How to Use Tent Tie Downs

How to Use Tent Tie DownsUsing the tent tie downs--also called guy lines--that come with a tent is an important part of pitching your tent the correct way. Tie downs provide stability to a tent's structure and need to be staked out property and pulled taut; otherwise the tent will blow over with the first little gust of wind. Care should also be used with the placement of the tent tie downs to prevent others from tripping over your tent's lines.


Difficulty: Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tent
  • Tent tie downs
  • Mallet
  • Tent pegs
  • Foil (optional)
Step 1
Lay out the tent where you wish to pitch it. Stake down one corner. Move to the next corner, pull the tent tight, then hammer in the stake. Continue around the tent, tightening each corner so the whole tent in staked down tightly.
Step 2
Run the tent poles through their sleeves and or clips. Place the poles into their grommets.
Step 3
Stretch the tent tie downs out and tighten the lines so that you can attach them to a stake a comfortable distance from the tent. You don't want the lines extended so far out that they become tripping hazards for people walking around your tent. Hammer in a stake, attach the tent tie down, and adjust until taut.
Step 4
Wrap strips of foil around the tent tie downs to increase visibility if you are camping in a high traffic area, like a Scout camping trip or a family camp out with many children.
Step 5
If the runner--the metal bracket used to tighten a guy line--is lost, replace it will a taut line knot. To tie a taut line: wrap the guy line around the tent peg and cross the shorter end underneath the length extending back up to the tent. Drop the end down through the hole formed by this loop, as if tying a half hitch. Bring the line around and drop it through the loop again. Bring the end of the line to the front of the two loops you just made and tie a second half hitch. Pull the knot to tighten. See Resources below for a photo step by step on this knot.

Tips & Warnings

Tent tie downs will effect the shape of the tent. Make sure that the tie downs are pulled tightly so that the tent body doesn't sag which will form pockets for rain to collect.

Article Written By Denise Bertacchi

Denise Bertacchi is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a St. Louis suburbanite who has written for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boys' Life, Wisconsin Trails, and Missouri Life.

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