Tieing out guide lines

8:32 p.m. on October 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Rita and I just bought a large 4 person tent. It has 20 tie outs on it. I have looked at it many times now and realize that many of these tie outs could be staked out with a single stake. But I'm comfused how to go about this. As many of the lines are to short of what I would like to do. Though I do know some knots I dont know how to join these lines and yet allow them to be tighten indivually. Could anyone give me a clue?

9:14 p.m. on October 28, 2011 (EDT)
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For some obscure reason, a lot of the tent manufacturers supply guy lines (that's "guy", not "guide") that are way too short, as well as those tiny coat-hanger "tent pegs". And that includes some high end tent makers.

The only answer is to go down to REI, EMS, Redwood Trading Post, etc and buy either the "lumicord" (reflective cord intended for guy lines) or plain old 3 or 4 mm accessory cord in bulk. In the photo below, you can see one method of attaching the guy lines.

The loop attached to the 3 guy loops is a single loop, going through a "ring" (actually a plastic triangle). The cord is a "lumicord", so it will reflect brightly in your headlamp's beam at night. This is effectively a "magic X" that is used by climbers for a self-equalizing belay anchor. This allows you to move the peg (or in the case of snow or sand, a "deadman") over quite a range and have the tension equalize on all 3 loops automatically. The line hanging down from the "ring" is a single cord that is attached in this case with one of the "cord-locks", but could be attached with a tautline hitch. This will allow easy adjustment of the tension. The "free" end of the cord is stored untied, but tied to the peg or deadman, which is placed in the ground (or buried in the snow or sand), then the upper end is tightened as desired with the tautline or cordlock.

In this case, there are 3 guy points on the two sides of the tent, a single point at the front (visible to the right in the photo), and 3 at the back on each side. The vestibule also has one more guy point on each side that is tensioned with a single cord.

This particular tent also has an internal guying system. The reason for such a complex guying system is that this tent is a full-on expedition tent. You can use a less complex system with other tents, of course.

Again, the tensioning is done by using a single cordlock or tautline hitch at the upper end (at the tent), with the lower end tied directly to the peg or deadman. Here is an animated site on how to tie a tautline hitch. In this case, they are tying it to the peg. But it can be tied to the guy loop as well (or a tree, or the bumper of your car, or your companion's leg, or ...)

9:15 p.m. on October 28, 2011 (EDT)
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www.folsoms.net/knots try this site for knots mike. but 20 guidelines. Wow like to see this tent.. go top basic knots sheet bend.animated also for you.

9:45 p.m. on October 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I just looked up the Redwood trading post. It will be on my travels this Dec. Do you think that they would help me with my tent ( though not one they sell)? I'm one of those people that learn better from hands on rather from reading. Sometimes reading not every part fits into place. Thats not to mean that I wont give it a go on my own but.........

10:41 p.m. on October 28, 2011 (EDT)
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For adjusting guy lines or other things tied down, I like the trucker's hitch finished with a small bite slippery hitch. You get great mechanical advantage with the trucker's hitch - you can actually rip things apart, so watch out.

For the knot to a deadman under the snow, a timber hitch is good, in my experience. Gotta love knots!

12:49 a.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Total miss interruption of guy lines tie downs.

You do not have to use all your guy line tie downs unless shtuff is hitting the fan.

Some of the best tents I have have many, many guy line loops both inside the tent and outside the tent, did I say many?.  The more guy line loops you have the better, if you need them and only of you need them. These are options. You do not have to use all the guy line loops that are provided if conditions do not dictate. If you have one loop that works better than another because of angle, amount of rope, line, shoe laces? (what, its a MacGyver move) then use it . You do not have to use them all. Every once in a while someone who actually uses a tent actually has some say in building a tent. Have you ever been out in the blowing snow,pouring rain, frezzing cold darkness with a guy line that’s 6 in. to short only to say , DANG, why did they not put a loop 6 inches thata way, or 6 inches thisa way. Well they did. You don't have to use all the tie downs or guy loops provided.

To attach guy lines to multiple loops I go to the key shop and get split rings and attach multiple lines coming from the different loops on the tent to the split ring and then run a separate line to the stake, tree, rock, sand bag, dog (stay Mogh stay), metal thingy piece buried in the ice and snow, whatever.

I have a number of tents that have 20+ internal guy line loops and just as many outside loops for when the shtuff is hitting the fan. But until the shtuff is hitting the fan I don't need to use them all. Different conditions dictate which loops to use. Multiple options

Once I find the best position of guy lines on the outside of the tent attached to the split rings I then leave them that way and pack them that way. The line or cord is already cut to length and there is no reason to remove them. Unless of course your OCD and can't stand the extra weight or the messy lines,  your choice. To make it easier use clips not knots from the tent loops. Clips clip on and of and remove quickly, easily and simply, while knots have to have to be tied with frozen fingers, your choice.  You can then use the proper knots to tighten things down.  Really, is this what people do for fun on their off time, oh....oh, sorry I digress.

Every tent I have, that I use, I buy dedicated line, rope, shoes strings?, for and stays with and on that tent. Nuthin like being out in the backcountry and not having enough line, when, since the last time you use the tent, you scavenged line for another project and now your short.....you have been fore warned.

So, long story short, or in this case, short story long, you can attach as many guy out loops on the tent via guy lines to a single split ring as you want (within reason) and then use a single guy line to  tie down to a guy out point such as a tree, rock, sand bag,  metal thingy buried it the snow (I know it has a name), etc.  This is how I do it and it does not and has not failed me in the past.  IMHO of cource


3:13 a.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Get the reflective line from REI.

BlueWater 3mm NiteLine Utility Cord - Package of 50 ft.

The reflective dots in the line form little bumps that work very well in the guy line stopper/adjuster.

2:59 p.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill S:

Thanks for the photo and the knot link.

For those of you who are trying to figure out how to "tie" the "magic X" in BillS's photo, click this link and zoom in Magic X. You can see what he did once you zoom in.

Here's another animated knot website that has iphone and android apps. http://www.animatedknots.com  It has some very interesting links on its home page concerning rope vs knot breaking strength.

3:09 p.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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Brian I like your ideas. Becouse the tent is Ritas Base Camp and it will be staying, for the most part, at a car camping spot. Becouse I wont be there with her I will be staking the tent down at all points. I want her to be safe and sound if a storm were to fly in. The extra weight doesnt matter as I have no intentions in hiking in a 28# tent.

Thanks all for the much helpfull information to my "guy" line delima.

7:17 p.m. on October 29, 2011 (EDT)
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That link doesnt seem to work. Here is better view -- http://climbinghouse.com/2010/10/trad-101-3-anchors-and-multipitch-climbing.html except using a sewn loop. Tie the cord as a loop with a double fisherman knot (a single fisherman tends to come undone in slippery synthetic cord)

1:31 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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To save weight and gear volume (anywhere counts to some people's choice) try a simple Truckers Hitch.



1:32 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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or a slightly more complicated though often easier dis-assembly, Waginer's Hitch


11:21 a.m. on November 3, 2011 (EDT)
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How does one use an internal guying system?  The picture that comes to mind is from the old movie "The Parent Trap" (the Haley Mills version) with strings strung all over the tent.

For those of you who have never seen the movie or forgotten it here is a clip with the relevant scene.  What I'm talking about appears around 40-50 seconds.

BTW kids this is a Disney movie set where momma bear was caged up or these were orphan cubs and were nice and tame, don't pour honey on your future step mom's feet on a real camping trip you really won't like the results. Really you won't, no matter how much you don't like her.

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