Today, we are going to learn how to make a very heavy duty tarp tensioner for high winds or for that droopy silnylon tarp.
You may be asking yourself, what is a tarp tensioner and why would you need one? Good question! A tarp tensioner is basically a piece of rubber or elastic attached to your tarp or tent’s guy lines that allows tension to be taken off of your grommets during high winds or tension to be added when silnylon tarps begin to sag due to water exposure.
So far comparing this tensioner to my old shock cord ones, I can safely say I see a lot of promise in this new up comer. The elasticity of the Thera-Bands can definitely take a beating and offer twice the workforce. The real test comes this fall and winter when we add freezing rain and wind into the mix. I’ve heard that it may freeze to its stretched out length but hey at least I’ll still have a guy line.
Here is the materials you are going to need:
- Thera-Band (this is the same elastic band you can get for workouts)
- Guy Line Cordage (something thin and strong, sorry paracord is too thick!)
- Cordage for whipping the ends of the tensioner.
- Hammer and nails
- A strong clamp
- Pliers or a multitool.
- Tough fingers after doing ten of these I started to feel it.
Basically you decide how big of a tensioner you’ll need. If I would decide to do it again I might make it six inches. The length of the finished band is 7.5,” the tensioner completely stretched out is 19″ with 2″ loops on either side and 15″ from knot to knot. Now the purpose of this device is to stretch so I made the inner static line twice the length as the elastic outer tubing, that is from knot to knot. The inner line is still used as a guy line and needs to be pulled taut. From there you are basically lashing the elastic tubes to the outer sides of the knots with a simple rope whipping or zip ties, but I did’t like the look of the zip ties and worried it would eventually lead to failure of the device. Once that has been done the tubing needs to be rolled back over itself. I believe this makes the tensioner look nice but also reinforces the lashed ends.
Well the only other thing I could think of to help you is a step by step instructional video on how to make one of these doohickies. Get creative and let me know what you think of this newish tarp tensioner. Also send in some tips as to things you want to see pertaining to camping, preparedness or wilderness living. Together we can learn a lot!
Keep you eyes and ears open, and your powder dry!