Matt Johnson

What is a Tent Guyline?

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jul 9, 2022Updated: Dec 12, 2023

You’ve seen them before, or perhaps you’ve even used them, but what exactly are tent guylines? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what these lines are, what they’re used for, and how you can use them to your advantage when camping.

What is a tent guyline? 

So, what is a tent guyline? In short, a tent guyline is a rope or cord to secure a tent or tarp to the ground. By staking the cable down, you can create a more secure structure that is less likely to blow away in the wind.

They’re typically made from solid and durable materials, such as nylon, polyester, or Kevlar, which can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear. This is important as you don’t want your guyline to break in the middle of a storm or while trying to set up camp.

How do you use a tent guyline? 

To use a tent guyline, you will need to find a suitable location to set up your tent or tarp. Once you have found a spot, drive the stakes with your tent or tarp into the ground.

Next, tie one end of the cord to the stake. Make sure that the knot is secure and will not come undone easily. We typically tie a square knot, as it is solid and easy to untie.

Take the other end of the cord and stretch it to an anchor point on the tent. Most tents will have loops or D-rings that you can thread the cable through. Again, make sure that the knot is secure before moving on.

Now, repeat this process for each guyline on your tent or tarp. And that’s all there is to it!

While it may seem like a lot of work to set up, using guylines will help to keep your tent or tarp in place during windy conditions. This can be a lifesaver, especially if caught in a storm while camping.

Why do you need a tent guyline? 

Generally, most tents will come with guylines already attached or, at the very least, ready to be connected. However, there are a few reasons you may need to buy an additional one or two.

The first reason is if you lose or damage one of the existing guylines on your tent. This can happen quickly, especially if you’re not careful when packing your tent.

Another reason you might need an extra guyline is if you’re using a tarp as an addition to your tent. This can help to provide additional protection from the elements, such as rain or sun. We often use a tarp to block some of the winds coming off of the water.

Lastly, you may need an extra guyline if you plan to camp in an area with high winds. In these cases, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can attach additional guylines to the corners of your tent or tarp to help keep it in place.

Tent guylines are essential camping gear to help you stay safe and dry during bad weather.

What are the different types of tent guylines?

Depending on your needs, you can choose a few different types of tent guylines.

The most common type is the rope guyline, which we’ve discussed so far. These are typically made from nylon, polyester, or Kevlar and are very strong and durable. They come in various lengths and can be easily tied to most tents and tarps.

Another popular type is the webbing guyline, which is made from a wide strip of webbing material. These are typically lighter than rope guylines and are easy to adjust. They also don’t require knots, which can be a plus if you’re not confident in your knot-tying skills.

There are also reflective guylines, which are great for camping in areas with low light. These will help you to see your tent or tarp at night, making it easier to avoid tripping over them.

You may also see bungee cord guylines, slightly more elastic than the rope. This can be helpful if you’re expecting high winds, as it will help to absorb some of the pressure.

Lastly, you can also find metal guylines, which are typically used on larger, more permanently placed tents. While these aren’t as common as the others, they are very strong and can withstand a lot of wind and weight. However, they are also more challenging to set up and take down.

There you have it, that’s guylines in a nutshell. Now you see why they’re essential for a safe and successful camping trip. Be sure to pack a few extras, just in case you need them. And always make sure that your knots are secure before leaving camp.


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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