Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lightweight Self-Tensioning Guylines

Within the confines of my blog, I do my best to find unique things in the world of lightweight and ultralight backpacking which aren't being heavily discussed elsewhere. One item that I can't say I ever hear much about is self-tensioning guylines like those offered by Jacks R Better ( and Whoopie Slings ( Likely the reason is because this is something usually talked about in hammocking circles and not with ground dwellers which more or less dominate the outdoor scene.

A self-tensioning guyline is a fairly ingenious invention that helps keep your tarp or tent taught following sag which happens to most of us as the fabric of our shelters stretch over time, in different weather conditions, or simply because of tension. Most of us simply live with the droop, adjust our stakes, or otherwise use special knots that we can cinch tighter in a pinch. Course, many of us also gripe when our shelter sits on our heads and faces while we're trying to sleep. If you're one of those people, this product is for you.

Well, if you don't mind spending an extra $4-5 or the .4oz weight gain per guyline, you can use a self-tensioning guyline which will keep your shelter taught all night long with no fuss from you. It is nothing more than a piece of cordage with a rubber tube going around it. As your guyline becomes loose, the rubber tube draws up (stretches) thereby keeping everything nice and snug.

If you're someone who camps in difficult weather or if you use a shelter with fabric that stretches (silnylon), this might be a good option for you.


AlanR said...

I think thats a great piece of kit. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I made some DIY tensioners using some 3/32" shock cord and some double fisherman knots. I got the design from a thread on hammock forums ( I use it on my 8 x 10 OES Sil tarp. I must admit that these self tensioning lines are great, and yes, for anything silnylon.