Tarp, ponchos, and emergency blankets are three of the most crucial elements of modern, fast-action shelters. And for those shelters to be effective, they need to be built correctly. But hanging them can be a pain if you don’t have much experience with it. Trying to tie the guyline taut when the other side of the tarp needs adjusting is an exercise in frustration. Minor adjustments can involve a significant amount of tweaking and tying, even when using a taut-line hitch. But there’s a better way, and a tiny handmade tool that’ll help you find it.
One thing that can make hanging tarps easier is using wooden toggles to secure your guylines or ridgeline, provided your tarp has grommets. Toggles have three main advantages over tying your lines directly into the grommet - one is that since your line is secured to the toggle instead of the actual grommet, the tarp is less likely to tear in heavy rain or high winds. Another is the aforementioned adjustment factor. Just roll the toggle down the line in the direction you want to pull tension, and you can make minute final adjustments. And if you're trying to break camp in a hurry, there's nothing easier. Simply pull the toggles out and you've dropped your tarp without taking the time to untie a single knot.
All you gotta do is cut a piece of stick that’s about a half inch in diameter and about an inch long. Wood type doesn’t matter, as long as it’s not rotted. Chamfer the edges to keep it from splitting, clean up any burrs or spurs, and you’re good to go. Pull a bight of your cordage through the eye of the grommet, insert your toggle, and roll it until you’ve reached your desired tension. And that’s all there is to it – quick, simple, and easy to remember.
Want to learn sheltering tips like this one and a whole lot more in a challenging hands-on environment? Join us for Wilderness Survival CORE on Father’s Day weekend – register now at https://www.sarcraft.com/course-registration/wilderness-survival-core!