Tarps, are yours pre-rigged with guylines or not?


Nov 29, 2004
Do you leave guy lines on your tarps or do you add the lines as needed? Do you use guy line runners to tension them or do you rely on knots?
Knots for tensioning, mini karabiners for attachment to the tarp, these are hanked and stored in a ditty bag for travel. If the wind is up when I'm putting up a tarp I find that permanently attached cords will unravel and tangle while the tarp is flapping around during set up, karabiners just make things a little faster and easier.


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 22, 2006
Got a pic of mine today :)

EDIT: I completely failed to read the the title properly :eek:. Yes I leave my guys on the loops with lark's heads, hank them up when I pack away.

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Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
I been using this idea specially on my poncho. "Buckle loop" Works well for me, allows for easy removal of the lines and the three turn adjustable hitch to stay on the line for quick setup and adjustment.

Also useful if you want to use other eyelets on a tarp that don't already have cord inplace but also remove them quickly to save the tangles. I tend to just stuff my tarp in a pouch on my ruck, can't be asked to fold it all up as the thing is soo big.

Obviously a carabiner does the same job but if you already have some line lying around its easy to knock up 4 or 6 for very little £££. I just remove lines as needed, hank and stash in a small bag. you can also keep a couple of longer lines for when they just don't reach where you want and quickly swap them.



Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 15, 2010
All my stakes are captive on the guy lines so the stakes can't get lost.

When I used Clamcleats on the guys, they used to tangle in the wind if attached to the tarp. If the lines have no knots or hardwear on them, they will not tangle with decent line and I would keep them attached.


Full Member
Aug 25, 2011
My current set up, Pre-rigged

5mm shock-cord tarp tensioners and mitten clips (seem strong enough so far)

fixed eyes on the lines, larks footed onto the tarp rings.



Full Member
May 31, 2008
I have a loop tied in my guy-line, then larks headed around the D ring, at the other end, I use a marlin spike hitch straight to the peg.

To keep my guy-lines tidy, i have a thin pice of shock cord, with a line lock. When the line is hanked up, i just pass it through the shock cord loop and cinch it up.

The pics probably explain it better:



Full Member
Aug 5, 2008
Hertford, Hertfordshire
I think that the reason people have tarps set up with lines attached to allow for a quick set-up in poor weather. I have tried all sorts of ways of fixing these lines but end up coming back to fixing them with a slippery-sheet-bend. I like to be able to remove the lines easily if they are soaking wet and then I can set them on a radiator to dry out at home. I have tried fitting these lines with toggles but they don't always stay put on the tarp when it is packed-away or when the corners are flapping about in the wind before they are pegged out. I have tried using cam-cleats on these lines for adjustment which is great for pegs but no good for guying out onto trees/branches and as others have mentioned the lines are prone to tangle. I've tried having the cam-cleat (or guy runner) at the tarp end but then it's a faff to get them off the tarp when they are wet unless I fit a mini- carabiner between the loop and the tarp. In the end it all seems too much faff and I go back to plain lines and knots.

I do use some small toggles on my ridge-line prusik loops, just as secure (so far) as mini-carabiners but they don't get rusty. The point of an easily removed ridge-line is to allow the tarp to be quickly rigged in a different way and I like to keep this flexibility so I don't like to tie the prusik loops permanently between the ridge-line and the tarp.

At the moment I'm using some paracord with a reflective thread running through the mantle for the guys, it makes it easy to see the guys by torchlight which is a bit safer than using the standard sort.

This has turned into a bit of a ramble, so to get back to the question; yes I do keep the lines fixed to the tarp. But I'm still not convinced that I've found the ultimate set-up, and always come back to the most simple set-up I can.


Feb 3, 2011
Framingham, MA USA
I have a Hennessy Hex tarp, which came with attached ridge and guy lines. The guy lines can be figure eighted and tied off then tucked into pouches sewn into the corners of the tarp - very neat and convenient. Same for the ridge lines. I also keep the whole thing in a snake skin, so set up (and take down) is quick and painless.
Every setup is different for me so the ridge rope line is left pre-threaded through the tarp loops of my main tarp, with a spare equal length of ridge line - for an extension - and all the other guys, pegs etc. in a ditty bag. I use knots for all fixing, tensioning. Any other tarps that I may have with me are left unrigged, apart from the Hennessy Hex tarp which came pre-rigged, and has been discussed in an earlier post by PDA1.

