Revised Scarp pole arch tension system

After my experience with the F10 Nitro Lite 200, I decided to revise the pole arch tension system on my Scarp. You can find the details of the old system in this post. The old system is shown below.


The reason for the “dog leg” was that I thought the cord might compromise access to the porch. Having experienced the more direct system in the Nitro Lite, I decided that this wasn’t really a problem after all. The new system is shown below.


At either end of the cord I’ve used a mini carabiner so the whole system can be easily removed if needed. When packing, I unclip the lower carabiner and tie the loose cord so that it doesn’t get tangled when rolling up the tent. On the lower attachment, I added a loop of cord to the small grosgrain loop on the ribbon that connects the pole grommets (see below).


At the top, instead of tying the cord, I’ve used another carabiner. While this is not strictly necessary, I prefer to have the option of removing the cord quickly if necessary, rather than fiddle around trying to untie a knot (show below).


How did it work? It gives the pole arch a lot more stability than being untethered or just using the side guys. In conjunction with the side guys, it makes the hoop a lot more stable, but still allows some modest flex. It can be used without the side guy on small pitches where space is compromised and has a similar effect to having the side guy. It doesn’t compromise access to the porch. It also has a secondary use as clothes line for drying socks!

All in all, I think this works better than my first iteration. Later this week, I’ll publish a post with all the modifications that I’ve made to my Scarp 1. I was going to make a video, but I chickened out and just took photos of the mods when I was on Dartmoor.

7 thoughts on “Revised Scarp pole arch tension system”

  1. Clever – but it does rely on the strength of the top fixing. I can’t see how that works and whether it’s strong enough to take the forces in a good blow.

    1. It seems plenty strong enough to me. The loop is sewn into the pole arch sleeve/tape. The old system survived some heavy weather, so I don’t see why this shouldn’t. There’s still some flex in the system.

  2. If the top fixings are strong, have you thought about continuing the line over the top of the inner and down the other side, as one continuous line? I think this would create even better arch rigidity. Just a thought – I don’t know what the clearance is at the top of the inner.

    1. I have considered that but decided it was a bit fiddly to do. Henry Shires suggested a cord under the apex of the arch connect the two top connections of my system which would strengthen against downdrafts (Roger Caffin’s tunnel tents have the same system). I might do it, but it seemed overkill. The problem with a continuous line is it would have to be secured at each loop to be effective (like the Power Lizard). It could be done but seems a lot of effort when my simple system achieves most of the effect. Good fun playing about 🙂

  3. You should find that system is very effective. I’ve always been impressed by Vango/Force Ten’s tension band system as used most recently in my Helium. So when I bought my Scarp I tried to replicate it in almost the way you’ve done. I’ve used those same two anchor points but without using mini-karabiners. I just need to remember to fully slacken the lineloks before trying to remove the pole. I have side guys available but use mini-karabiners to make them optional.
    My Scarp has survived some quite hairy weather beneath Coniston Old Man without budging, even without side guys. I may well have struggled to fit the bigger footprint needed by the sideguys into the available space.
    Just wish I’d sealed the tab at the apex more thoroughly before I went as it wicked water through to the inside of the inner until I unhooked it as you did.
    Thanks for your other suggestions, some of which I’ve implemented, others I’ve discarded.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.