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These poles facilitate tarpaulin use, particularly in open terrain, away from trees, where other solutions are difficult to find. At first sight they resemble tent poles. However they are intended to be used away from the supporting sleeves of a tent. Consequently they are stiff, unlike the flexible poles that are typically supplied with tents. In effect, they can support a roof, such as a tarpaulin, in much the same way that a column supports the roof of a temple. To do this, they have to resist forces that, if sufficiently large, will cause structural failure. The two most likely types of failure are bending and buckling. It is advisable to use them in a way that minimises the risk. To do this, they should not be heavily loaded, and not required to resist forces that are applied anywhere but at their tips. So, for example, applying a guy line half way along the length of such a pole will reduce the compression force required to induce buckling, and is therefore to be avoided. An obvious way to reduce the load on any one pole is to use smaller tarps and more poles. The variability of the forces experienced due to wind can be reduced by adding guy lines. Shortly after purchasing some equipment from Woodlore, I set up a Hilleberg tent and tarpaulin on the North York Moors in an exposed and quite windy spot. The tarpaulin was supported by four poles, and arranged so as to deflect the wind and provide shelter from rain. Each pole tip is provided with a 5mm diameter hole, which can take a suitable guy line. I found it better to transfer lines from the tarp to the pole at the tip, otherwise the lines tended to jam between the pole and the tarp rings. Other lines were added by looping around the tip and between the tarp and the line running through the hole. In a woodland setting, I would use slip knots and easily adjusted knots, but on the Moors I applied knots which were unlikely to shift as a result of the buffeting of the wind. Despite three days and nights of turbulent weather, nothing was damaged.
Steve Smith16th July, 2017