What Are Tent Guy Lines

How to Set Up a Tent Guyline – Appalachian Mountain Club

ISTOCK To keep a tent dry and robust, it is critical to understand how to correctly set up guylines. It’s raining, it’s pouring, and there’s a strong wind blowing. In such situations, it is imperative that your tent guylines are correctly installed. If you do not, you might anticipate water to seep into your tent or, in a more extreme circumstance, a snapped pole and the collapse of your tent. It’s preferable to make your wilderness shelter as bomb-proof as possible before you need it. Here’s all you need to know about the situation.

Several guylines are attached to the rainfly of a tent and then tautly anchored into the ground a short distance away from the tent to provide additional support.

Second, they strengthen the structural integrity of the tent, preventing severe winds and winter snow loads from causing the poles to bend excessively and potentially snapping the tent’s fabric.

The importance of keeping your tent dryWhen it is chilly and damp, a significant amount of condensation may accumulate on the underside of a rainfly.

  1. Another typical cause of leakage is the bottom corners and edges of the tent body, especially if water is dripping right off the rainfly and onto them.
  2. Maintain in mind that tent materials, particularly silnylon, may droop as they cool and become wet; check and re-tension guylines on a regular basis to keep the rainfly in place.
  3. For this, you’ll want to make use of the guyline loops that are located around halfway up the rainfly.
  4. The most important thing to remember about guylines is that, when it comes to boosting stability, they are most successful when they are used to strengthen the poles rather than merely the rainfly.
  5. These are critical in ensuring a secure connection between the guylines and the tent’s pole framework.
  6. If you want to keep the guylines from ripping out in high winds, you should drive stakes into the ground at a right angle to them.) Increasing the tension on your guylines As the weather changes, you’ll need to tension and adjust your guylines on a more frequent basis.
  7. The simplest method is to utilize a trucker’s hitch, which necessitates the acquisition of no extra gear or accessories.

Many inexpensive attachments can make tensioning easier, albeit they may add an ounce or two to the weight of the tensioning tool.

There are several more factors.

Easily tripped over, they can send you flying or cause you to lose your grip on the rainfly’s loop completely.

Some guylines are woven with reflective material, which has a modest advantage at night.

Also keep in mind that most tents do not come with enough stakes to attach both the tent and the guylines; you may need to acquire a few more stakes or be prepared to use rocks, branches, or other natural elements to hold the tent and the guylines in place instead.

Prepare your tent by pitching it against the wind longitudinally rather than broadside, and search for trees or other sheltering objects in the environment to reduce your initial exposure to the elements.

How to Setup Guylines and Stake Down a Tent

A guyline is often a cable or thread that is used to anchor a tent or tarp to the ground when camping or other outdoor activities. In a nutshell, they offer stability to sections of the tent or tarp that cannot be supported by the poles.

Why are they important?

1. Stability is important. Guylines, which are especially important in windy conditions, will lend a significant amount of strength to the frame of your tent. With the weight of snow or heavy rain on top of the tent, this additional support is essential. 2. Proper ventilation. If you are camping in a double walled tent (the mesh tent insert wall combined with the rain fly creates two walls), guylines will assist you in keeping the two walls isolated from one another. Furthermore, they will prevent the rain fly from lying directly on top of the tent’s roof.

  1. 3.
  2. You could detect some loops in the middle of some of your tent’s borders or walls, which indicate that the tent is not completely enclosed.
  3. 4.
  4. Most hiking tents are equipped with a rain fly or a vestibule of some form (like a mini front porch).
  5. 5.
  6. Non-freestanding tents, by definition, require guylines in order to be able to stand on their own.

How to tie and stake down a guyline?

STEP 1: Secure one end of the line to the tent with a bungee cord. Take note of the loops on the outside of your tent or tarp. These are referred to as “man out loops.” The majority of them are located on the corners. Some more ones, on the other hand, may be found on the walls and/or on the perimeter of the room. All of these loops have the ability to serve as attachment locations for your guyline. You may use string, rope, twine, or almost any other type of string. Personally, I like to use an ultralight camping reflective cord rather than a traditional reflective cord (liketheseorthis).

  1. It’s possible that the maker of your tent has already connected some type of guylines for you to utilize.
  2. Keep in mind, however, that some of the manufacturer’s lines are either too short or inadequately knotted.
  3. Buying your own allows you to have more control on the length of the piece as well (typically about 3 ft per guy line).
  4. To be effective, this knot will need to be secure – either fixed (and hence not adjustable) or tightening (tightens with tension).
  5. A fixed bowline knot is used to attach the guy line.
  6. Make a list of your anchors.
  7. You will, however, need to be creative if the terrain is either too hard (rocky) or too soft (sandy or muddy).

There are a plethora of different approaches that can be used to connect the line to the actual anchor points.

Because of the capacity to extend or shorten the guy line, there will be additional alternatives for anchor locations to consider (which can be hard to come by).

If you do not have access to a tensioner, there are a variety of knots that you can use instead.

When it comes to staking down a tent, the taut line hitch is a basic Boy Scout knot to use.

A tensioner is being utilized to modify the length of the line.

It’s only a matter of staking it down after your knot or tensioner loop has been tied.

As a general rule, I recommend maintaining the line straight and perpendicular to the tent while angling the stake inward at 45 degrees towards the tent in order to get the strongest anchor.

