This is currently my favorite method for tightening a ridgeline, tie-out, guy-out, clothesline or any other sort of line. The Figure 9 from Nite Ize does a great job tensioning a rope or cord and getting rid of slack. For those of us who often forget our knots or just need a fast and simple solution, the Figure 9 can be quite useful.
By simply looping through the directed path and cinching down in the designated area, your rope or cord will fasten tightly and securely until you need to readjust or take it down.The best thing about using a Figure 9 is they are easily adjustable, there are no tight knots to untie, and you can use them with gloves on.
The Figure 9 comes in an assortment of sizes for multiple applications. Small plastic or aluminum ones are perfect for tightening slack on a rainfly or guy-outs. The larger aluminum model with a carabiner is my preference for tensioning a strong ridgeline. Figure 9’s are relatively inexpensive and extremely handy for anyone who wants to tighten a rope quickly and efficiently. You can find all the different sizes on the Nite Ize website or other camping accessory stores, including Amazon.
For the sake of safety, authenticity and just all around better practice I do want to acknowledge the importance of learning your knots. While there may be some great alternatives out there, nothing can substitute your knowledge. Knowing when and which knots to use is one of the best skills you can have. With that being said, learn the Truckers Hitch knot if you need to create a tensioned line between two objects and you only have some rope and your two hands! If you’re like me and can never remember which ends go through which loops, check out my review of WhatKnot, a free knot tying app from Colombia Sportswear.