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  1. #1
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    new (?) tarp tensioning system, no hardware, single handed

    been lurking here for quite a while, and found some amazingly useful information which saved me a lot of trial and error, and helped me get right to thinking of something "new". the following is one such (albeit very small) thing.

    this is from the "we don't need no hardware" series. i haven't seen anything similar anywhere, so perhaps worth sharing (took a bit of work to get it working nicely, but this is just the first prototype, so ideas for improving it are welcome).

    TLDR; here's a short clip showing it at work
    https://youtu.be/ge10v2VIx-I


    the main goal is to have a setup which combines the convenience of (the better) hardware solutions, and the light weight and versatility of no hardware. at first glance one might say "why bother, just buy some hardware", but some of us like our knots, and such setup has some advantages (it's light, it can be done with any size or type of rope you have on hand (or prefer), on the spot/in the field, you don't need to order exotic hardware and wait for it, you don't get stranded if something brakes, and besides knots are cool). despite how simple it is, this works quite well based on my testing so far, to the point where it's hard to think of any remaining argument for using any hardware on the guylines (btw, if you can think of any, i'd like to know, it means i can improve something)

    it does work:

    tarpIMG_20200612_202135.jpg-small-sig3.jpg-small-sig3.jpg

    tar-tieoutIMG_20200612_201634.jpg-small-sig3.jpg

    this overview pic is of the "parrot corner", which i rigged like this in view of taking pics for you, so that you can see what's what (normally one would use the same line, but then it's hard to make out what's going on in a picture; the setup is not very fussy about line diameter etc, but more on that in a bit). basically, it's composed of: guyline itself (blue), friction hitch(grey), tending loop(green).

    - the chosen guyline dictates the range of line to use for everything else; using the same line throughout is straighforward and works quite well, but for the firction hitch you can easily use something thinner.if it gets much thinner (aside from the obvious requirement to make sure it's strong enough), the firction hitch might need to be tied differently to reduce the amount of grab. in this case, the line of choice is type 1 (100) paracord (or microcord), it's about 2mm in diameter, and supposed to be 100kgf break strength (which is a bit too much, but i don't like to work with under 2mm line and knots)

    - the tending loop is quite important to make this really nice, it needs to be short enough so that when pulling on the tail to tighten the guyline, the guyline in tension rests on the tending loop, and the friction hitch gets unlouded (pictured here, the offset between the tending loop and friction hitch is huge, much bigger than it needs to be, it is so it is very obvious in the video how it works; this also exagerates the sitback, which can be just a few mm if adjusted properly). i'll be experimenting with using a very short dyneema continuous loop as tending loop (for the low friction properties), we'll see how it holds up (dyneema has very low melting point, so usually wouldn't be used where there's motion under tension, i'll have to be tightening my guylines without much haste, and we'll see). the tending loops are not critical (so if they fail, everything can still work, it's just less conveninent: tightening would require two hands); the (green) tending loop featured here is some cheap pp line from the hardware store, i highly recommend against using pp for this (too much friction, weak, and terrible abrasion resistence).

    - the friction hitch is a VT (valdotain tressee, or braided valdotain); while it might seem overkill, i found it is the perfect combination for this purpose. the only slight disadvantage is there's a bit of sitback (as you can see in the short video), but that's no problem for how i use the tarp. more compact friction hitches can be a lot more "precise", but they don't release as nicely as the VT, and thus induce additional drag when you want least. the other nice thing about the vt is that it allows for very smooth release and adjustment under tension (as shown)

    in summary:

    - simple: friction hitch, tending loop, guyline, and some magic
    - no hardware, guyline is all that's needed, field replaceable, customizable to fit any tarp or line, no sewing required, it operates as conveniently as the best hardware friction locks out there, adjustment from under the tarp. setup once, then re-use it without having to tie/untie anything
    - the anchor ends of the guyline are free so you can tie to whatever makes sense: stake, boulder, tree, dead enemy burried under the snow, live friend who skipped his turn cooking, you get the picture, whatever you find.
    - disadvantages: a little bit of sitback (can be fixed by replacing the VT with a compact friction hitch, but at the cost of a bit more friction, matter of priorities i guess), not a good replacement for the linelocs in mass production (this is hand made, so it probably costs more in man hours than mass produced linelocs), so it's an "exclussive DIY" thing


    next episode: UCR instead of friction hitch :P

    if somebody finds it interesting and would like to try it, let me know if i can explain something in further detail

    --
    nanok
    Last edited by nanok; 06-15-2020 at 07:37. Reason: put short video on top, where it belongs

  2. #2
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    The little video really helped demonstrate how it works.

    Don't know that I'd ever use it because I find that a simple Prusik is adequate for my purposes. Also, I use a non-stretchy cord—Lawson Glowire or Guywire—that holds knots well, and when combined with a non-stretchy (DCF) tarp the whole shebang requires very little readjustment after the initial pitch. No need to crank the tarp super tight so a one-handed adjustment is easy enough with my one-piece tarp ridge line.

