This is not something I thought Id never have to look into. I either use the knot linked below for tarps with no grommets or a bowline most of the time. I’m up to something like 35 knots why learn anymore. Then I was talking to a mate about the intermediate bushcraft course and there were more tests involving survival blanket shelters and I thought I wanted my tarp to have pre-staged cordage to set up as fast as possible with as little effort. These tests were on level one and we had no head start for attaching guy-lines.

So apart from re-enforcing the edges and grommets with Gorilla Tape, I also wanted to attach premade 2 meter lengths of paracord. Its been a while since I had to set up a tarp, a sundial and a fire and boil water while being timed.Doing them in the correct order, in the most efficient way possible is the key. Its not that you do half the things on courses in real life, they are to teach you other skills and how to use your mind. (I’m not going to tell which order)

Anchor Bend with 2m guy-line showing gorilla tape reinforcing

A buntline Hitch as been shown to me in the past for tarp corners but I have never been a fan. Buntlines don’t like stress and are essentially a clove hitch tied on the main line. I narrowed down the knots I liked to a Halyard Shackle, a Scaffold Knot before deciding on an Anchor Bend. The easiest one to remember under stress.

You can learn dozens of knots but under stress and being timed is another thing trying to get them right. You can fudge knot all this by using a round turn and two half hitches for everything when trying to be as fast as possible under a stressful environment..

One advantage of using the Bowline for the corner knots of tarps is that the bottom two, is that its possible to peg straight through the middle of the loops and having them on all four corners means you don’t have to look for which end is at the top or the bottom for extra speed.

I think Ive become a knot addict as I thought this would be a good way to practice my Alpine Butterfly knots. These are good for forming loops that can be pulled in any direction. I wanted to form a smaller Alpine butterfly on the bottom corners of the tarp to use for pegging by wrapping around only three fingers instead of the whole hand to form a miniature version.

with Alpine butterfly for pegging stakes

Once again speed in setting up a Lean-to also depends on the order in which the knots and pegs are placed. Tying a Siberian Hitch and a Taut Tarp Hitch with practiced speed and once again there is a certain order in which to place the pegs and knots to obtain tension. (If you cant figure it out message me and Ill place the order in the response.)

Ill also quickly mention why I’m using 550 paracord ? The breaking strain isn’t so important here, if your hiking long distance and wanted to save on weight then thinner hootchie cord is generally used but it tangles constantly. In a timed curriculum the less tangles the better!

Tarp Corner with NO Grommet

Halyard Shackle

Scaffold Knot

Anchor Bend or Nilsson Knot

Alpine Butterfly First Way (Hand Wrap Method)

Alpine Butterfly Second Way

Ridgeline knots Siberian hitch and Taut Tarp Hitch