Wrapping Tarp Guyline to Eliminate Tangles

I hate tangled guylines. When it’s time to pack my tarp, I take special care to wrap each guyline so it is ready to deploy. One advantage of coiling up guyline is that it helps avoid tangles in the line and unintentional knotting. In some wind storms, I’ve had my guyline tie itself into knots thanks to the constant whipping and curling as it is blown around. In these conditions, I wrap the extra guyline when the tarp is pitched.

I basically use two wrapping techniques for my guyline: the figure-8 and the hand wrap. Both work well, but the figure-8 wrap is nearly 100% effective in eliminating tangles, no matter what line you choose. These wrapping techniques are also handy with full-length ridge lines. A popular line used for ridge lines (and even some guylines) is 1.75mm Zing-It. This Dyneema line is very strong for its size, but prone to knotting and it tangles easily. The figure-8 wrap is very effective in making this line just open up when it’s time to deploy.

The other line I often use is braided mason line. I like this line because it is inexpensive, easy to knot, lightweight, and packs down small. I also like the visible neon colors. I most often use a palm wrap for this line and it works great.

Some tarps, notably the Hennessy Hammock models, have pockets on the corners near the guy points. These pockets are a handy place to store your guyline, but I still recommend wrapping your line first otherwise you wind up with a rat’s nest that becomes a nightmare to untangle.

Wrapping Tarp Guyline to Eliminate Tangles

  12 comments for “Wrapping Tarp Guyline to Eliminate Tangles

  1. November 8, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Figure 8 is the best ever! Never had a knot form in my tarp guylines since I started using it. Thanks for sharing the tip.

    • Derek
      November 8, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Brian! I agree — the figure-8 wrap is great, and it’s easy too! It really doesn’t take that much time and the benefits outweigh the small time it takes.

  2. November 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    The visuals are priceless. Excellent tip, thanks!

    • Derek
      November 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks Julie!

  3. November 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Rather than doing a slippery hitch, when I reach the last few inches of the string I simply push it through the loop that I’m winding towards. Leaving a couple of inches hanging through the loop is enough to keep it from coming undone.

  4. Matthew
    November 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Makes me want to go open up my tarp and rewrap my guylines

  5. Jim Neal
    December 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I wrap my guylines around their individual stakes. All I have to do is connect it to the tarp and stick it in the ground. Works great for me.

  6. jeff w
    July 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    You da man. Thanks!

  7. patrick h
    December 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I’ve been using this technique for managing almost all of my cable and cordage, for both EDC and backpacking: http://youtu.be/V5UTu1rhJAU

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