    But yours is a clever concept, essentially a pulley (tender) with ratchet (VT) using knots. Not unlike the crevasse rescue rig but with one pulley.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter, Instagram

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  3. #3
    bonsaihiker's Avatar
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    I like that. That is the same rigging I have on my lineman's rope for climbing trees during deer season. Works very well in that application-- don't know why it wouldn't work for a guy- line. Thanks for posting.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
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    "I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful... because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...." --Robert Traver

  4. #4
    Member commanderkeen's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share a video. This is super clever, and I'm eager to try this (or something very similar, since this has given me some ideas).

  5. #5
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard Nanok, your rigging is impressive. It’s fun to see new ideas in the works!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    The little video really helped demonstrate how it works.

    Don't know that I'd ever use it because I find that a simple Prusik is adequate for my purposes. Also, I use a non-stretchy cord—Lawson Glowire or Guywire—that holds knots well, and when combined with a non-stretchy (DCF) tarp the whole shebang requires very little readjustment after the initial pitch. No need to crank the tarp super tight so a one-handed adjustment is easy enough with my one-piece tarp ridge line.

    But yours is a clever concept, essentially a pulley (tender) with ratchet (VT) using knots. Not unlike the crevasse rescue rig but with one pulley.
    you are right about rescue systems, i'm a climber and speleologist (or rather used to be), so that's indeed partly where the inspiration comes from (and the obsession with knots too, i guess ). i actually considered the second friction hitch but only tested it briefly and abandoned it: for the kind of tarps we use for backpacking, it adds mechanical advantage we don't want (as you noted, we don't want our tarps that tight), and it adds friction too; i also considered a more "proper" tending pulley, but in my testing, the loads we normally put on a tarp, and the speed with which we tighten the guyline, seem to not justify something more heavy duty (time will tell about wear and tear). it would be very easy to add a second friction hitch for much heavier applications though (much bigger tarps or tents you endup having to help pitch up in a pinch, because of course you're the only one on site who has a clue what to do with a rope, everyone else will do a lot of half hitches and call it a day , you know what i'm talking about i'm sure).

    i know what you mean about "i'm fine with just a simple knot". i honestly made it for my hammocking "student" who's a bit stressed about knots, and thought i wouldn't like it myself, but now after using it, hmm, it is convenient, i might keep it on my tarp, even though i like to make knots on the spot. the other use i see for it is to get friends who are using that cheap crappy hardware that comes with most tents to reconsider their decision to "not bother" with knots -- it's a nice skill to have, and being able to make something like this for somebody on the spot might convince them to look into it more.

    there are other strange things i'm doing with the tarp, but i need to finalize it enough that it's worth talking about.

    [QUOTE=bonsaihiker;2021502]I like that. That is the same rigging I have on my lineman's rope for climbing trees during deer season. Works very well in that application-- don't know why it wouldn't work for a guy- line. Thanks for posting. /QUOTE]

    glad you like it, you are right, the VT is used a lot by tree climbers, that's where i found out about it too, i keep finding uses for it (more on that in a different post )

    Quote Originally Posted by commanderkeen View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to write this up and share a video. This is super clever, and I'm eager to try this (or something very similar, since this has given me some ideas).
    can't wait to see what you're thinking of. this is one reason why, even before i had it fully tested, i rigged one corner to be colourful, so i can show the good people here nice and early. knowledge and ideas grow by sharing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom Grappler View Post
    Welcome aboard Nanok, your rigging is impressive. It’s fun to see new ideas in the works!
    thank you, i'm glad if it inspires somebody, and yes indeed, it's fun working on this, so why not share the fun

  7. #7
    Senior Member drifter's Avatar
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    Could not make heads or tails out of the text explaining it. But that 22 second video spoke volumes. I LIKE it.
    My ego said, SURE you can.
    Half way in my body said OH NO YOU CAN'T

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by drifter View Post
    Could not make heads or tails out of the text explaining it. But that 22 second video spoke volumes. I LIKE it.
    the text is at least way too long, and probably not very well written. i need to work on that. i didn't even hope to explain it without the video. i'll try to edit and put it more on top, so people don't have to go through the entire philosophical treaty before reaching it, and i'll see if i can rewrite it too, later. thanks for the useful honest feedback

    73
    Last edited by nanok; 06-15-2020 at 09:10.

  9. #9
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    “73” ? Isn’t that one of those ham radio things

    nanok - Thank you for the post and video. When I post, there’s something about the initial edit box that masks all errors/typos. It’s only after I post that they glare out from the page. Often I have to go over and over and over it - sometimes a day or two later - to get it correct. There is a limited number of days for editing.

    And you have to be careful with Auto-Correct. Very early one, before my computer was “trained” it would auto correct mini-biner to mini-boner - not that there is anything wrong with that. It made for some interesting posts.

    cougarmeat/K7NHB
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member drifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanok View Post
    the text is at least way too long, and probably not very well written. i need to work on that. i didn't even hope to explain it without the video. i'll try to edit and put it more on top, so people don't have to go through the entire philosophical treaty before reaching it, and i'll see if i can rewrite it too, later. thanks for the useful honest feedback

    73
    First off let me apologize for forgetting to welcome you to the group. There is no need to edit it, I have always been the kind of person that only looked at the pictures in the assembly instructions anyway.
    My ego said, SURE you can.
    Half way in my body said OH NO YOU CAN'T

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

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