Tautline Hitch


a perfectly pitched tent…

Have you ever pitched a tent and couldn’t seem to make your flysheet perfectly balanced among the four corners? The reason? Uneven tension on the guy lines.

The Tautline Hitch is an adjustable knot which allows you to easily vary the tension of a line without retying. As such, it useful in situations whereby the length of a line will need to be periodically adjusted to maintain tension.

By sliding the knot up and down the line, the effective length of the line changes, thereby increasing or decreasing tension. A shorter length will put the line on greater tension and vice versa. The knot adjustment is precise which means that you can do fine adjustments to achieve the desired tension.

This knot is ideal for situations such as:

  • Securing the guy lines of a tent
  • Securing the flysheets of an improvised shelter

So the next time when you are setting up a tent or improvised shelter, and having troubles adjusting the tension of the guy lines to have the flysheet at the centre, try using the Tautline Hitch. It will save you a lot of trouble retying. 


Here is how to tie the Tautline Hitch:

  1. Take the end of the line and go around, for example, a tent peg.
  2. Do two loops around the line towards the direction of the tent peg and let the end of the line drop in-between.
  3. Do one more loop around the line, on the right side of step two.
  4. Tighten the end of the line. Slide the knot to increase / decrease tension.


Posted in Campcraft, Ropework For Hiking.

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