Knots tend to be sheet bends, round turn and two half hitches, midshipman's hitch, prussic knot.
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Aug 17, 2006
Yeovil, Somerset, UK
Both my main camping tarp and my smaller day tarp are pre-rigged and set up just using knots. As it works and has never let me down I wonder what are the benefits of changing. The knots are second nature as I've used them so much. I did use bungies on a course recently (supplied by the school) and they did seem to make sense except for the whole dread of eye loss....


Nov 20, 2011
I have my ridgeline running through the loops on my tarp and mini krabs each attached to a short length of shock cord and prussic to tension.

Guy lines on the 4 corners (again with a short length of shock cord to allow some give). I keep a couple of spare guylines in the bag as well as a couple of long sections of paracord with overhand loops on one end and line locs which allows me to run the attached guylines to a walking staffs/foraged sticks then use the paracord to tension the poles to create a extended covered area for cooking & such.

This will of course change when I order my new 4x4 tarp (as soon as I'm allowed) as it has extra loops so will be attaching more guylines to give me some extra pitching options (hopefully the ability to form something 'door-like' at the ends).

When packing up, the guylines are folded and tied. The tarp is folded when the ridgeline is still suspended then the ridgeline tied around the tarp to secure & compress it. I find the few extra minutes taken when packing away and leaving as much as possible in-situ save a lot of time when pitching. The last thing I want to be doing when it's raining hard is attaching or de-tangling guylines - I'd rather be under it getting a brew on or clambering into my hammock:D.


Nov 18, 2004
My basha is a military one and since I use it when 'working for the Queen at the weekend' , I have bungees at all corners and the guy line. Also carry good lengths of para cord to give the extra length when not camping in a nato standard coniferous plantation.

Also have a guy line with two small krabs attached via a prussick knot so I can set it up in a variety of ways.

Have shock cord permanently attached to my pegs so that there is some give not to mention a bit of extra room when at knee height.


Oct 13, 2013
United Kingdom
I have 3mm shock cord on all the tie out points with two small alloy rings.


I them have dyneema (Lash It on my ligtweight, 3mm stuff on the winter tarp) with a stake already attached. pass the dyneema through the rings (like you would for rappell rings)


Super quick and easy to cinch up real easy. Pegs and rope removed and stored separate when packing up

Hog On Ice

Oct 19, 2012
Virginia, USA
Do you leave guy lines on your tarps or do you add the lines as needed? Do you use guy line runners to tension them or do you rely on knots?
I leave the guy lines attached to the tarp with the adjustable knot part of the line closest to the tarp to allow for adjusting the tension while covered by the tarp when raining. The guy lines going to the sides are wrapped 10 times around the stake which holds well without using a knot. Stakes are stored separate from the tarp.

here is a pic of how I tie the guy lines to the tarp: https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=D3938B2C1BC7898C!134

the line I use is 0.8 mm dyneema fishline

Hanking lines up well can be a massive time saver.

i always make a figure 8 around my pinkie finger and thumb and pull a loop through and over the top of the pinkie finger eye. The figure 8 means it never snags.
I also do the figure 8 loop around thumb and little finger (I call it butterflying the line - an odd term picked up from hand weaving) but instead of hanking it up with a loop I just stuff each line into an individual mesh bag after butterflying it - a typical mesh bag made from no-see-um netting as is seen attached to the loop on the tarp in the pic referenced above


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 8, 2009
Warrington, UK
4 lines, One for each corner, bowline connectors to the tarp and the other end has the plastic tention sliders from an old tent, once pegged and tensioned it doesn't go anywhere.
i usually use an evenk and a taut-line for my ridgeline.

if i'm slinging my tarp low and using my staff as a single point i'll sling ridgeline with taut at both ends with a bowline on the staff. sounds more complicated then it is tbh.


Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
Mine are pre rigged, ridgeline through the loops and attached with prussicks, guy lines are on with lark head and knots at the peg end. I do keepspare linesin a bag in the stuffsacks that the tarps are kept in.