In almost all of the tent pictures where you can see the guy ropes, the guys have what we call crow’s feet.  Crow’s feet are the three (less often two) ropes coming off the eave of the tent that are knotted (it seems) into just one rope that is pegged to the ground.  Like this:

We’ve always struggled with the crow’s feet.  They’re difficult to adjust, we’re not sure of how to do the knot and mostly we’ve just put them in the too hard basket and gotten quite a good shape to our eaves anyway;

A few days ago, I discovered this picture.  It’s out of period, but it’s suggesting an alternative construction technique for the guys:

Maybe the guys go up to the centre pole and are sewn to the roof canvas, maybe the crow’s feet are then tied on to the main guy to hold out the eave?

What do you think?

European tent in cross section showing arrangement of supporting ropes and hanging walls. c. 1641.

One thought on “Ropes

  1. RE: the guy ropes…I’m a newbie to the SCA, although I have reenacted the American Civil War and briefly the Rendezvous/fur trader eras. I say that because I really know NOTHING about tent making etc, but I think you may be right…if the guy ropes were attached to the center pole in a “May Pole” fashion, it would make so much sense! It would give stability and structure to the roof and just make the whole thing sturdier. Also, it would be so much easier, I think, to transport and assemble than 30 or more individual ropes (as long as you keep it from getting all tangled up). The only thing I can see that might be a downside would be having the ropes against the canvas may be a recipe for leaking and seeping in the rain?? Anyway, that’s just my opinions, thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us! Lauressa Rene, Kingdom of Northshield

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