If any force were applied to it, it would have a greater chance of popping out. The proper technique to anchor a tent is to do it from the inside out. Stoveless BackpackingMeals

How to Properly Set Up and Use Tent Guy Lines [Instructions]

Tent frames and tent flys are often designed with guy-out and tie-off points integrated into the structure of the tent. In most cases, these guy-out points are situated around halfway up the side of the tent or towards the top. In addition to being properly placed around a tent, they are also crucial for three other reasons.

1. Secure Tent to the Ground Better

Typically, a tent foundation is equipped with grommets or loops that allow it to be staked into the ground. This helps to hold the tent firmly in place and prevents it from moving when people are inside or while it is windy outside. In certain cases, especially in severely windy circumstances, these tent foundation anchor points aren’t sufficient to keep your tent securely in place. A tent’s stability and ground anchoring are improved when guy lines are used and stakes are driven into the ground.

Each extra anchor point contributes to the stability of the tent, allowing it to withstand strong winds without being blown away.

2. Sheds RainSnow Loads

A tent’s form and construction are generally intended to prevent water and snow from gathering on the fabric. During severe storms, on the other hand, a tent can rapidly get overwhelmed by the amount of rain, snow, or ice that falls on the ground. When a tent rainfly begins to droop, it loses its capacity to channel and deflect moisture away from the tent body, causing the tent to leak. Water may begin to seep into these locations over time, or the snow load may become too heavy and fall into the tent, causing the tent to collapse.

  • Man-made guy lines are intended to increase the tension and stiffness of a tent and tent fly. In order for a tent to be more easily able to shed water or snow off its fabric, guy lines are used to draw the fabric taut.

Personally, I’ve found that utilizing tent guy lines prevents any pooling of water on my tent, which is especially important during periods of severe rain. I can tell a significant difference in how dry my tent is when guy lines are employed and when they are not. So, if I know there will be rain in the forecast, I make sure to use all of my tent guy lines to maintain my tent in the proper shape to shed water. When you’re putting up a tent, the cloth isn’t usually stretched to its maximum extent.

Tent guy lines, on the other hand, are intended to “pull the tent open,” therefore increasing the volume of the tent’s interior.

It may relieve campers of the discomfort of having the tent walls squarely in their faces while sleeping.

Pro-tip: If your tent’s fabric is loose or the structure is weak, utilizing guy lines will dramatically enhance the shape of the tent and may even bring a “ancient” tent back to life!

Step-by-Step Tent Guy Line Set Up

In most cases, tents come with guy lines already attached, but if your tent does not come with guy lines already attached, you will need to attach them yourself. If your tent does not come with guy lines already attached, you can easily order reflective guy line and line tensioners from the manufacturer’s website.

After that, cut them to length and attach them to each guy out point. Make sure there is enough length to reach the ground from the tent’s guy out point, plus 50 percent additional, for each guy out point. This is done to ensure that you have adequate back length to tighten the line properly.

Step 2: Stake Out Each Guy Line

Attach the guy line’s loop end to a ground stake by tying it in a knot. Hammer the ground stake into the earth while making certain that the following conditions are met:

  • To prevent the tent from being dragged off its post in windy circumstances, the stake should be positioned slightly away from the tent. If possible, the stake should be placed away from your tent base so that the guy line and the ground form a 45-degree angle.

This procedure should be repeated for all of the guy lines in your tent. Use the natural environment to attach guy lines if you want to save time and effort. Especially when the terrain is too difficult for stakes to hold, exposed roots and huge rocks offer excellent anchor points.

Step 3: Tighten Each Guy Line

With the line tensioner, tighten each guy line around the outside of your tent in a systematic manner. Your goal is to have each line hold its shape, without being too constricted. An excessively tightened guy line might put an excessive amount of stress on your tent, perhaps causing it to collapse. Tent guy lines that are taut assist a tent drain rain and snow, reducing the need to shake your tent regularly to eliminate accumulated water, snow, or ice buildup. Pro-tip: Guy lines have a tendency to get looser with time.

Replacement Guy Lines, TensionersGround Stakes

As previously stated, most tents are sent with guy lines and tensioners already connected to the tent body or included in the package, as well as ground stakes. However, if they do not, or if you need to replace your tent guy lines, I recommend that you purchase guy lines that have built-in luminous strips to make your tent more visible at night. The reason for this is because tripping over guy wires at night is a significant problem, and it may be a serious safety hazard, especially in risky camping areas such as alpine, ridgeline, or cliff-edge locations where the ground might be unstable.

Guy Line

I propose a parachord rope with a diameter of 1.8 mm and a length of 65 feet (20 meters). Cut the rope into smaller lengths to accommodate each guy out point on the rig.

Rope Tensioners

You may also require rope tensioners, which may vary depending on the quantity of man lines you have. Aluminum rope tensioners are my preferred choice since they are compact, light-weight, and will endure a long time.

Ground Stakes

Finally, if you don’t have any extra stakes, I recommend purchasingheavy duty stakes to guarantee that the guy lines are firmly fastened to the ground during the installation process. It is possible that this article contains affiliate links, which will help to support this blog at no additional cost to you.

Tent Guyline (Easy) Setup Guidance

Tent guylines help to keep your tent secure, increase the amount of inside space, and decrease dampness. Guylines are comprised of strong and thin strands that can withstand being tugged and pulled by a person. Typically, they are attached midway up the tent or tarp structure and curve out at a 45-degree angle to a tent stake set in the ground. The addition of this cable to your tent will be quite beneficial in the rain, wind, and snow.

