/ Are longer guy lines better on tents?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Oliiver on 12 Nov 2013 -
I can't get my head around this, i presume the longer the guy line ( further away from tent) the better? It's for my sl voyager i want to increase its strength
The Ex-Engineer - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Oliiver: In general, longer is better as it will marginally increase horizontal stability. However, you will get rapidly diminishing returns and on most tents I doubt there is much to be gained from replacing the existing guylines.

If you are worried about extreme conditions I'd first look at upgrading some of your tent pegs.
martinph78 on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:
> If you are worried about extreme conditions I'd first look at upgrading some of your tent pegs.

I'd also look at either an extra pole set (double up) or replacement heavy duty poles.

Saying that, the Voyager only has/needs two guy lines doesn't it? It's low profile and I've pitched in in nearly every condition going and found the original guy lines do the job just fine.

Tall Clare - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

I'd agree with you about poles - the front pole snapping has been the most problematic thing about my voyager, which has been pitched in some pretty decisive conditions.
balmybaldwin - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Oliiver:

Remember, the longer your guy lines, the more likely a pissed (or not) person is to trip over them in the middle of the night, leaving you fighting your way out to try an confront them.
Toerag - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Oliiver: go look at the bolt products site for some juicy stake info. The longer your lines the more horizontal the pull. Stake (and similarly tent peg) failure mechanism is through pull-out - as it's easiest to pull a peg out the way it went in then a horizontal pull is therefore most difficult to remove. Interestingly pegs should be hammered in vertically and have a notch for whatever's tied to them. Skewer pegs will be rubbish compared to ones with more surface area unless the ground is so rocky skewers are the only ones that will go in. I like the extruded V-section ones that come with Vaude and Hilleberg tents, I've never bent one yet. Hilleberg ones have a nice cord loop that allows you to actually pull them out the ground and not lose them in the first place.
martinph78 on 13 Nov 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I've haven't snapped a pole since they stopped making them from fibreglass, but understand the poles on the superlight are just that. Doubling up is something I'd do with my Ultra Quasar if it was going to be for extended basecamp use in the higher ranges (or anywhere where I'd have help carrying my kit!)
alexgoodey on 13 Nov 2013 -
It's a combination of all factors...

Lower profile tents will act less like a sail (I had a really rubbish tent with an amazing profile which weathered the most ferocious storms - its nickname among my friends was 'the sneeze')
Good stitching of peg loops will reduce the likelihood of tear-off
Good pegs (appropriate for the ground) will help lock into place
Peg placement, perpendicular to the canvas sheet (90 degree X vs Z) and at an acute angle of guy-line (40-60 degrees from vertical Z vs Y) works best

Guy line length is irrelevant unless you start introducing additional factors, i.e.:
Multi-point anchoring
(as pointed out already) change of the X vs Y angle
Line length so long it stretches or forms a sail (both unlikely)

All in all, remember Newton! You are not resisting forces, just seeking to dissipate or equalise them as cleanly as possible within the structure.

If all parts of the system are designed to break at the same tension, when one part becomes stronger, and the other components are not reinforced to an equivalent degree, then you'll have other weakness which will show up.
Oliiver on 13 Nov 2013 -
In reply to Oliiver: What do you mean by doubling up poles?
lost1977 - on 13 Nov 2013
In reply to Oliiver:

The quaser will take a second set of poles
martinph78 on 13 Nov 2013
In reply to Oliiver: Putting two poles through each pole sleeve. Not sure if it's on option on the SL though.

The Voyager is a very stable tent as it is though, if you are having problems with it them maybe look at how you are pitching it? I never modified mine and have slept from canyon bottoms to 6000m in it.
captain paranoia - on 13 Nov 2013
In reply to Toerag:

> Interestingly pegs should be hammered in vertically and have a notch for whatever's tied to them.

I think it's useful to look at the geometry of the guyline. Since the guyline is attached to the tent above the ground, if you lift the guyline up at the peg, it will move away from the tent (in a circular arc).

If you place a peg vertically in the ground, tension on the guyline will lift the peg out of the ground (resolve the forces on the guyline into horizontal and vertical components). The guyline can become slacker as the peg lifts, so this is how it will move if the line is tensioned by wind on the tent (the system moves to a lower energy configuration).

To stop the peg lifting, it should be inserted so that the angle between the guyline and the lower half of the peg is just under 90 degrees at the point of insertion, i.e. leaning out a little. This will depend on the length of the guyine and the relative heights of attachment and pegging points. For the peg to be pulled out in this configuration, it has to stretch the guyline, thus moving to a higher energy configuration, which isn't what the system wants to do. The "shepherd's crook" on the end of the peg is to prevent a hooked peg turning when inserted like this.

Bolts are best fitted horizontally because the load is primarily vertical (and therefore bolt loading occurs perpendicular to its placement). I suspect that even bolts may benefit from being inserted slightly inclined, with exposed tip slightly higher than inserted end (if only to ensure that they aren't angled down).
Oliiver on 13 Nov 2013 -
In reply to Oliiver: Would it make any difference to add 3 guy lines for 1 guying point, and guy out at like 20 degree increments?
Toerag - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:

Did you actually read the bolt products page? the vertical pegging thing came from the marquee industry. I know it's un-intuitive, but assuming the guyline can't come off the top of the peg due to a notch or similar it seems ot hold true.
captain paranoia - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to Toerag:

> Did you actually read the bolt products page?

No, I didn't, because you didn't give a link, and I couldn't be bothered to go searching... Oh, and I can't access because our corporate nanny blocks it (sigh).

<goes off to 'dirty network'>
discussion is here:

I recall seeing this many years ago, and thinking that I'd have to go off and think about why it works (IIRC, from a similar UKC discussion). I obviously didn't do that thinking, and will have to go off and have a think, because the finding there differs from my experience with camping tents, where vertically-placed pegs will pull out, but 'properly placed' pegs will not. DofE groups are a good place to investigate pegging practice variation...
jimtitt - on 22 Nov 2013
In reply to captain paranoia:

It´s curious because when I first looked into the subject I spent hours trawling through outdoor websites thinking campers are about as nerdy as it gets and they must have investigated every possible way to get 2grams of their pegs and still get good results. Seemingly still an area to make a name
for yourself!
I even went as far as asking a couple of scout leaders who hand out the badges but no idea really, seemed to just be a continuation from a 19th century military handbook used by Baden Powell. Well driven and all at the same angle were their criteria. Whereas the grubby guy I know who used to work in a large circus knew all about it and even what the regulations are which sent me on the right track.
As far as I can tell there are two worlds of pegging/staking, the commercial one where whatever you beat in the ground is properly proportioned for the job and then the camping world where hundreds of square feet of textile is supposed to be kept under control using the nastiest piece of bent coat hanger. I´ve a number of tents (5 at the moment) varying from one man to 12 men and the one common theme is the crap pegs though I just make my own instead.
The problem seems to be that the small diameter of commercial pegs doesn´t compress the surrounding soil enough to grip well on the peg and that the surface is too smooth, I´ve some 8mm titanium pegs which hold far better than 6mm stainless for example.
Bolts by the way are just installed perpendicular to the rock to make full use of the strength of the rock, there is no up and down really when your bolting a roof if you see what I mean. Ice screws are stronger angled downwards as well to confuse matters!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.