Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

Tarp Tensioners Version 1

Also see my new and improved Tarp Tensioners Part Deux!!

I made a tarp tensioner to get rid of "sagging tarp syndrome" that occurs when the tarp stretches overnight. The tensioner maintains constant tension on the tarp throughout the night so it stays taut.

I started with a $4 slingshot replacement kit from Walmart, then cut off the leather connector and rolled ends. This left me with two ~4" sections of surgical tubing.

I connected the guylines to the tarp, then near the tie-outs I connected the tubing to the guylines with clove hitches.

Skip a few inches of line and put a clove hitch onto the other end of the tubing. When the tubing is contracted, there should be a bit of slack in the line. When you stretch the tubing, the line should prevent the tubing from reaching breaking point.

Here is the Tarp Tensioner stretched out. It's not stretched to max length so that it can absorb the force of wind gusts. As the tarp stretches overnight (e.g. when it gets wet), the slingshot will tighten, keeping the tarp taut.
Here is the slingshot completely slack. I'm holding the line away from the slingshot to show the difference in lengths.
This is how I daisy chain my guylines so they don't get tangled.

I fold the line in half twice so I'm holding four strands. Then I twist a slipknot into the standing end. Pull the free end through the loop and tighten into another slipknot. Repeat, forming successive slipknots until you get to the end. For the last one, pull the free end through the loop and tighten. This will hold and the line won't tangle.

To undo, pull the last line back out, then just pull and all of the slipknots should come right out.

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