How to Use a Guyline Tensioner

It is possible to change the length and tautness of the cable using tensioners. These are particularly useful once you have staked out the guylines and are just required to tighten up the remaining lines. Tensioners also produce a loop at the bottom of the rope, which makes it simple to attach a tent stake to it using a hook. A guyline tensioner must have a minimum of two holes to function properly (but usually three). Cord is threaded through the holes in alternating directions, and then a simple knot is tied at the end.

See also:  How Do You Make A Tent In Minecraft

Continue to draw the rope (as indicated in the photo below) until it is completely through the tensioner and forms a loop.

Setting up camp is really quick and simple as a result of this.

Set up each cord as quickly as possible without having to worry about the exact positioning. Then, when needed, use the tensioners to tighten up each individual line. There will be no more removing stakes from the ground repeatedly to locate the right position!

How Long Should Guyline Cord Be?

Because guylines tend to be tripping hazards, choose brightly colored cable (preferably reflective) that is easily seen. The usual guideline is that the cable should be at a 45-degree angle away from the tent, however we have discovered that a longer cord is more stable. Having lengthy guylines also provides you the option of staking out your tent with rocks if the situation calls for it.

How Many Tent Guylines?

The number of tent guylines you need to use is determined by the design of your shelter and the type of weather you’ll be camping in. Most of the time, you will only need to man out the tent on the windward side. However, because the wind might change direction at any time, it may be prudent to spread them out all the way around. Most weather conditions can be met with four guylines in most cases. Are you looking for clothing that is lightweight? Tents and tarps are available for purchase right now!

What Do Tent Guy Lines Do?

The usual camper does not use tent guy lines to keep his tent in place. On the other hand, the common camper is not usually aware of the purpose of tent guy lines. Perhaps you’ve seen some wires dangling from your tent, but you’ve never thought to put them to any good use. Alternatively, you may have observed loops on the corners or sides of your tent without realizing why they were there in the first place. Another possibility is that you are well aware of what guy lines are, but you do not believe that they are required.

Take a look at what man lines are used for and why you should get into the habit of employing them.

They’re not just for bad weather.

A common misconception is that guy lines are only designed to be used in adverse weather situations. Due to the fact that most people like to camp in beautiful weather, they opt not to man out their tents since they do not believe that it is required. They stake the tent’s four corners and are relieved to know that their tent is safe. Guy lines perform a number of critical functions:

  • Improve ventilation
  • Reinforce the tent’s structural integrity
  • Keep the tent dry

Guy lines are useful in all kinds of weather, thus they are not limited to inclement weather. In addition, the weather might change fast. Winds might begin to howl and push and tug on your tent while it sleeps. It doesn’t take much to bring a tent tumbling down, and powerful winds can even snap tent poles in half.

Why guy lines are important

Tent guying out a tent using tent guy lines helps to reinforce your tent, ensuring that it remains strong and safe. Yes, this will ensure that your tent does not move, but it will also help to prevent your tent from buckling in high wind conditions. Guy lines become increasingly important the higher the profile of your tent. Guy lines assist in keeping moisture away from your tent. The rain fly should be pulled taut to prevent water from pooling on the outside of your tent. It also increases the amount of space between your tent fly and the tent itself, which can assist you in keeping your tent dry if your fly leaks.

Tension in the rain fly may be maintained by tent guy lines, which increases ventilation. Not only does this aid in keeping your tent cool in the summer, but it also aids in preventing condensation from forming when camping in colder climates as well.

Setting up a guy line is easy

In most cases, especially if you have line tensioners, setting up tent guy lines is an easy process. Many tents are sold with guy lines already attached to the poles. If your tent does not come with guy lines, it should at the very least have guy line loops or anchors to attach them to. In most cases, you can see the angle at which your guy lines should be placed before installing them. Follow the incline of the tent and stake the guy line in the ground to secure it. Make certain that they are not too far away from the tent, or else people will trip over them all night, and possibly all day as well.

A trucker’s hitch or other types of knots can also be used to tighten man lines, but tensioners make it simple to raise line tension without having to retighten or re-knot guy lines.

What Are Guy Lines? Are They Necessary for Tent Camping?

The small ropes dangling from the tent rain-fly will become noticeable when you are tent camping. These ropes are referred to as “Guy Lines,” however some people refer to them incorrectly as “Guide-lines” or “Guide-ropes.” Your tent is about a foot away from them, and they are tightly pegged into the ground. The main purpose of these Guy Lines is to protect the tent from blowing over, but they may also be used to keep your rain fly tight so that water does not seep inside the tent. The tensioner may be used to tighten the ropes in order to effectively support the tent against high wind gusts.

Are Guy Lines Necessary?

As a tent camper myself, tent guy lines are not something I consider to be extremely important. I’ve tented in strong winds without my tent blowing over or away, and I’ve done it without the use of guy lines, which is impressive. I conducted research and polled a large number of tent campers on Reddit’s “Camping” group, which has over 440k subscribers, and received a few responses. They are not required for 99 percent of your camping excursions, according to one camper’s opinion. However, in the event of a storm or particularly strong winds, it is impossible to overestimate the importance of having additional reinforcement.

  1. Of course, if you’re using shoddy equipment and stakes, you won’t notice any difference at all.
  2. The tightness of the guy lines, it should be noted, helps to improve ventilation within your tent.
  3. If you ever wake up in the morning to a dripping tent, this is a great tip to keep in mind.
  4. Last but not least, another remark provides correct information.

