Bungee added to Guyline?

8:01 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I was considering adding some bungee chord to the guy lines of my tent and was wondering if it would have any real effect on reducing the stress on the tent, specifically where the sewn loops for the guy line are attached to the rain fly. I’m thinking the best way to do it would to put 2 small fixed loops in the guy line about 3 inches apart with a 2 inch piece of 3 or 4 mm bungee tied between them. This would have the effect of letting the bungee stretch an inch before the rest of the guy line would go taught. I would try to either keep the bungee fairly taught or double them up so there is a fair amount of resistance to stretching.

I’m thinking this will either reduce the peak loads on the tent, or make things worse if the stretching and relaxing of the bungee allows more movement. I’m also thinking this may help keep the guy lines even more taught.

Anybody ever tried this or have any theories if it will work? I spend a lot of time camping in southwest Alaska so I’m always looking for better ways to secure my tent in the wind.

8:45 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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I've wondered the same thing. But I'm also concerned as well about the tent not being tight enough with all the flexability. Campmor sells these: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/CAMOmnifindQueryCmd?storeId=226&catalogId=40000000226&langId=-1&searchCategory=&ip_state=&ip_constrain=&ip_navtype=search&pageSize=24&currentPage=&ip_sortBy=&searchKeywords=23003

Ive looked at them in the store but haven't actually bought/tried them....yet. I guess it's worth a try unless someone has something else to say of this system.

9:11 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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In the hammock world what you are describing is called a self tensioning line. There is much discussion about these over at www.hammockforums.net

Primarily these are used when dealing with a silnylon tarp due to silnylon stretching relatively easily. And during the night a silnylon tarp would begin to sag. These self tensioners pull the line taught again therefore the tarp never sags.

These also pose a very big danger,and can serious fling a tent stake with a lot of umph and either put a puncture in your beloved tarp or tent or hurt you. So be careful when using!

Now, i have read your post a few times but still don't fully understand why you want these on a tent... Your tent is supposed to be taut, that way there is no loose fabric or line for a wind gust to grab. Tents are designed for the guy out points to absorb a lot of stress. Has one started to tear or rip and that is why your concerned? If that's the case the best thing you could do is just sew and reinforce it and then seam seal it.

9:52 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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TheRambler :
"Now, i have read your post a few times but still don't fully understand why you want these on a tent... Your tent is supposed to be taut, that way there is no loose fabric or line for a wind gust to grab. Tents are designed for the guy out points to absorb a lot of stress. Has one started to tear or rip and that is why your concerned? If that's the case the best thing you could do is just sew and reinforce it and then seam seal it."

I agree.  I'm not sure what your trying to accomplish by doing this.  In a heavy snow fall, snow will stick to the tent stretch the bungee causing a depression in the tent material very possibly causing catastrophic failure.  The worse the weather the tighter the tent material should be.  If you worried about your tent tearing I would say either reinforce the weak areas or spring for another tent. 

10:25 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Your ideas are right on the mark, WISam. I do this on my silnylon tarp, as silnylon stretches after time, especially during/after rain, as TheRambler talks about above. I tied little loops of 1/4" bungee to each tie-out using Carrick Bends, and then I just attach the guyline to that. When it's set-up in the evening, it's drum tight; in the morning, it's still drum-tight...no re-positioning of stakes or tightening of guy-lines at 3:00am necessary.

This type up set-up also provides a little give during high-wind situations. In this way I can stretch the bungee as tight as it will go by hand, place the stake, and know I still have a few inches of play if a big gust comes through. I also imagine this type of setup would also reduce the possibility of something on the tarp itself tearing.

I use my Hilleberg in the winter, so I have not experienced heavy snow load with such a tarp configuration, but I can attest to it shedding the light snow that I've encountered when using it in the shoulder seasons.

10:36 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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@ WISam : Just wondering what the tent is your talking about and what the material is?   I didn't think about silnylon as all my gear is at least 5 years old I'm always behind the curve when it comes to new materials.

11:45 p.m. on August 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Your idea is good and if camping in extreme gusting conditions it certainly could make you tents life longer and especially you may sleep better just because you feel you have done something to protect your tent.

Check out the Snubbers for boating docklines.  You may be able to steel an idea from this priciple.

Good idea, yes.  Added weight, yes.  Extended tent life, probably.  Better sleep for you, no doubt.

Weigh in on your needs, wishes and options.

4:55 a.m. on August 25, 2011 (EDT)
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A theoretical solution, but in this application I see other considerations.  One purpose of guy lines is keeping the tent taut.  But guys also anchor a ten in the wind and help it shed snow.  If a wind is blowing so hard as to cause concern over the tent’s continued physical integrity, perhaps it is time to collapse the tent and improvise another shelter.  I have experienced winds so violent, the tent walls were folding in upon us, compelling us to place our backs against the walls to preclude breaking the tent poles.   I don’t know if our action had any affect, but the tent remained intact.  I have also been in winds that shredded tents, and blown one away, along with its occupants.  In short when it gets real nasty the wind is going to have its way, no matter what you do.  If it is any consolation few people will ever see a wind strong enough to damage a decent tent.  The truth is people tend to grossly over estimate the actual velocity of wind.

IMO bungie tent guys are good for dealing with tent sag caused by night time stretching, but undermine the performance of guy lines staked out to anchor a tent in the breeze, or enhance its snow shedding performance.

Ed

8:36 a.m. on August 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I use tensioned guy lines on my tarp, not my tent.

My tarp is Sil-Nylon while my tent is Urethane coated Nylon. As mentioned above, Sil-Nylon will stretch during use so a tensioned guy line fixed to stationary objects helps keep mine tight.

My tents with Urethane coated Nylon do not stretch much and always get pitched tight with static guy line (no bungee cord, etc.) to shed rain and snow properly. This also keeps the fly on my double wall tents from contacting the inner tent material which helps with ventilation and condensation problems.

On my tarp I have been using silicone tubing instead of bungee cord or shock cord for the in line tensioning material. Silicone tubing lasts longer, works the same when wet, dry, hot, or cold. It is also resistant to UV damage. Tensioned guy lines work best for me when tied to things like trees, tree limbs, rocks, exposed roots, etc.

You can buy some pre-made 8' lines with silicone tubing from Whoopie Slings.

You can also make your own 'in line tensioners' for your guy lines several ways, here are some web pages for ideas:

http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeGearTarpTensioner2.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZaz7gS-yck

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=19526

I hope that helps.

11:38 a.m. on August 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, the idea was to limit the peak loads on the guy line attach points during a strong gust.

Sounds like the general thought is that unless there is some streach in the fly, a bungee won't help and may actually make the guy lines less effective. 

9:02 a.m. on November 3, 2011 (EDT)
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I have never added bungees to the guy lines. But out here I find myself in a climate that rains non stop for weeks at a time. I have found adding a bungee type cord to the stake-outs on the fly keeps the fly from sagging even after 4-5 days.

2:42 a.m. on November 5, 2011 (EDT)
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so it does work

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