Tents and tarps have these long straps (sketch here), which may be used to tie them to distant trees. When unused, they can look untidy and become tangled. This can happen both when the tent is in use and when it is folded.

What is the proper way to deal with these straps when they are unused?

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    Maybe I didnt understand the question but usually ropes and any other cordage or strap is just kept coiled and wrapped neatly if its too long to become a problem fieldandstream.com/sites/fieldandstream.com/files/styles/… , but in a tent... never had to worry about that, coiling and uncoiling can get old really quickly when you set camp every evening and pull it up every morning... when you bought your tent you probably found the strings coiled up like that... What am I missing in this question? Sep 26, 2017 at 20:40
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    anatolyg, I think outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/1621 is related, and possibly a duplicate. Do you agree? Sep 28, 2017 at 0:58
  • Yes, it's related, but not a duplicate - the solutions for that question don't help here. They describe what you should do with a "normal-width" rope (e.g. 8 mm diameter) and not suitable for thin ropes.
    – anatolyg
    Sep 28, 2017 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


While bunching up (see the answer by @Charlie Brumbaugh) works most times, it might be useful to have a method at hand that is less bulky for storing purposes.

You can make a Chain Sinnet, which is a slip knot into which you pull a loop and repeat.
When you fold your tarp or tent and find several lines together (making the bunches inconvenient as it makes too much of a bump) you can chain them together, by pulling all lines together into the loops and going on till the complete lengths are used. The final move of a chain that is in danger of getting undone is to pull the last end through the loop. But when putting the tarp in storage I would leave it without that last move to help in undoing when you use the tarp again.

For shortening while using the tarp, the Chain Shortening will work, but best when the line is used.
In that case you will need to fix the end of the chain, by pulling the end through or by tying an extra bit of string around the loop and the rest of the line.


For my tarp I just fold the tarp and then wrap the strings around it. For a tent you can wrap the cords as described in these answers so that it looks something like this,

wrapped rope

I wouldn't worry too much about it, the more you camp and use it, the better you will get at it.

  • This coiling is very different from the one used for normal (thick) ropes. It looks much more compact and more suitable for thin cords. How do you do it? It's impossible to guess from the picture. Also, is it suitable for a rope that is permanently attached to a large object at one end?
    – anatolyg
    Sep 26, 2017 at 21:38
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    @anatolyg I usually just wrap it around my hand for the first circle, then pull it off and wrap around those coils for the second Sep 26, 2017 at 21:40

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