Just make sure the ground you’re hammering into is tough, rather than sand or loose gravel, before you start. The main purpose of guy lines is to ensure that tents remain tall and robust while in use. It will keep your tent from swinging in the wind if you use the lines.

What Do They Really Do?

We discovered that guy lines may not be completely effective in keeping your tent from blowing away. However, if you correctly put up your guy lines, you will be able to establish a stronger basis for your tent. Your tent may not be as floppy against the wind as a result of this change in design. On occasion, while I am camping in my big family-sized tent, I tighten the ropes to reduce the amount of noise the walls produce from the wind. My major concern is that I will have a better night’s sleep as a result of the lower level of noise from it blowing away.

This helps to decrease any condensation, and it also allows us to breathe in more fresh air, which is exactly what camping is all about.

When Should They Be Used?

Are you unsure of when it is OK to utilize man lines? We can determine when they are most effective after investigating what they truly accomplish and whether or not they are genuinely required. It goes without saying that there is no danger in employing them, although they may not always be effective. Guy lines, on the other hand, are important while mountaineering or when in a stormy environment. They can help keep you dry and prevent your tent from collapsing while you’re camping. Guy lines should be used when there is a possibility of heavy winds, as well as in any adverse weather.

How Do Guy Lines Even Work?

Believe me when I say. For a long time, I was completely baffled as to how to use these “thingys.” However, this is how they operate:

  • If the line is not already linked directly to the tent’s loop, it is tied around the loop. Take a hold of the Men’s Tensioner. There are three holes in it:

1. The top – line enters the tent from the outside. 2. The mid-line wraps around from the first hole and exits the second hole in an outward direction toward the peg (Figure 2). Check to see that the peg is securely fastened. 3. Bottom- After the guy line has been wrapped around the secured peg, it is threaded through the final hole. It is tied in a tight knot to keep it in place.

  • At the end, pull the tensioner towards the tent to ensure that it is properly tightened.

Please disregard the images, LOL, but if you are familiar with the appearance of a tensioner, you should be able to gain a basic grasp of how they function. It is just a piece of equipment that tightens and loosens the line tension by tightening and relaxing the line. This tension works as additional support into the ground, preventing your tent from being blown around by the wind.


I hope you now have a better knowledge of what a man line is and how to use it effectively. You should now understand when it is necessary to utilize guy-lines. Tents are sturdy on their own, but guy lines just add to the stability of the structure. Adding extra support is always a good idea, so spending a couple of extra minutes during set up is not a bad idea either. We hope you took away something useful from today’s lesson on man lines!

Tenting Made Simple Thank you for taking the time to read with us; please feel free to browse our website for further content. If you think there is something important missing from this post, please share it in the comments section below.

Tent Guy Lines

What does it mean to be “waterproof” in a tent, and what does the “mm” rating on a tent indicate? Waterproof refers to the fact that all exterior fabric has been treated with our superior polyurethane coatings and that the seams are watertight right out of the bag in the case of an MSR tent. In this case, “mm” refers to millimeters and is used in conjunction with a number to signify an internationally recognized standard measurement of how waterproof a coating is. Using the example of a 1500mm coating, it will be possible to tolerate a 1500mm (5′) column of water for more than one minute before even a single drop appears through the fabric.

  • What are the meanings of the letters D and T following the fabrics?
  • The lower numbers are lighter and finer, while the higher numbers are heavier and coarser.
  • In terms of fabric weave, the lower numbers describe a loosely woven fabric, while the higher numbers suggest a firmly woven fabric The combination of these two figures can assist to determine the strength and feel of a piece of cloth.
  • With a “flat” end and a “pointed” end, the 7-point shape is aesthetically pleasing.
  • In order to create a covered space, the opposing “flat edge,” which is composed of three points, may be extended firmly and fastened to a shelter, vehicle rack, or even the pole-supported vestibule of a tent.
  • For the cable storage compartments, you may use paddles and sticks (which also function well).
  • What is the point of getting a footprint?

Made to match each individual model, it not only keeps your tent floor clean and dry, but it also protects the ground beneath the tent from excessive abrasion, helping to extend its useful life and reduce wear and tear.

What is the best way to store my tent?

Despite the fact that we utilize the finest polyurethane waterproofing available, extended contact to moisture promotes hydrolysis, which, in turn, causes the waterproof layer to break down, becoming squishy, sticky, and no longer effective as a waterproofing barrier.

Mildew will cause your tent to discolor and smell, and it will also cause the waterproof covering to break down prematurely.

Keep your tent in a dry, cool location away from direct sunlight if you intend to store it for an extended period of time.

An old pillowcase is an excellent option for those on a tight budget.

The use of guy ropes in your tent will increase its stability in windy or extreme weather conditions while also increasing its ventilation.

Pass the cord around the stake and back through the tensioner, making sure to keep the curved side of the tensioner facing toward the stake throughout.

To tighten the cord, draw the tensioner up the length of the cord and then release the tensioner.

What causes condensation in a tent, and how can I minimize it when camping? Condensation is the accumulation of moisture within your tent as a result of temperature changes between the interior and outside of your tent. There are three primary sources of information:

  • Weather Conditions: High humidity, low temperatures, and wet weather conditions are the most conducive to condensation production. During the night, we create around 1 – 2 quarts of moisture from our breathing and skin evaporation. In a damp environment, moist ground or wet goods stowed inside the tent are both acceptable.
See also:  Where Can I Get A Tent

While there is no tent design that can completely prevent condensation, ventilation is the key to decreasing it. In order for your tent to function properly, cooler, drier air must enter and warm, damp air must depart. We’ve come up with a number of different approaches of accomplishing this. To begin, the tent’s body and roof are comprised of textiles that are both breathable and mesh. This makes it possible for moisture to escape from the interior of the tent. It must, however, be able to exit the waterproof fly, and every MSR rainfly is equipped with a peak vent that gives protection from the elements while yet allowing for the unrestricted movement of important fresh air through your tent.

