Going camping this summer?
Yes, us too. Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, lots of people are still anxious about flying abroad and UK staycations are set to be more popular than ever before. So, if you’re ditching a tropical 5* hotel for a few nights under the canvas, it’s time to purchase the essentials.
One piece of camping equipment that people often forget is guy ropes.
These serve a very important purpose when pitching a tent. In fact, they can often be the difference between an enjoyable family trip and one that ends prematurely due to the weather. Be sure to add them to your list of things to buy and use our guide to help secure them down correctly.
What is a guy rope?
Also known as a guy line, a guy rope is simply a length of cord that is used to secure a tent to the ground – particularly where there are no poles. They’re usually supplied with the tent. But, as these can sometimes be very short and poor quality, many people choose to buy them separately.
Several different types of cord are suitable for the job. However, our advice is to opt for something lightweight yet durable – with excellent UV resistance – such as 8-plait polyester cord or coloured polypropylene cord.
Why are guy ropes needed to pitch a tent?
Their main purpose is to add strength and stability. If they’re tied correctly, tent guy ropes help to pull the canvas material taut and will keep the structure secure (even during strong winds).
Guy ropes are also required for ventilation. Regardless of their size or shape, most tents have a double-wall construction – including an inner tent body and a rainfly. Cords can be used to keep these layers separate at all times, allowing air to circulate and preventing condensation.
What’s more, they can also be used to give the tent a better shape – pulling out sections that naturally sag inwards and supporting areas that are not held up by the frame (e.g. the vestibule).
How to tie guy lines
You don’t need to be a camping-pro to tie guy lines correctly. Simply follow our three-step approach and your tent will be secured down in no time, ready for whatever the UK weather has in store.
- Attach to the tent
Ever noticed the canvas loops at the top of your tent? These are called ‘guy out loops’ and they’re specifically there for the purpose of attaching tent guy lines.
Start by identifying how many of these loops your tent has (and where they are). Then, attach a guy rope to each one using a secure knot, such as a bowline knot or a clove hitch. These are pretty quick and easy to master (even for a beginner!). But if you’re struggling, additional guidance on how to tie these can be found on our sister website, in the ‘Ultimate Guide to Tying Outdoor Ropes’.
- Add the rope adjuster
The next step is to add a rope adjuster (or guyline tensioner) to each guy line. Essentially, these are small plastic tabs (with three holes), that allow you to loosen or tighten the guy ropes, as necessary. Simply thread the cord up through the first hole, down through the second, and back up through the third. This should create the shape of a letter ‘S’. Then, to secure it in place, tie a sturdy knot at the end.
Tension adjusters are easy to find online at a reasonable price. But if you don’t have any to hand, or prefer not to use them, an adjustable knot (such as a taut-line hitch) would work just as well.
- Anchor the guy lines
Lastly, you will need to anchor the tent guy lines into the ground using metal stakes.
Take the first line and hold it as straight as possible, at a 90° angle to the tent. Then, put your metal stake into the ground – at an approximately 45° angle – and loop the cord around the top. The stake should be far enough away from the tent to ensure the line is secure, yet close enough so that it doesn’t become a trip hazard. It should also be facing inwards towards the tent.
Repeat this process with each guy line. And once you’re happy with their position in the ground, use the tension adjuster to tighten them up and make them as taut and sturdy as possible.
Stock up on tent guy ropes at Paracords Direct
These come in various colours and diameters and are sold by the metre to meet your exact camping needs. What’s more, they’re guaranteed to last a long time (no matter what tough outdoor conditions they’re exposed to!) and are available for a highly competitive price.
So, why not take a look today? Browse our full online collection and, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. We have excellent knowledge of all of our products and will happily advise on the best cord or rope for your tent. Either give us a call on 01692 668996 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.