Following on from the previous article in this blog featuring the method I employ to tie a guyline out to an anchor point, I thought we'd look at the other end of the line and explore a couple of knots I employ to attach the guyline to the tarp corners.
The Buntline Hitch
This is my first choice when it comes to pinning the tail on the donkey: it's quick, easy and unflappable. The buntline has its origins in the swell of the seas where sailors needed a knot that would weather the buffeting winds without loosening. In fact, the buntline uses any wild whip from the wind to constrict even tighter and so was created to hold the square sail of tall ships.
The buntlines use in bushcraft is to my mind threefold:
The aforementioned resilience to the testing winds.
It uses little cord to tie.
And it's easy to untie, especially when modified with a quick release.
This knot I use to secure the four corners of my tarp, and typically I'll leave it attached when I pack my tarp away.
Quick Release Modification.
Give yourself 10cm to work with initially and use the extra length to instead pull a bight through at the final stage. I typically only use this to add extra lines to my tarp as I find I leave my corner guy lines on most of the time anyway, and the knot is easy undone with the quick release if needed.
Double Sheet Bend
Another Classic knot for fixing a line to the tarp, quickly tied and easily undone. Use this knot if you're taking your guylines off your tarp each time you pack it away. You can even add a quick release by pulling a bight through at the end, instead of pulling the working end through.
Reference: Ashley's Book of Knots. Clifford W. Ashley 1944.