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 How do you tie a guy line for a tent?
PosterChild  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 11:41:39 AM
My family and I just got started on tent camping and I can't seem to master the basic skill of tying a guy line with the provided guy line plastic thingies that come with the tent.

What's the best way to tie a guy line to a tent stake?


Edit to add:
I ended up breaking 2 of the "plastic thingies" on the guy lines for my tent last time.
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mr_wilson  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 11:43:10 AM
Bungie cord (especially in areas of high wind).

mike
GySgtD  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 11:54:30 AM
It is hard to describe, but is the same method commonly used to tie down helicopter blades, if that helps

Perhaps I'll take a pic later today. There is an easy way to do it.
Hanover_Fists  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 11:55:21 AM

Originally Posted By mr_wilson:
Bungie cord (especially in areas of high wind).

mike


Good idea.

To the O.P.: If your stakes have a hole in them that the guy can be fed through, try this:

KBL  [Member]
6/12/2007 11:59:55 AM
I always use a taut line hitch:
www.iland.net/~jbritton/tautlinehitch.htm

If I'm really worried about high winds pulling the stakes out of the ground or ripping the tent. I attach a shock cord loop at one end of the guy line.
PosterChild  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 12:02:25 PM

Originally Posted By GySgtD:
It is hard to describe, but is the same method commonly used to tie down helicopter blades, if that helps

Perhaps I'll take a pic later today. There is an easy way to do it.


Doesn't help. When I was tying helicopter blades down, they plugged right into the blade and then I'd tie some type of hitch knot to the tie-down on the helicopter...man, I kind of miss that...now that you brought it up. Except during heavy winds...climbing out on the tail of 53 in heavy winds was never terribly fun.

I was trying to figure out how to use the plastic things that come on the wires.

Pics would be appreciated.
GySgtD  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 12:02:27 PM

Originally Posted By Hanover_Fists:

Originally Posted By mr_wilson:
Bungie cord (especially in areas of high wind).

mike


Good idea.

To the O.P.: If your stakes have a hole in them that the guy can be fed through, try this:


  • Tie an overhand knot leaving a small loop at a point where the excess guy line can be fed through it. The trick is to gather up the guy line/loop so that it is "doubled up" and the loop is tied back on itself with the "doubled up" section of line. It would be easier to describe with pics, sorry.

  • Feed the excess guy line from the stake through the loop and cinch up tight. Put two half-hitches in the bitter end, and you're done.



What he said.

GySgtD
-CH-53E avionics dude extraordinaire
scrum  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 12:04:11 PM
For almost all knots, this site [www.animatedknots.com/] is pretty good, but honestly Gibson's classic Handbook of Knots and Splices is an invaluable resource to anyone who works with ropes frequently (or ever expects to have to).
blackhawkhunter  [Member]
6/12/2007 12:06:15 PM

Originally Posted By GySgtD:

Originally Posted By Hanover_Fists:

Originally Posted By mr_wilson:
Bungie cord (especially in areas of high wind).

mike


Good idea.

To the O.P.: If your stakes have a hole in them that the guy can be fed through, try this:


  • Tie an overhand knot leaving a small loop at a point where the excess guy line can be fed through it. The trick is to gather up the guy line/loop so that it is "doubled up" and the loop is tied back on itself with the "doubled up" section of line. It would be easier to describe with pics, sorry.

  • Feed the excess guy line from the stake through the loop and cinch up tight. Put two half-hitches in the bitter end, and you're done.



What he said.

GySgtD
-CH-53E avionics dude extraordinaire


Yeah, I cant figure out a way to say it better either!
Soulrack223  [Member]
6/12/2007 12:09:26 PM

Originally Posted By KBL:
I always use a taut line hitch:
www.iland.net/~jbritton/tautlinehitch.htm

If I'm really worried about high winds pulling the stakes out of the ground or ripping the tent. I attach a shock cord loop at one end of the guy line.


+1 Tautline Hitch is the way to go. Only slips when you want it to.
hellbound  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 12:16:20 PM
+1 tautline hitch... it's one of the first knots you learn in boy scouts...
RckClimber  [Member]
6/12/2007 1:16:46 PM

Originally Posted By hellbound:
+1 tautline hitch... it's one of the first knots you learn in boy scouts...


+2. Also, many places have metal guy line tensioners...
PosterChild  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 2:58:51 PM
Thanks for the info guys.

The animated knot site is pretty handy.
M4MikelA3  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 3:00:13 PM

Originally Posted By KBL:
I always use a taut line hitch:
www.iland.net/~jbritton/tautlinehitch.htm

If I'm really worried about high winds pulling the stakes out of the ground or ripping the tent. I attach a shock cord loop at one end of the guy line.


This is the correct answer.
jeffers_mz  [Member]
6/12/2007 3:15:06 PM
The plastic things are pretty simple. Tie the line to the tent, run the other end through one hole, then around the tent stake, then through the other hole and either tie it there, or just put an overhand knot there big enough so the end of the rope can't slip back through the hole.

When the plastic thing is perpendicular to the ropes, the rope can slide easily. When it is taut, the plastic thing is pulled at an angle and the rope can't slide through the first hole, so it theoretically stays taut.

