I was given my current tent and I have to admit to being pretty ignorant of tents, having not done much camping since I was a kid some decades ago.

Now when it came time to use the guy ropes I noticed there are plastic "things" on the ropes, that I assume are used for something like adjusting the tension.

tent rope tensioner

But I was too stupid to figure out how to use them! \-:

I ended up making slipknots and just putting the pegs in where the ropes were tight. The tent is on sand this time so I can tighten the ropes a bit just by digging and re-packing the sand a bit.

But should I really use these tent rope adjuster thingies?

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    Do you mean something like this?
    – Kevin
    Aug 12, 2012 at 15:03
  • @Kevin: Yes a lot like that though mine are black plastic and I think they have something like a slot rather than a hole. I would take a photo but because I just used knots and I'm at the beach they're all buried in the sand at the moment and it's too windy to dig one out for a photoshoot (-: Aug 12, 2012 at 16:52
  • Let us know how it goes! I've never used that kind and can't see how they would work. They're not curved like the ones in Rory's answer, so I'm lost. Aug 16, 2012 at 2:45
  • 1
    Two things: 1 - If you post the brand I'll look up how to use them. 2 - Learn how to tie a taut-line hitch, it's your best friend Aug 16, 2012 at 17:24
  • 2
    @RussellSteen: The tent is a Vango DS 300. Seems to be a British company, but the link is to a newer model with the same name as mine - at least the front door and window area is totally different. And for those interested in your reference, here's the Wikipedia article on taut-line hitch (-: Aug 17, 2012 at 3:52

4 Answers 4


The simplest ones are like this, and even the more complex ones are typically broadly similar.

Usage is to have set your peg at a useful distance (ie not too close to the tent, as it won't hold the pole/skin out, and not too far away as you might trip over it) and pop the loop round the peg.

Then just slide the tensioner up the guy rope until tight.

enter image description here

Remember to slightly overtighten if you expect rain, as nylon guy ropes stretch a fair bit in the wet.

With the one you have, you already have the loop and the slot. Open up the loop and place this over your peg, then slide the black plastic piece up the rope until tight - the mechanism is the same, the friction is just applied a slightly different way.

I'll check to see if any of my tents use that type and take a photo.

  • I think the confusing part for me is that mine are only attached to the guy rope in one place. I didn't figure out how to attach it in the second place ... if that makes any sense. (Photo coming after the storm I promise.) Aug 12, 2012 at 16:54
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    If they have a slot, and one end is fixed, pull a loop through the slot and put this loop over your peg.
    – Rory Alsop
    Aug 12, 2012 at 17:15
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    In the right hand picture (yours, with the orange rope) if you pull on the U-turn of rope that's pointing at you, you will gain a loop of rope to put the peg through. You can see a channel for the rope in the black plastic. Then slide the thingy up the rope to tighten it (by making the loop bigger.) Aug 16, 2012 at 4:29
  • @KateGregory: Maybe you should promote your comment here to a full answer. Rory's answer is great but yours is specific to my non-traditional tensioner device. Aug 17, 2012 at 3:54
  • @hippietrail actually I think I'm saying what Rory's saying, I'm just translating into the co-ordinates of your device. He says "open the loop" and that's the key Aug 17, 2012 at 12:51

I have used these once before but I do not have them any more to take my own pics with.

Arrow points are part to pull

The arrow points at the part of the rope you should pull. Pull it out until you have a big loop. Place the loop around your post or stake in the ground. Slide the Black piece of plastic up the rope until it is tight.

Next try to turn the black piece of plastic perpendicular to the rope that goes to the tent. During this step the actual rope touching the peg/stake should shift slightly.

If the rope is tight enough the black plastic will put a bit of a bend in the rope and hold tight.


The band actually works like a taut line hitch knot. Pull on one and it can become tighter or you can give it more slack


I am using these on a vango 350 this evening. Turn the plastic through 90 degrees to run the guy along the channel on the plastic. when taught let it flip naturally back to hold in place. They work fairly well.good luck!

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