  • Always leave at least two vents open, if possible, to allow any wind to offer cross-flow ventilation for the best possible circulation.
  • What causes condensation in a tent is demonstrated in this video.
  • The amount of time you spend in a tent is directly proportional to its lifespan.
  • The lifespan of a tent that is used in harsh circumstances at high altitude, such as Everest Base Camp, is limited to a few months, but a well-maintained tent that is used very rarely in regular conditions can endure for several years.
  • It is not necessary to clean your tent unless it emits an offensive odor or becomes heavily soiled and soiled.
  • Set up your tent and hand wash it with warm water, a sponge, and a mild, non-detergent soap if you need to do more extensive cleaning.
  • Make sure to thoroughly rinse.

Tents should never be dry cleaned, machine washed, or machine dried.

What are the packaging weights and minimum weight requirements?

Packaging weight, in line with this standard, refers to the overall weight of the packaged items when they are taken off the shelf.

In many cases, the rainfly, poles, and footprint are all that are required to set up an MSR backpacking tent.

More information regarding packaging weight vs.

Why do real weights occasionally differ from weights that have been published?

As a result, you may notice that your tent weighs a few ounces more or less than the weight specified on the packaging.

Variations in coatings and textiles might result in minor weight discrepancies throughout the production process, depending on the application.

In the case of lightweight tents, this corresponds to only an ounce or two of weight. In larger tents, the price might be a little more. Here are a few possible explanations for the weight discrepancies:

  • Variations in coating thickness: The thickness of coatings on tent fabric can differ slightly from one tent to the next. Fabrics are created in batches, which are referred to as “lots,” and there can be a tiny weight difference between lots as well as between different lots of the same fabric. Varying sizes and weights of fabrics: Because tent fabric is manually cut in up to 200 layers at a time, some sections may be cut just outside the line, resulting in some areas being slightly bigger and heavier than others. Accuracy of the scale: Weights are calculated at MSR using our calibrated lab scales, which are more precise than standard household scales
  • And Addition of products:Brands may opt at the last minute to incorporate more stakes or guy ropes, which may increase the overall weight of their bundled goods.

Please see our blog post on the topic of tent weights for more information on how we define tent weights. What happens if one of my poles snaps or becomes damaged? If a tent pole breaks, you can use the pole repair sleeve to create a temporary splint to keep it from falling over. Slide the repair sleeve over the broken section and secure it in place with tape or a stick to prevent it from moving. What can I do to keep mildew at bay? One of the most common ways to cause damage to your tent is to fail to dry it as quickly as possible after it has been wet.

  1. Mildew can cause the waterproof coatings to separate from the fabric, causing them to be permanently damaged.
  2. Mildew stains are difficult to remove.
  3. If your tent seems dry after usage, it is always wise to double-check that it is entirely dry before putting it away for the winter.
  4. Never dry your tent in the washing machine since the heat might cause the fabric to melt.

My guyline & tension system for tents, tarps, and hammocks

Guys and tensioning systems often seen on hiking shelters (including tent, tarp and hammocks) have two major shortcomings: they are inflexible and they are difficult to adjust.

  1. There is insufficient cordage given. This restricts the number of stake-out spots, which is particularly troublesome in rocky or hard-packed terrain. Natural anchors such as trees, felled logs, exposed roots, and huge boulders, as well as deadman anchors, are not permitted to be utilized in the winter. Compared to portable metal stakes, these anchors are both stronger and more convenient.

Alternatives to this system, which I will describe below, are highly recommended by me. It is simple and versatile, relies on only three simple knots that are easy to learn, and costs absolutely nothing.

Desirable characteristics in a guyline system

There are a variety of systems that I’ve seen and played with. What attributes and characteristics have been shown to be the most important?

1. Adjustability

A good deal of flexibility is provided in the pitch of most shelters in terms of form, ridgeline angles, and/or elevation above the ground level, among other things. Because of its adaptability, shelters may be designed to meet specific needs such as:

  • The local terrain, including flat or uneven surfaces, hard or soft soils, and inconveniently located vegetation and rocks
  • The current and expected weather, including temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction
  • And, the current and expected weather forecast.

Tensioning systems that are not adjustable are unable to take advantage of this flexibility. As a result, I prefer to employ guylines rather than simple stake-out loops, and I avoid using predetermined knots and guyline lengths wherever possible. Finally, adjustability is particularly important when it comes to shelters made of silicone-impregnated nylon, which has a natural stretch that is especially noticeable when the shelter is wet. Using an adjustable guyline system, it is simple to avoid drooping caused by stretching of the fabric.

2. Dependability

When pitching a tarp in a remote place such as this vast tundra meadow on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, a solid guyline system is essential for success. I need to be certain that my guyline system will not fail in downpours, blizzards, and windy storms — or a combination of these conditions — in order to sail safely. It has gained my confidence during approximately 500 nights of use: the line has never broken, and the knots have never loosened or been undone.

I would not be able to sail without it. In addition, I teach this guyline system on my guided trips, and to date, no client has reported a failure using it.

