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 2

I made a tarp tensioner to get rid of "sagging tarp syndrome" that occurs when the tarp stretches overnight, but then Donredondo made them even better and posted his directions on Sgt Rock's (click here for details). So here is my version of his design...it works great and I didn't make any changes.

I can use it on the stake tie-outs or on the ridgeline tie-outs, and it'll stay on the HH with a simple hitch. They're a bit long for the HH ridgeline, I think...I might make them shorter if I do it again.

1 - Be careful about putting a slingshot on a tent stake...if it pops out by someone tripping over it, or in a strong wind gust, someone could get hurt. Tying to fixed objects (like brush or trees) is the best answer.
2 - Safety for the tensioner - the cord goes all the way through, so it will not allow the tube to stretch enough to fail.

Here are the details...thanks Don!

UPDATE: JRB is making these now, too! (Click here) Theirs are 9 ft long with a loop at one end, though. JRB and I don't have any association concerning these...it's just a neat product.

I got the surgical tubing from a $4 slingshot replacement kit from Walmart, then cut off the leather connector and rolled ends. This left me with two ~10" sections of surgical tubing...one section for the first set of tensioners I made, and one section for this one.

Materials for one tensioner:
- One ~5" piece of surgical tubing
- A ~36" section of cord
- Two ~9" pieces of small string. I used inner core from 550-cord.

Form a bight and tie an overhand knot, so you end up with this.
Put the cord inside the tube, and pull the tubing up over the knot about .5".

Whip the tubing to the cord with the inner core.

If it's oriented like this picture, make sure the whipping is to the right of the knot.

Roll the end of the tubing backwards over the whipping.
Stretch the tube down the cord to see how far it will go, and mark the spot (just pinch it between your fingers). That's where the knot needs to be.

Tie another overhand knot, making sure the knot ends up at the place you marked. You should be left with something like this picture.

Pull the tube down over the knot, whip it, and roll it just like the first end. You're done!
Thread it through the tarp tie-out point, and thread one end of the tensioner through the loop on the other end. It ends up like a hitch...here it is on a MacCat.
You can do the same on the Hennessy support ropes if you want to attach it like the factory. Then just use the prussik knots as drip strings.
Here's it is on the HH Ultralight Backpacker with the stock tarp.

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