My tarp is pretty cool.
20' paracord on the corners and six 8' cords on the rest of the tie out loops.
When just using the corners and the other cords are all tied up, it looks like decorative dingleballs hanging around the perimeter of the tarp.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2022, 2:16 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2472
Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
It depends on the tarp. Most of our flat tarps have a ridgeline run through center webbing loops, with prussic knots & clips, a la HOOP. Those are stored, and erected, contained inside a ridgeline stuff sack.

https://www.shop.cookecustomsewing.com/ ... ductId=227

A ridgeline stuff bag with a grommet at one end is the greatest tarp set up/take down aid ever made, especially working solo. Or, sorry Dan, DIY’ed; even an old camp chair bag or stuff sack with a grommet at the bottom.

ImageP7110971 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Prussik knots and clips at both ends of the ridgeline. A stainless steel minibeener at one ridgeline end, easy to whip throw around a height-convenient trunk or limb on one side. A trucker’s hitch for pulled taut as desired tension adjustment at the other end. Slide the tarp along the ridgeline, prussic clipped at the desired location and the ridgeline is done.

The corner guy lines stay attached to the tarp corners, bundled and secured by black Wal-mart hair ties; the guy line bundling hair ties are attached to the tarp’s webbing loops (or grommets) so they are always there and can’t be lost, dropped or misplaced. Sometimes bundled inside a tarp corner for un-tangle-ability on stuff bag extraction.

ImageP6090854 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I’m all in for whatever makes tarp set up quick and easy, especially when rain’s a coming rushed solo.



The parawing has two \/ guy lines at each tall corner, and three /|\ at each low end. I don’t need all three at the windward low ends, but when I do it’s nice to have the third guy line available.

The Tundra Tarp, and similar others, have cord dangling from the spaced webbing loops or grommets. I’d rather wear out/saw though/abuse a piece of cord than a sewn webbing loop or grommet. If I need to stake one end of the tarp near ground as a windbreak those sacrificial cords keep the tarp off the ground.

ImagePA060096 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I have cord loops attached to ends of the tarp stakes, but rarely need to use them as guyline points. I use seriously beefy stakes on the tarp. These things, mil-spec antenna stakes; at 12” tall they are rarely buried, and the cord is there mostly to help me pull them back out once staked 10” down. Reflective tape so I don’t stub my toe on the exposed stake end.

ImageP5170014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

They nestle relatively compact, if weighty, but I am done with tarp stakes blowing out in high winds. Great, it’s pelting windblown rain, time to dash out and get drenched re-anchoring that failed stake. Thanks, but no, never again.

ImageP5170015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I eventually wised up and fluorescent spray painted the exposed tops of a batch those mil-spec stakes, some for me, some for friends.

ImageP5180029 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Reflective cord too.

ImageP5240001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And, you know, generous fellow that I am, a special glitterati set for a friend; clear coat over glitter over fluorescent.

ImageP5240006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Hard not to notice stake ends, frou frou glittered of not, when walking around the tarp.

To that occasionally incautious nighttime wanderer, me included, I prefer reflective guy lines anywhere that could be stumbled over or neck strangled. Especially on companion trips where libations maybe flowing. Also me included.

I don’t know is there is a “backwards” guy line method. I know some folks use bungee cord to relieve tie point windage stress. Never saw the need for that.

Whatever floats your boat, or holds your tarp securely and infallible aloft.

On the wife’s preferred tarp – “her tarp”, set up for her know-not-of knots ease of use – there are attached tensioner at the guylines. Not plastic three-holers, but these simplistic doohickies

https://www.lawsonequipment.com/products/bartensioners

ImageP6090857 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There is no way to possibly screw up those two-hole tensioners, especially when already attached to bundled side guylines.

Anything that makes erecting a tarp faster, more fail proof efficient and more secure is a win in my book.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2022, 4:44 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Has anyone considered just using a simple truckers hitch to tie and tension guy-lines? That's all I use and it works quite well.

Just a thought.

https://www.animatedknots.com/truckers-hitch-knot

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2022, 7:02 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Tripper wrote:
Has anyone considered just using a simple truckers hitch to tie and tension guy-lines? That's all I use and it works quite well.



Yes and yes!

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2022, 4:24 am 
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Joined: September 11th, 2019, 5:54 pm
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I find the guy who can tie knots before the trip and put him and others on tarp duty. I couldn't tie a knot for trying.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2022, 12:23 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Freeland, Maryland USA
Tripper wrote:
Has anyone considered just using a simple truckers hitch to tie and tension guy-lines? That's all I use and it works quite well.