3. Speed

When I have to set up or take down my shelter in severe weather or freezing temps (when exposed hands quickly lose dexterity), having a quick guyline system is quite helpful.

4. No fixed knots or hardware

For the first 20 minutes of practice, I depended on end-of-line fixed loops, which significantly reduced adjustability while also encouraging knot formation. Then I moved on to plastic line locks, tensioners and cleats, which were handy but unsatisfactory in their performance. They:

  • The weight has been increased, and a new failure point has been included. Winterized and frozen solid, especially when it is damp and frigid outside. Knotting was required, as was guyline of a specified width (e.g. 2mm), which could only be obtained from speciality outdoor retail stores that also included a climbing section.

During the winter, I tie-off tension shelters to deadman anchors that I bury in the snow or to equipment (such as ski poles) that isn’t being used at the time.

Cordagestake recommendations

I prefer Y- or V-shaped metal stakes with a nylon sheath and a string thickness ranging from 1.5 to 3 mm for the optimum combination of gripping force, user-friendliness, durability, and weight. My preferred cordage is 1.5-mm Kelty Triptease LightLine, which is available in a variety of colors. It strikes the ideal mix between strength, weight, and user-friendliness — and its reflectivity is a significant bonus when I’m trying to re-locate my shelter in the middle of the night. PMI Utility Cordis a more cost-effective alternative to Triptease, but it is less strong and weighs twice as much.

However, this is a “dumb light” choice since the cable is pricey, prone to knotting, and difficult to deal with (due to the fact that it is so thin and slippery).

These anchors have high holding strength and may be driven deeply into the earth with a rock without buckling.

Even in ideal soil conditions, their holding power and durability are limited.

Guyline lengths

The actual amount of cords and lengths of cord used may vary depending on the shelter. In general, I avoid being too conservative with the quantity of cable I use – an additional foot or two of cord weighs next to nothing but provides enormous flexibility. My three-season suggestions are as follows:

  • A-frame tarps: 8 feet for ridgelines, 4 to 6 feet for sides, depending on the usual side height
  • A-frame tarps: 8 feet for ridgelines, 4 to 6 feet for sides
  • Harness tarp in the shape of a hexagon: 8 feet for the ridgelines and 6 feet for the side corners
  • Tents and mids: 3 feet for ground-level corners and sides
  • 3 feet for upper-level corners and sides

Because the deadman anchor is buried under approximately one foot of snow in the winter, longer guyline lengths are required to tie-off to deadman anchors in the winter. When tying down ground-level tie-outs on tents and mids, for example, I like to use 6-foot lengths of rope.

Knots: step-by-step directions

  • 2:00 into the video below
  • And again at 6:00 into the video below
  • And

McCarthy hitch

To attach a tarp to an anchor point (such as a stake or a tree trunk), I prefer to use the McCarthy hitch, which is a simplified trucker’s hitch that was demonstrated to me by my buddy Forrest McCarthy in the first place. I’m not even sure what it’s called if it has a genuine name.

  • Watch the video below beginning at 3:00 and again at 6:10 to learn more.

1. Use a bowline to attach the guyline to a stake-out loop; other fixed loop knots (such as the Figure 8) would also work, but the bowline consumes less cord and creates a nice round loop. Unless you decide to replace the guyline cord and/or adjust your system in the future, you will only need to do this once. A bowline is used to link a cord to the corner loop of a tarp. 2. Wrap the guyline around the stake many times. Only a few inches less than half of the total distance between the shelter and the stake is allowed.

Return the guyline tip to the bowline loop and through it, then reverse the guyline’s orientation 180 degrees again, this time back in the direction of the stake, resulting in a 2:1 pulley.

(See illustration) Run the cable all the way down to the stake, then all the way back up to the tarp, through the bowline loop.

The cable should be tensioned by taking advantage of the mechanical advantage, and then tied with a slick hitch.

The system may be untangled in the morning by pulling the guyline tail in order to remove the slippery half hitch and then unthreading the system. Don’t forget to put your stake in the ground! With the use of the McCarthy hitch, secure the tarp to a nearby tree.

Step-by-step directions: the trucker’s hitch

It is often impracticable to use the McCarthy hitch for lengthy guyline lengths, such as those found on an A-frame tarp, because it necessitates the use of a substantial amount of cord — almost double the distance between the tarp’s stakeout loop and the stake. When using shorter guyline lengths, an alternate approach may be necessary as well, such as when a huge boulder is in an appropriate stake location. A trucker’s hitch with a slipped overhand loop is the method I employ in these situations.

  • Watch the video below starting at 4:35 and again at 6:20 to have a better understanding.

See if you can find a nice YouTube video of this knot. 1. Follow the first step of the McCarthy Hitch to the letter. Essentially, a bowline is used to secure the cable to the tarp. Running the guyline all the way to the stake, make a slip loop in the rope that runs between the tarp and the stake. When used in the McCarthy hitch, this slip loop will perform the same function as the bowline loop. Slip loop is a term used to describe a loop that has been slipped. Make a 2:1 pulley by wrapping the guyline tip around the stake and up to the slip loop, then reversing its direction 180 degrees and looping it back around to the stake.

