I use a number of different ultralight guy line tightening systems for my tarps and tents already, including LineLocks, but I was interested in trying the Figure 9’s because they’re a little more robust, especially for winter use when ice is likely to gum up a guy line. They also don’t require any knots, which is great when you need to wear heavy gloves or mittens.
Step by Step Instructions for Securing a Tarp
I’ve included a photo above that shows how to use the Figure 9’s either with one cord, to anchor a shelter loop to a tent stake, or two separate cords, one attached to your shelter and the other some to some other object like a tree.
The instructions for how to use a Figure 9 tightener are also embossed on its surface making it idiot proof in case you forget between trips. I just can’t remember my knots and a self documenting guy line tightener like this is a god send.
To illustrate how easy this system is to use, here is a step-by-step series of photos that shows how to use the first of these, using one cord, that you loop through the loop on a tarp or tent, and a hiking stake.
First, run the guy line (supplied) through the loop on your shelter and then through the back of the top hole on the Figure 9. (Ignore the yellow cord – that’s the original guy line that came with this tarp).
Next, wrap the guy line under the horizontal piece attached to the Figure 9 loop, and then loop it under the first loop.
This creates a surprisingly secure (up to 50 lbs of pressure) friction binding, where the first loop presses down on the second.
Next, loop the other end of the guy line around or through a tent stake, that’s firmly planted in the ground.
Take the end of the loop that you wrapped around the stake and cinch it around the short claw. Pull it tight.
Now wrap the remainder of the line under the bottom of the Figure 9 and around and over through the long sided claw, where it will stay put. That’s it!
These are coming on my next long distance section hike in October. I’m also going to try them for winter camping when we get some decent snow, using my MLD Duomid with snow anchors.
Written 2010. Updated 2018.
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