Adjustable Guyline Knot with Quick Release. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Sometimes called a slippery adjustable loop, an adjustable guy-line knot is very useful to know, particularly for those interested in bushcraft. Whether you are setting up a small or large tarp, or even a tent, this knot allows you to adjust the tension in a guy-line without the need for fancy clips or toggles.
The absence of of tensioning clips or toggles also means you can pack your guy-lines away more tidily. A slick and easy knot to tie, once you have mastered it you will be able to pitch camp even more quickly.
For the weight-conscious back-packer, using this knot instead of the tensioners fitted to tents and some tarps will allow you to shave a few more grams off your pack-weight.
What follows applies equally to tent guy-lines as well as tarps but for simplicity I will just refer to tarps. Typically we use a peg to fix guy-lines but we can also use conveniently placed tree-stumps, exposed roots, saplings and trees. For simplicity I will just refer to pegs.
Bring the guy-line down from your tarp, around the peg and return back up towards the tarp. Take the live end around the standing part (the section of line between tarp and peg) then up through the middle of the loop created. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Make another turn - go around the standing part and up through the middle again, working back down towards the peg, so that what you have looks like this. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Make a third turn but this time, instead of coming up through the middle, go around both sections of line that run down to the peg. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Pull a bight through the loop you have created. (We pull a bight through rather than the whole live end so that the knot will be quick-release). Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Pull the knot up tight and you have your completed adjustable guy-line knot with quick-release, which should look like this. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Slide the knot up or down the guyline to adjust tension. It will stay in position. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Keep things tidy. Hank the remaining live end of the guyline like this. Photo: Amanda Quaine.
Stow the hanked guy-line between the two sections of line that run down from the knot to the peg. This helps prevent unnecessary tangles and trip-hazards, it also looks neat! Photo: Amanda Quaine.
That’s all there is to tying this very useful knot. I like its elegance and the way it helps you simplify your equipment. It reduces clutter attached to your tarp/tent. It also speeds up pitching and breaking camp. To release the knot, all you need to do is pull the live end, pulling the bight out of the knot.
I hope you found this article useful. Let me know in the comments – too many pictures? not enough pictures? would more descriptive text help? Also, if you have found uses of this knot for things other than guylines, let us know in the comments.
Finally, if you think this article would be useful to someone else, send it, share it or tweet it to your friends. Thanks!
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Paul Kirtley is an award-winning professional bushcraft instructor. He is passionate about nature and wilderness travel. In addition to writing this blog Paul owns and runs Frontier Bushcraft
, a wilderness bushcraft school, offering bushcraft courses and wilderness expeditions.