  1. (See illustration) As soon as you’ve finished installing the slip loop, loop the cord around the anchor/stake and back to the slip loop.
  2. For further security, squeeze the 2:1 pulley so that it can’t slip, then tie it off with a slipper half hitch to keep it from slipping.
  3. In general, I don’t tie off the knot much more than this, but if you were very worried, you could add another slippery hitch.
  4. Don’t forget to put your stake in the ground!
  5. I make every effort to provide knowledge, thoughts, and guidance that has been field-tested and is trustworthy.
  6. This website is financed by affiliate marketing, which compensates referral visitors for its services.
  7. Because I am an Amazon Associate, I earn money when people make qualifying purchases.
See also:  How To Make Your Own Truck Tent

Top picks: Stakes & guylines for backpacking tents, tarps & hammocks

This is the first in a series of posts about hiking shelter systems. Start with the introduction and then move on to:

  • Before purchasing a tent, tarp, or hammock, there are six things to ask yourself. Modular Tent: Discussion on the gear list
  • TarpBivy: Discussion on the gear list
  • Hammock: Discussion on the gear list If money were no problem, I’d choose for one of my favorite shelter systems that has been made lightweight. Guylines for the Stakes: My top choices

I’ll wrap up this series on backpacking shelter systems with a discussion of stakes and guylines, which play an important role but are often overlooked or overlooked altogether.

Give your tent, tarp, or hammock some TLC if you want to get the most out of them in terms of usability and performance. A titanium skewer stake, two aluminum V-shaped stakes, a Y-shaped stake, and a Bic pen for scale are shown from left to right.


In the case of stakes that are included with the purchase of a shelter, they are typically around 7 inches in length, made of metal, and in the shape of a V or Y. Examples:

  • The following are Y-shaped stakes: Kungix 7-inch and MSR 7.5-inch Ground Hog
  • V-shaped stakes: Kelty 6.5-inch J-Stakes

It is important to note that Kelty’s J-stakes are named after Jake Lah, founder of DAC, the world’s largest manufacturer of tent poles, and that this does not refer to the shape of the stake. It is okay to dress in either of these fashions, and I would not advise you to do otherwise. Having said that, I normally like the Y-stakes since they have the following features:

  • More surface area, which translates to greater gripping strength
  • A direction-neutral orientation
  • And a deeper slot for the chord

I’ve bent and broken a few Y-stakes over the years, but they were usually at the neck. However, it is incredibly unusual, and I am really harsh on tent pegs. V-stakes are less heavy (0.4 oz per stake versus 0.5 oz per stake) and I have never had one break in my hands. The downside is that they have a smaller surface area, and I can see how a guyline may come loose from one if the “V” is pointing away from the shelter (though I haven’t had or seen this happen myself). If you are ready to pay a few extra bucks, you may spring fortitanium V-stakes in place of the standard stakes.

Pull loops

Short loops of cable are frequently seen attached to Y- and V-stakes, which is a good thing. I usually cut these off since it is much simpler to remove the stake from the ground when it has these pull loops. Stake heads should not be removed from the ground using pull loops since they tangle with my guylines and can become entangled in the notch that holds them in place. To remove stakes from the ground without using pull loops, wrap the head with some slack cable and then pull. Easy.

Skewer stakes

To minimize weight, you might want to explore using titanium skewer stakes for the Y- and V-shaped stakes. If your shelter requires 6 or 8 stakes, this is a 1.5- or 2-ounce weight savings based on the number of stakes required. Skewer stakes, on the other hand:

  • Flexible
  • Able to spin in the ground, perhaps releasing your guyline
  • And having a small surface area, resulting in increased holding power

Skewers are OK for non-critical tie-outs, in my opinion. Suppose the sides of your freestanding tent need to be staked out for adequate ventilation. You might bring skewer stakes for this reason, as an example. However, for critical tension lines, such as the corners and ridgelines of a non-freestanding tent or tarp, they would be a bestupid light source instead. They may function properly under ideal conditions (for example, firm but not rocky ground, and calm weather), but when put to the test, they will fail.


When it comes to guylines, there is a fundamental compromise between weight and user-friendliness. The lack of strength is not an issue. The lightest cable I’ve seen in use, which is 1.25 mm in diameter and contains a pure Dyneema core, has a breaking strength of more than 200 pounds, according to the manufacturer. On a three-season camping journey, I find it difficult to fathom forces approaching such magnitudes (or most winter trips). Because of the tiny diameter of the string, it is difficult to tie (or untie) complex knots.

Although a polyester sheath significantly increases user-friendliness, I would still not recommend it for use in a knot-tying clinic setting. Guylines come in three distinct varieties, all of which I have used and would recommend:

  • Among the materials I use are Kelty Triptease(1.5-mm), which is lightweight, extremely strong, and very reflective
  • MLD LiteLine(1.5-mm), which looks similar to Triptease but is bright orange
  • And PMI Utility Cord(3mm), which is a cost-effective choice that I use on my demo shelters.

My guylinetensioning system

It is essential that you understand how to utilize your stakes and guylines once you have chosen them. Watch and learn about my system by reading about it.)

What stakes and guylines do you use? What’s your feedback on them?

Disclosure. I make every effort to provide knowledge, thoughts, and guidance that has been field-tested and is trustworthy. I have no financial ties to, or interests in, any businesses or goods, and I do not post sponsored content on my website. This website is sponsored by affiliate marketing, in which I get a small compensation from certain suppliers such as Amazon or REI in exchange for referring them business. There is no additional cost to the reader. Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases.

What is a Guy Line And Are They Needed?