The problem is that a gusty wind will allow the plastic thing to work its way loose down the line back toward the tent stake, and then you have no guylines.

I don't use the plastic things and instead replace them with a tautline hitch and use it the same way. The tautline hitch holds a good rope under tension better in a gusty wind.

A good tent needs more than exterior guylines to hold up in a strong wind. Ideally, the guy point for each tent pole would be fixed in three dimensional space. To do this, the pole needs to fixed in at least three directions as seen from looking down on the pole from above.

To accomplish this with my tents, I use one long rope and one short one for guying.

Start at one guypoint and fix the rope there, an overhand or figure eight knot will do fine. Run the rope to a stake planted midway between that pole and the next pole, out from the tent, and then up to the next guy point, so that from above, it forms an equalateral triangle, two rope sides and one tent side, all the same length. Keep going around the tent in this manner till you return to the original guy point, and again, fix the rope there. From above, a 4 sided rectangular tent would be guyed in a pattern resembling a 4 pointed star, with a triangle of rope extending out from each wall of the tent.

Now each guy point, and therefore each pole, hopefully at its vertical midpoint, are guyed in two directions. If you think the wind is at or below ripping strength for the tent, you can buy some extra protection (and noise sanity) by fixing the rope at each guy point with a knot. If you think the winds may exceed the tent's ripping strength, you can maybe buy some extra protection by allowing the guy rope to slide through the guy points, but no guarantees here.

Then you use the shorter rope to form an X pattern inside the tent. All my tents have guy points on the inside of the tent, opposite each exterior guy point.

Now each pole, halfway up, is supported from three directions in space, roughly radial at 120 degree spacing, and theoretically that point cannot move. It is up to you how much stretch you want in your guylines. For high altitude camping above treeline (~12,000 feet in Colorado), I use half inch nylon, or 10.5 millimeter climbing rope which, though dynamic while under climbing fall loads, is easentially static under tent windloads. It will prevent a sharp gust from momentarily snap loading the tent, but it won't stretch nearly as much as a bungee cord.

In a perfect world, your guyrope system would prevent the poles from snapping until just before the fabric tore, then allow the poles to fail, so you at least have the protection of the tent fabric against wind, wet and cold. But when the poles fail, they can start the rips that shred the tent anyway, so achieving this fine a balance may be wasted effort.

Better bet, plan your trip and site your tent so that the terrain shelters it from max winds, and while you're at it, don't forget lightning either. Most terrain cover gives a 45 degree zone of lightning protection around it. I like to be about 30 degrees out from protective terrain, centered between any trees that are present, (protection from both lighting and falling deadwood, ALWAYS check for dead limbs before siting a tent) to balance between the lightning shadow, the wind shadow, and potential rockfall or snow avalanche from the higher slopes.

No guarantees, YMMV.
XM-15  [Member]
6/12/2007 6:48:01 PM

Originally Posted By RckClimber:

Originally Posted By hellbound:
+1 tautline hitch... it's one of the first knots you learn in boy scouts...


+2. Also, many places have metal guy line tensioners...




Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tighteners
hunterwarrior  [Member]
6/12/2007 7:56:40 PM
Trucker's Hitch

Step by Step

legonas  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 7:59:09 PM

Originally Posted By Soulrack223:

Originally Posted By KBL:
I always use a taut line hitch:
www.iland.net/~jbritton/tautlinehitch.htm

If I'm really worried about high winds pulling the stakes out of the ground or ripping the tent. I attach a shock cord loop at one end of the guy line.


+1 Tautline Hitch is the way to go. Only slips when you want it to.


+2 its one of the few knots i use. i memorized it just for use with my tarps when camping.
CBoone  [Member]
6/12/2007 8:07:50 PM

Originally Posted By KBL:
I always use a taut line hitch:
www.iland.net/~jbritton/tautlinehitch.htm

If I'm really worried about high winds pulling the stakes out of the ground or ripping the tent. I attach a shock cord loop at one end of the guy line.



+1
Rodent  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 8:22:12 PM
Another vote for tautline hitch.
Tarsus  [Member]
6/12/2007 10:13:26 PM

Originally Posted By KBL:
I always use a taut line hitch:
www.iland.net/~jbritton/tautlinehitch.htm

If I'm really worried about high winds pulling the stakes out of the ground or ripping the tent. I attach a shock cord loop at one end of the guy line.


Damn, thought I was going to be ther first Best, most handy knot the BSA teaches.
weptek911  [Team Member]
6/12/2007 10:24:19 PM
One more vote for the Taughtline hitch. I just did it this weekend for the canopies I put up for my daughters graduation party.

(I had to look it up )
protus  [Team Member]
6/13/2007 5:59:12 AM
side steh tuaghtline...


my lines are all looped.
i go through the loop on the tent/tarp tie down.
Then do the same on the stake side.

faster that way. on my tents i just use a hicth and slide it back and forth as need be...
GlockTiger  [Member]
6/13/2007 1:39:10 PM
I've used Ray Jardine's little hitch knot on my last few camping trips and found it's nice and quick. Maybe not the best for huge lines, but works for all types of cord lines.
www.ray-way.com/tarp-nettent/butterfly/index.shtml
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