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pole shock cord alternative
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Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
pole shock cord alternative on 02/03/2012 21:34:47 MST Print View

Most tent poles use elastic shock cord to quickly and easily connect the poles when erecting a tent. Here's an alternative using kite line and a couple of kite/archery fittings. It is a little difficult to understand how things work if you don't have it in your hands.



The fittings are called stubby nocks and are shown here:


The photo above showing an assembled pole with a string attached like a violin bow gives you an idea how the stubby nock might be typically used. It isn't how I'm using it, however. I run the string inside the pole. This photo might help.


I've modified the nock by drilling a hole down its center. This allows the string to be placed inside the tent pole. The hole down the center of the nock is large enough to allow the knotted string to pass through it. When the string's knot is jammed into the smaller side slot/hole of the nock, however, it holds tight.

Why Do This
This method allows the poles to be pulled together very tightly. There is no risk that an elastic shock cord will allow the poles to come slightly apart while assembling the tent. This prevents breaks at the ferrels and also allows one to pull (instead of push) poles through pole sleeves without fear that they will come apart.

Edited by lyrad1 on 02/04/2012 09:15:46 MST.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
shock cord alternative on 02/03/2012 22:09:02 MST Print View

Not bad. And you might save weight by using very light spectra cord. Also, no danger of accidentally letting the poles snap together, thus doing damage to the end of a carbon tube.

But I've never had shock cord fail on me in the field. Probably because my poles are built to allow easy field repair - so it is no problem replacing the shock cord every couple of years or so at home. I did buy an old model Helsport Stetind 1 where the shock cord had already lost most of its elasticity and had to be replaced. Sold the tent before ever using it.

I use the 3/32" cord, with enough tension just to firmly hold the poles together. As they are field repairable, it would be easy to tighten the cord in the field if it starts to lose tension, but have never had to do that.

By field reparable, I mean leaving the insert at one end of the pole unglued, just a good press fit, but easily removable with a mini-plier.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: pole shock cord alternative on 02/04/2012 01:52:12 MST Print View

> When the string's knot is jammed into the smaller side slot/hole of the nock,
> however, it holds tight.