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Avoiding clove hitches for tarps in the field
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Locale: Greater Gila
Avoiding clove hitches for tarps in the field on 03/08/2008 09:40:15 MST Print View

I've come to the conclusion that I hate making clove hitches when trying to pitch a tarp late in the day. Maybe there is an easier way? I've tried making one underhand loop around the pole to keep that first loop secure, then fumbling with my fingers to make an overhand loop and slide that down the pole and on top of the other loop. This never works out to make a proper hitch though. Is there another way to use the pole to keep a really tight first loop, and then layer another loop over it?

And if not, has anyone successfully made a permanent loop in the line that you could simply place the trekking pole into and it would hold, then the longer piece of line behind this loop would be staked into the ground?

So far the only way I've gotten good hitches was while preparing both loops in hand, then sliding those two loops overtop of the trekking pole. This is a nightmare when trying to keep the tarp under control in high winds.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
avoiding the clove hitch on 03/08/2008 12:08:13 MST Print View

Take an extra 50' of cord with you and camp in wooded areas. I've been fortunate enough to live and camp in areas where trees are plentiful. No poles required!
p.s. this only works for those of us under the tree line.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Avoiding clove hitches for tarps in the field on 03/08/2008 13:38:44 MST Print View


Do you know the traditional boy scout way of making a clove hitch? "Wrap, Cross, Wrap, Tuck, Tighten" It's exactly the steps you do with the tying end on two-half hitches around the long end. Basically, you just substitute the long end with the pole. The double loop technique you're using is hard to do in the wind. It's the only way one would be able to tie a clove hitch around, say, a light pole (aka when you can't slip loops over the end).

Anyhow, if you modify it to more like a tautline method rather than two-half hitches method (aka "Double Wrap, Cross, Wrap, Tuck, Tighten"), the double wrap lets you hold tight even in high winds with relatively little effort. I think this method technically has a different name... but I just tie it, I don't worry about the name.

Wow... this site is pretty simplistic, but it is the 'traditional' clove hitch I'm, talking about.

<s>Let's see if I can actually link the gif...

er... doesn't seem to animate properly when I link to it... it might if I upload...

yup, that seems to have worked...

Oooh! The sight has the modified clove, apparently it's calling a rolling hitch...</s>

Oy, just noticed the author of the site specifcally requested no linking or copying directly to the images. Anyhow, here' aa link to his Knot Menu

Edited by jdmitch on 03/08/2008 13:45:39 MST.

Mike Hinsley

Locale: England, UK
Avoiding clove hitches for tarps on 03/08/2008 14:26:51 MST Print View

For poles I actually use a single-inline loop. It's quick and easy and locks solid as soon as the line is tensioned.

It's the loop they teach scouts and guides for washing lines.

I leave the guys pre-tied with tautline hitches and so everything is quick and easy to pitch.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: single inline loop on 03/08/2008 15:31:15 MST Print View

are you talking about a simple slip knot?

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Try a "rolling" clove hitch on 03/08/2008 15:35:09 MST Print View

go twice around your pole before tying the knot off with the final hitch. The extra bite may help - if I get your frustration being that things slip out of place before you're done?

Mike Hinsley

Locale: England, UK
Single Inline Loop on 03/09/2008 01:30:29 MST Print View

I mean like here.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Single Inline Loop on 03/09/2008 05:26:53 MDT Print View

A person could even use two lengths of rope for each pole so you don't have to tie a knot. Both lengths get a pre-tied bowline on end and tautline hitch on the other.

To set up,
1. girth hitch the short-length bowline to shelter tie out, slip pole into tautline hitch loop, and tighten knot to pole.
2. girth hitch the long-length bowline to pole (with loop sitting on top of first loop), put stake into taut-line hitch loop, and stake out.