Knots

Knot Tying: Learn the Tautline Hitch

The normal hitch for tightening tent guylines without using hardware.


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Take the free end of the guyline and run it around a tree, tent stake or other anchor.

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Run the free end through the loop.

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Hold the knot you’re creating in the place as you continue to wrap the free end through the loop multiple times.

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Continue running the free end through the loop a second time, in a corkscrew pattern.

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For more tension resistance, you can run the spiral up to four times through the loop.

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On the last spiral, run it around the standing end of the rope and insert the free end through the resulting loop.

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This is another angle of putting the free end through the loop.

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Tighten and neaten the knot. Without this step it’ll slip.

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A standard three-spiral tautline hitch should look like this.

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To add tension, grab the knot itself and slide it toward the standing end.

Text and photos by Steve Howe

Need a primer on knot tying terminology? Click here.