Always on one end of the tarp’s ridgeline, with a SS minibeener around a tree trunk of limb at the other. On side guy lines sometimes, sometimes half hitches, sometimes bar tensioners.

Wabakimi Guy wrote:
I find the guy who can tie knots before the trip and put him and others on tarp duty. I couldn't tie a knot for trying.


Quote:
On the wife’s preferred tarp – “her tarp”, set up for her know-not-of knots ease of use – there are attached tensioner at the guylines. Not plastic three-holers, but these simplistic doohickies

https://www.lawsonequipment.com/products/bartensioners

ImageP6090857 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There is no way to possibly screw up those two-hole tensioners, especially when already attached to bundled side guylines.


Those bar tensioners hold very well, at least of the correct diameter Lawson guy lines, and unlike the black plastic three-holers no one can pull out the wrong loop.


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PostPosted: December 5th, 2022, 6:54 am 
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Joined: February 28th, 2018, 10:54 am
Posts: 139
Location: SW Quebec
I tie a bowline in the end of my guylines and then larks head that to the tarp. If I have enough running end, I'll go around my "stake" and back through the bowline at the tarp and then tie a trucker's hitch (always with a slippery half). If I don't have enough, I'll loop though a bite somewhere closer to the stake, and then tie a trucker's hitch. Taut lines are fun, but I find them a bit fiddly. The trucker gives me more tensioning power, will not slip, and the slippery half makes them quick to release.

The lines then stay on the tarp, possibly getting moved around at the next site if I need a longer one for a specific tie-down opportunity (high branch, sapling, etc.).


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PostPosted: December 5th, 2022, 8:25 am 
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Mike McCrea wrote:
Wabakimi Guy wrote:
I find the guy who can tie knots before the trip and put him and others on tarp duty. I couldn't tie a knot for trying.


Quote:
On the wife’s preferred tarp – “her tarp”, set up for her know-not-of knots ease of use – there are attached tensioner at the guylines. Not plastic three-holers, but these simplistic doohickies

https://www.lawsonequipment.com/products/bartensioners

ImageP6090857 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There is no way to possibly screw up those two-hole tensioners, especially when already attached to bundled side guylines.


Those bar tensioners hold very well, at least of the correct diameter Lawson guy lines, and unlike the black plastic three-holers no one can pull out the wrong loop.



I found those 3 hole doohickeys a bit finicky too so I made up a few of these. Even a klutz like me can manage to make them as long as you don't get too hung up on 'quality control" :) These are very easy to use!


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PostPosted: December 5th, 2022, 10:00 pm 
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Tent and tarps are treated differently.
For the tent, I leave lines permanently attached. Those lines are folded up and tied in an overhand knot. I don't have any tensioning devices attached because often I camp on the shield where peg-holding soil is scarce. Frequently I have to tie to a root or a tree or a bush and those devices seem to get in the way - I use a trucker's hitch with quick release to tension these line.
For the big group tarp, I have 4' lengths of cord attached at all attachment points. I also have small carabiners that I leave attached to the top, exterior loops in the middle of the tarp. I run a separate ridge line (sometimes when the weather is looking good I'll only run the ridge line and decide later whether to put up the tarp). When I decide to put up the tarp I clip the carabiners to the ridge line and tighten each end with a prussik loop tied using the 4' cords. I carry a mesh bag of cord of assorted lengths and add them to existing lines when and where needed. I use a quick release sheet bend to add the additional length of cord to the permanent 4' cords.
For my bug tarp, I leave 2 - 15' lengths of cord at each corner. I bring adjustable poles and off-set the cords at each corner so that they pull at 90 degrees to each other. Other lines are attached as needed using bowlines and truckers hitches.

It's interesting to hear what other people do. I and going to read through this thread carefully and consider some of these options. Thanks.


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PostPosted: December 6th, 2022, 5:07 am 
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Location: Simcoe, Ontario Canada
recped wrote:
Tripper wrote:
Has anyone considered just using a simple truckers hitch to tie and tension guy-lines? That's all I use and it works quite well.



Yes and yes!


+1

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2022, 12:33 pm 
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Location: Near Ottawa ON
https://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/tautline-hitch


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PostPosted: December 6th, 2022, 11:21 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
The tautline-hitch works well too. Good suggestion Krusty.

Which ever way is easiest for you to remember.

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2022, 7:52 pm 
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Location: North Florida
Yep, tautline hitch. I throw away those nuisance plastic keepers doodads. Tautline hitch is one of my go-to knots.


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