Guy ropes, guy lines, and “guying a tent” are all terms used to describe the process of rigging a tent. You keep hearing these expressions, but what exactly is a “man line” anyway? A guy line is a rope or cable that is used to secure the flap of a tarp or tent. It is a vital element of the tent-building process since it ensures that the tent is solid and well-anchored. Guy lines are used to protect rain flaps, tent coverings, and tent extensions from blowing away while they are not in use.

What Are Guy Lines?

If you’ve ever gone camping, you’re probably familiar with the bother of pitching up a tent. If the wind blows too hard or there is a rainfall, you may get wet or find yourself without a tent for a short period of time. However, if you correctly set up your guy lines, you won’t have to be concerned about the stability or dryness of your tent. During a camping trip, guy lines (sometimes referred to as guy ropes) are the ropes that protect your tent from flying away or collapsing. They secure your tent to the ground using pegs or sticks and make certain that your camping trip is as enjoyable as it possibly can be.

Smaller tents often only require one or two guy ropes to secure the rain flap, but bigger tents typically require several.

Are Guy Lines Necessary?

Guy lines are required in tents for a variety of reasons. It all depends on the type and size of the tent, but they can either be required for the setup or just be an optional extra. Some of the advantages of employing guy ropes on a tent include the following:

  • The stability of the tent itself
  • Ventilation within the tent
  • And the overall design of the tent. Keeping the rain and wind out
  • Ensuring that the tent will stand up straight
  • And Tent noise and flapping will be reduced. On the interior, there is space

Guylines help to keep the tent firmly planted in the ground and prevent it from toppling over or blowing away in high-wind conditions. Guy ropes will also help to keep rain out of your home by tying down your storm flap. One of the advantages of keeping your tent’s ropes as tight as possible is that the sides and flaps of your tent will not generate any extra noise at night or during inclement weather. When a tent is set up correctly, there is more room to walk around on the inside. A guy rope is not the only thing that helps to keep a tent upright – you also need tent poles, flaps, and stakes to keep it upright and secure.

This is why they are required in the majority of tent-building situations, as previously stated.

Guylines are not often required for smaller tents that are staked directly into the ground. Camping does not necessitate the use of a tent, as previously stated. Learn how to create a tent out of a tarp by watching this video.

How Do You Set Up a Guy Line?

A guyline is a pretty easy piece of equipment to set up. However, if it is not done correctly, you may end yourself getting wet or losing your tent in inclement weather. In order to properly put up your tent using guylines, it is necessary to tie the appropriate knots and place the pegs at the appropriate angles.

Step One: Attach to Tent

To begin setting up guy lines, you’ll need to attach them to the tent’s frame first. The majority of tents are equipped with guy loops or grommets. Using whatever knot is most secure, attach the guy lines to the guy loops and tighten them down.

Step Two: Set Up Stakes

The tent stakes should be placed far enough away from the tent so that the guy lines can meet them without stretching the tent out of its original position. Stakes should be driven into the ground at a 45-degree angle away from the tent’s perimeter. Before attaching the guy ropes to them, please double-check that they are at this angle and firmly planted in the ground.

Step Three: Attach to Stakes

The loose ends of the guy ropes can be attached to the stakes once the stakes have been driven into the ground at the appropriate angle and distance. Ensure that they are fairly taut before you tighten them (but not tight enough to snap or pull the tent downwards). Once the guy lines have been securely fastened to the pegs and tightened, your tent is ready for use while camping in the outdoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Irrespective of whether you’re an experienced camper or planning your first excursion to the great outdoors, it’s always a good idea to refresh your memory on the principles of guylines.

Which Knot Should I Use?

While linking the guy line to the guy loops, it is beneficial to tie two half hitches, and when connecting the guy line to the stakes, it is beneficial to knot a tight line hitch. Thus, the knot at the top remains steady, while the knot at each stake may be adjusted without loosing its hold on the ground.

What if I Don’t Have Tent Stakes?

It is possible to attach the ends of your guylines to rocks, logs, or anything else that will keep your tent down if you do not have tent stakes or if the ground is too soft to hold the stakes securely in place. While tent stakes are the most solid method of securing a tent, you can utilize whatever natural resources are available.

What Angle Should Guy Ropes Be?

Guy lines should be oriented outward from the tent at around 45 degrees. Whenever they are rotated too much to one side, they will drag the tent to one side. When they’re too close together, the guy lines have a lower chance of stabilizing the tent.

How Long Should Guy Ropes Be?

When it comes to the length of a guy line, it all comes down to the size of your tent. As long as the tent and the ground are at a 45-degree angle to one another, you should be good. If necessary, you can take a measurement of that angle and add some additional (for slack).

How do I Prevent Tripping Over My Guy Lines?

Even if the guy lines do not extend very far from the tent, they can nonetheless provide a tripping and falling hazard to campers in the dark. To avoid tripping over the rope or twine and maybe pulling the stakes out of the ground, choose a brightly colored and easily visible option that is easily seen.

How Should I Store my Guy Lines?

Guy lines should be stored by wrapping them around your hand to prevent them from becoming tangled.

Pull the wrapped line away from your hand and use one of the loose ends to tie it all back together again. In addition to stakes and guy lines being stored in pockets, you may also store them in the vestibule of your tent.


Tent guy ropes are critical pieces of camping equipment for ensuring that your tent is put up and stabilized safely and securely. They are easy to use and make camping safer and more enjoyable! Following that, make certain that the tent you purchase is made of the appropriate materials. Check out our guide on the best tent pole material for more information. Please let us know if you like this content. That’s the only way we’ll be able to make progress.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *