I'm an old Boy Scout and I know my knots. I also know that when weather is coming, or it's just plain cold, I want quick and secure over knots.
Instead of going the bowline to tarp and taut-line hitch to stake route, I wanted something that would be easier (hard to accomplish) and would be faster (hard to accomplish).
I've got Spinn tarps so stretch really isn't a factor, but I did want to incorporate some sort of "shock absorber" at each guy point to allow a little movement and give when the tarp is hit by big wind gusts (Texas weather of course).
I'd seen some of the self tensioning guy lines using the sling-shot tubing at the TX hang. Those work for tensioning, but to adjust you have to pull up the stake and replace it. That option was out.
I was intrigued by the mini line-loks being sold at the hammockforums store. I'd looked at the instructions for them, and didn't see an application I was trying to get, but they were cheap, so I bought 8 pair (4 pair per tarp). It took about 5 minutes playing around with the line-loks to figure out how to string them to get the application I was shooting for.
So... I put the guy line system together. Guys at the 4 tarp corners are 6' long. Guys at the 4 panel pull outs are 12' long.
- I started with a 13" long piece of 3/32" shock cord.
- I fed one end of the shock cord through one of the holes in the line-lok, then closed the loop with a fisherman's knot.
- I fashioned the locked brummel loop in one end of zing-it.
- I fed the other end of the zing it through the line-lok in a manner to be able to pull for tension or lift to release the cam.
- I finished the other end of the guy line with a small back splice to prevent that end from working back out of the line-lok.
- Larks head the shock-cord loop to the tarp pull out ring.
To use the guy line:
- Hang your tarp.
- Place stake in the ground.
- Place guy line loop around the stake.
- Pull on loose end of guy line until shock cord loop begins to stretch (I stop pulling when I get about 1" of stretch in the loop).
To loosen the guy line:
- Lift up on the loose end of the guy line.
Here's a small video of the system in use:
Some stills of the system: