Midshipman’s Hitch

The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm

Rain pelted the thin piece of nylon mere inches above our heads. I could hear the wind building, coming like a run-away train down the mountains and through the trees. As it was about to hit the tent, I’d shoot my arm out of the warmth of my sleeping bag to brace the side of the tent from blowing over on us. All the while, Aspen’s eyes were filled with fear about the storm raging outside, I tried to console her with belly rubs, but how do you tell a pup that it’s just a little wind and rain.

Every hour or so, I’d have to reach out into the storm to slide my taunt-line hitch knots back down on my guy lines and finally jumped out of my safe haven at about midnight to quickly secure the top of the tent to a nearby tree with extra line so I could have a chance at sleep instead of having to vigilantly listen for the wind trains barreling toward us.

Midshipman's Hitch

Midshipman’s Hitch

The skies were calm when we went to bed, but came alive a few hours later, which is when I learned I’d set the tent up with the broad side facing the wind. My mistake, I should have paid more attention to the breeze and given that priority over level ground and vestibule placement – lesson learned. However, there is no reason I should have to secure my guy lines through the night. At first I thought it was cheap guy lines, my apologies to Marmot. After a little internet research, I discovered the knot to end all guy line knots – the midshipman’s hitch. I found this gem of a knot of NetKnots.com, where they have step-by-step illustrations and a handy video.

In the safety of my yard, I reset all the guy lines and added a few more. With the tent fully staked out, I set up a storm simulation. You know, jerking on the nylon and making wind noises; completely scientific method approved. The knots didn’t budge. I’m not a fan of tenting it in a storm, but I really want to test this new setup out in a real storm. Aspen does not share the same sentiment.

Tent and Aspen

Aspen, commence storm simulation!


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