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I need to replace some guylines on one of my tents. I normally use some paracord lying around but they have been getting tripped over more and more.

I found some glow in the dark paracord, but before I buy this stuff I wanted to know, has anyone used it? How well does it work? Is there something else I am better off using to prevent kids from tripping over it?

  • Please let us know how this works out once you've tried it. E.g. it would be interesting to know how long the glow of the cord remains visible after sundown, or how sturdy the cord is. – fgysin reinstate Monica Feb 19 '18 at 11:52
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One of my tents has fluorescent paracord - it doesn't glow in the dark, but is incredibly bright and can easily be seen. We also attach some of it as guidelines when pitched in wilder areas to help the kids find their way to the tents in the dark. It works well - typically the only people who trip over them are adults...if they have had one two many glasses of wine...

Glow in the dark sounds like a good idea though - if it is at a reasonable price I would suggest getting it anyway and trying it.

  • I like the fluorescent idea, and paracord is a lot cheaper than the triptease. – Russell Steen May 25 '12 at 14:35
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    I went ahead on ordered some glow in the dark and also some fluorescent. I will try both and see what I like better. – MaskedPlant May 27 '12 at 4:09
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I recommend highly reflective line. Many manufacturers make this. I have had excellent results with Kelty Triptease. One 50' line cuts down to easily make 4 guylines for a tent. It is highly reflective and even a little light will make it really stand out at night.

You may also consider reflective markers like those made by MSR. These will also make the cord stand out more in the day just by making it blend less with the background.

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Fluorescent or glow in the dark paracord would be the way to go - I haven't tried the latter, but from looking at its colour it may blend in more in the daytime than fluorescent stuff, even if it stands out more at night. I'm happy to be proved wrong of course!

However, it seems here the question alludes to kids tripping over the lines, which isn't necessarily a problem that should just be solved by making the lines more visible (though of course it's a good step and certainly helps.) I'd also suggest the following two points:

  • Keep activities well away from the tent so kids aren't running around it and therefore tempted to get closer where they may trip over
  • Perhaps look at getting some stakes you can put in the ground as signposts - put them around the guidelines and attach yellow warning tape or similar to them, which will stand out more. They can then be instructed to not come closer to the tent than those markers (and they serve as a better visual reminder.)
  • Those are definitely good suggestions. Most of the time the activities are well away but it never fails some one trips. Usually because where we tend to go there is limited flat area and the tents all end up pretty close. – MaskedPlant May 27 '12 at 4:13
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I propose using whatever cord is strong enough, inexpensive, and compact, then marking it with fluorescent surveyor's tape.

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Another option is adding your own glow paint as needed.

enter image description here

  • This is actually what I have been currently doing. I take a couple rolls of this stuff on every camp out and use it for all kinds of things. – MaskedPlant May 27 '12 at 4:15
  • @MaskedPlant since you already have it with you I suppose you find it lacking in this capacity or you wouldn't have asked this question. If you really need something everyone can see, perhaps an 8-hour chem-light or long running micro-LED light on each guy? – Mr.Wizard May 27 '12 at 4:44
  • LoL. It helps quite a bit but I was thinking if the entire line was glowing it might work a bit better or help illuminate the lines. I should probably tie 3 or so ribbons on the line instead of my current 1. – MaskedPlant May 27 '12 at 19:12
  • @MaskedPlant I also added a link to glow paint. I've not used this one myself but I understand that it is quite effective. It might be another good option if you don't need the entire wire lit. Perhaps combine it with another system. – Mr.Wizard May 27 '12 at 19:30
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I had a similar issue: I was tripping over a fire ring that was present at one campsite we used last year.

I left one of our flashlights on, shining inside the fire ring until we packed up the next day. I fiddled with the flashlight setting and orientation until I had it mildly illuminating the ring enough to be obviously visible but not enough to be obnoxious.

You could do something similar, leaving the flashlight at one end of the line or the other, or perhaps hanging from the middle of the line pointing down. Even if the line itself is not visible, as with the hanging light pointing down, make sure everyone knows what the purpose of the light is so they avoid it. Also remember that if you put the light at the far end of the line and face it toward the tent that may cause problems for the tent occupants.

Pros:

  • Obviously plainly visible at night
  • Provides extra light to the area

Cons:

  • May be too visible inside the tent
  • May attract unwanted attention
  • Leaves a flashlight unusable for other tasks unless you bring an extra
  • If you bring an extra, requires more tools
  • Can run out of energy (though good flashlights and batteries should handle short trips fine)

I get cheap and mid-priced flashlights. Even the cheap ones can generally last all night. The mid-price ones with multiple power settings generally last all night even on the brightest setting, and on dimmer settings could last for days.


Second idea:

One of our hammocks has a line around its rim which is laced with dim lights and it has a battery pack at one end. Its purpose is for helping see the location and orientation of the hammock at night. If you can get a similar line, maybe you can use it as a guy line. Ours might not be able to bear any significant load, but you might be able to find some that can.

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