Matt Johnson

How to Use Guylines on a Tent?

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jul 10, 2022Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Before we get started on how to use guylines on a tent, I wanted to provide a little more background on guylines (what they are, different types, etc.). Fortunately, we recently wrote an article explaining guylines.

Guylines are an essential part of any tent’s structure. They provide stability in high winds and can be used to add support to the flysheet. You can attach guylines to the corners, guy points, or loops along the perimeter of your tent. The most important thing to remember when using guylines is to ensure they are all taut and free from any knots or twists.

There are a few different types of guylines that you can use on your tent. The most common type is the cord type, which is made from nylon or polyester. These are lightweight and easy to use. Another type is the webbing type, made from a woven fabric that is strong and durable. The last type is the bungee cord type, which is made from a stretchy material that can absorb shock.

This article will focus on how to use rope guylines on your tent.

With that, let’s get started.

Attach the guylines to the tent.

Before working with the guylines, you must have your tent up and tent walls staked down. Once you have your tent set up, find the loops or grommets along the perimeter of the flysheet. These are usually located at the corners and guy points.

Now you need to do is attach the guy lines to the tent. You can do this by threading the cord through the loops or guy points on the perimeter of your tent. If your tent has no loops or guy points, you can use a carabiner to attach the cord directly to the fabric.

Most tents have eyelets, loops, or some point where you can easily attach the cord.

Once you thread the cord through, you’ll need to tie a knot to secure it. Make sure the knot is tight and will not come undone. For this, we recommend a taut-line hitch knot. This knot is easy to tie and untie, even when the cord is under tension. We’ve even included a quick video showing you how to tie this knot on your guy line.

At this point, you should have all of your guylines attached to the tent. The next step is to stake them out.

Attach the stakes.

With the guylines attached, the next step is to secure them to the ground. This is done by using stakes. For this, we recommend using metal or plastic stakes. These types of stakes are strong and will hold up in high winds. Chances are, though, your tent probably came with stakes. If so, you can use those. If not, most general retailers such as Walmart carry a variety of stakes.

Now attach the cord to the stake. We recommend using a taut-line hitch knot just as you did on the tent. This type of knot is easy to tie and untie and is also adjustable. It’s perfect for this application.

Why do you tie the cord to the stake before driving it into the ground? This is so you can adjust the tension on the rope. You want the cable to be taut but not too tight. If it’s too tight, it could damage the tent.

After you tie the hitch knot, drive the stake into the ground.

Drive the stakes into the earth.

Guyline Attached to Stake in the Ground
The stake should be all the way in the ground at a 45-degree angle (or as close as possible).

Start with one of the corner stakes, and pull it away from your tent until the cord is taut. As we mentioned, if the cord is too loose, the tent will not be secure in high winds. If the cable is too tight, it could damage the tent. And we don’t want that.

Now drive the stake into the ground at a 45-degree angle using a mallet or your foot. The goal is to get the stake as deep into the ground as possible. How deep you need to go will depend on the type of soil and how windy it is.

As a general rule of thumb, you want the stake to be at least 8 inches (20 cm) into the ground. It should be immovable when you try to pull it out. If you’re in a sandy area, you may have to bury the stake as opposed to driving it in.

Repeat this process for the remaining stakes.

As a preference, I prefer to drive the opposite stake from the last one. This prevents one side of the tent from being too tight. Think of it like cross-tightening lug nuts on a car wheel.

Adding a rainfly to your tent.

After your tent is staked down with tent guy lines, it’s time to add your rainfly — if you have one.

Your rainfly uses guy lines in the same manner your tent does, but the lines don’t necessarily attach to the tent body.

For your rainfly, you’ll attach the guylines to the rainfly then to the stakes the same way you do with the tent. We recommend using separate stakes, but in a pinch you can attach the lines to the same stakes as your tent.

Guylines are essential to camping, as they help keep your tent stable in windy conditions. In this article, we have provided a guide on how to use guylines on a tent. We recommend reading through the entire article before you go out and using them to ensure you do it correctly.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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