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guy ropes


  • guy ropes are one of the most important accessories for tent or tarp campers, especially if strong winds or rain is forecast
  • along with a stable tent peg, they can be critical in determining whether or not your tent survives a storm or strong wind event
  • the guy rope itself is rarely the weakest component - usually either the tarp or tent will tear out, the pegs will come out, the guy rope tensioner will slip, or the guy rope will fall off the peg
  • guy ropes are generally the last component of your tent or tarp to dry out - inadequate drying when storing may result in both the rope and tent rotting or becoming mouldy!
    • consider removing guy ropes from the tent - perhaps use carabiners for faster set up and pack up

Functions of guy ropes

storm-proofing your tent

  • most tents are supported by a frame of poles +/- hubs which may be hinged
  • these poles and hinged hubs may break if they are forced beyond their bending or hinge limits by strong winds with resultant collapse of the tent
  • if the poles break they may also pierce the tent allowing rain to enter and risk hypothermia
  • appropriately placed and secured guy ropes can substantially reduce the range of movement of the poles and thus dramatically reduce the risk of breakage while providing strength to the tent structure as a whole and providing additional anchorage to the ground

additional supports to prevent your tent or tarp blowing away

  • most tents can be used without guy ropes in mild conditions with only the tent corners pegged into the ground
  • however, if winds pick up, additional tent anchoring with guy ropes may be needed

allowing tent poles to be used in a vertical position

  • vertically oriented tent poles are extremely useful for creating shade or rain shelters and awnings but need to have appropriately placed and secured guy ropes to provide stability

allowing window flys to be pulled out for rain protection but still give ventilation and views

  • guy ropes are an important aid to allow the fly coverings of windows to be held outwards rather than fully covering a window

Types of guy ropes

micro-lock light, compact, hiking, Dyneema guy ropes

  • these are usually made from 2mm diameter rope which is often reflective and can be adjusted using a small plastic locking device
  • cheap versions just use a flat plastic locking device with two holes but these are prone to slipping
  • a better design is the micro-locking plastic devices designed for 2mm cordage which will not slip and these are available in noctilucent material which is more visible at night
  • can be used with hiking tarps as well as hiking tents
  • 2mm Dyneema inner/polyester outer reflective cords are probably the best you can get as they are light and offer 200kg breaking strain which should cover the needs for ANY tent
    • polyester outer is needed to provide abrasion resistance as Dyneema although very strong, does not do well with abrasion or sharp edges
  • cheaper 2mm standard reflective polyester cordage usually has a breaking strain of 100kg
  • cheaper 3mm standard reflective polyester cordage usually has a breaking strain of 135kg but will not fit the 2mm micro-locking devices

common supplied budget guy ropes

  • these tend to be polyester 3-6mm thick and generally supplied with a flat plastic locking device which has a tendency to slip

spring-loaded heavy duty guy ropes for car campers

  • this is what most people resort to when they need a reliable, stable higher tension guy
  • mainly for their larger touring tents when winds pick up and they need to be sure their tent will be wind proof
  • also handy for larger tarp set ups
  • rather bulky and heavy and tend to get tangled up unless you take care to roll them up when storing or you buy something like this:
australia/guy_ropes.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/21 08:44 by gary1

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