Quick Release Shelter Lines


Quick Release Shelter Lines are a quick and effective alternative to conventional string lines when erecting shelters and tarps. In addition, the QRSL can also be attached to bungees to give greater length when required.

Quick Release Shelter Lines

Like many people who enjoys spending time in the outdoors, the cold and wet is one of the times where I do not relish going outside to hone my skills or just to practice what I know. But, to be a well-rounded survivalist and bushcraft teacher, you must practice in the cold and wet. However, the cold and wet presents its own unique problems and challenges, especially when you are trying to erect a shelter to get warm and dry. The most common issues which we all face in cold and wet conditions is cold is numb fingers and hands, which cause issues when we a trying to string up a tarp/shelter. We have all been there, trying to pull a bungee around a tree or tie a knot in para cord, when our minds are telling our hands and fingers to move but due to the cold and wet – the hands and fingers are stiff and numb. The answer is a quick release expandable string line, which are easy to make and far easier to use in all weather conditions.

The quick release expandable string lines have been used by countless people for many years. What’s more, the expandable lines are relatively cheap and simple to make. The only materials you really need is para cord and bungees. The benefits to using these types of lines are endless and they have multiple uses, and are very easy to put up and take down.


Uses and benefits for the Quick Release Lines

The quick release lines can be used for for erecting a wide variety of shelters, from lean to’s to a frame tents. Furthermore, the lines can be interlinked and expanded across wide areas to make hammock lines, utility lines for hanging items on and much more. Some people do not like using the bungees on the lines, which is fine as they are more for convenience when stretching the line to a tree or fixed object. Another bonus with using the lines, is that if you like only using bungees to erect your shelters due to the extra reach. You do not have to worry about the bungee hook hitting you in the face when you release it. Also, if you have to move in a hurry and put your shelter down, once you release one end of the quick release line; the other side will also release. 

How the knot works/releases

The knot ‘locks’ by means of two factors. Firstly, the the small eyelet you make on the para cord to feed the knot(s) through tightens to prevent the tail knot from releasing. Secondly, the tail knot will bind onto one of the eyelet knots which prevents slippage. 

In order to make sure that the quick release line remains in place, it is advisable to set your first line up and pull it tight, and ensuring the first line stays tight as you put up the second one. If you are on your own, all you have to do is pull the line tight, and feet it through your hands as you walk away from the locked knot. However, you can still set the knot, and when you erect the second line and pull it tight, the first line will lock in place. 

how the knot works

How to make the Quick Release String Line

Materials and Equipment

1 x 100 Ft of Para Cord (military type IV para cord 750 lb limit) | 25 ft 1/4″ thickness bungee cord | tape measure (at least 30 ft long) | sharp knife.

Step One: Bungee Preparation

1. Cut the 25 ft of bungee into 25″ lengths, then fold each section in half.
2. Tie a knot in the open end of the bungee. 
3. Pull tight, leaving a ‘tail’, which is approximately 2″ long. 
Points to note: If you do not pull the knot tight at the open end of the bungee, it will ‘roll off’ when you put it under tension. The easiest way to ensure that the knot is sufficiently tight, if to place each of your hands either side of the knot (the tail and body sides) and pull. Also, make sure that you use a lighter to singe the tail ends, or else they will fray more easily. 

Bungee Prep

Step Two: Para Cord Preparation

1. Cut the 100 ft of para cord into 20 ft lengths, then fold the para cord in half.
2. Tie a knot in the open end of the para cord. 
3. Then tie several other knots in the length of para cord going towards the closed end.
4. Ensure that the last two knots are close together and just wide enough to loop the tail into.  
Points to note: Make sure all knots are pulled tight. The spacing between each knot is personnel preference. Also, make sure that you use a lighter to singe the tail ends, or else they will fray more easily. 

Step Three: Quick Release Shelter Line Construction

1.Put the para cord closed end and bungee closed end over one another.
2. Loop the para cord tail ends through the closed end of the para cord, but do not pull tight. 
3.Move the para cord down and over the knot at the end of the bungee tail ends.
4. Pull the para cord tighter to ensure a firm seal between the two.  
Points to note: Make sure that you use a lighter to singe the tail ends, or else they will fray more easily. The para cord in the photo to the right is not to cut to the right length, and is only short due to demo purposes. 

attach to tarp shelter

Step Four: Attach to Shelter

1.Place the end of the tarp/shelter sheet next to the quick release line.
2. Feed the bungee end of the quick release line through the tab/eyelet of the shelter sheet, until it is halfway in. 
3. The feed the para cord end through the closed end of the bungee away from the knot.
4. Now pull the para cord all the way through the tab/eyelet, with the bungee not also and pull tight.  
Points to note: I recommend using the tab part of the shelter sheet/tarp if they have them. If not, the eyelet is just as good. 

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