Monday, March 7, 2011

Making And Using A Rock Lock

When I’m building a shelter, securing a tarp, or using a material that does not contain anchors, grommets, or attachment points, I often use what some people call a “Rock Lock” or “Monkey Fist”. This provides a point in the material that allows you to attach a tie down, stake it down, or fasten it to some other object. To make a Rock Lock, just locate a rock that is about 2 inches in diameter and has no sharp points that could damage the material. Place the rock within the material where you prefer it’s placement and rap the material around it. If it’s a thin material, you may rap it several times to ensure extra strength. Twist the rock so that the material tightens and provides an attachment point for cordage. Then wrap your cordage around this point twice and tie a knot to secure it. Now attach the cordage to the preferred tie down location and your Done! This provides a strong, wind proof, and secure attachment point that is considerably better than most pre-made attachment points and requires no cutting of the material so it can be used for multiple other tasks later on.


  1. Clever, i'm gunna try this with my boat tarp cuz the wind always pulls the metal grommets right out. This sounds like it's alot stronger.

  2. I even use this method if there's already grommets installed in really high wind conditions for the same reason. Especially if I tie a tarp up as a wind block when it has the greatest risk of ripping. I've yet to have one of the Rock Locks fail or rip through the tarp. They're also great for making a homeaid hammock. Just take a sheet and double it up long ways and put a Rock Lock on each end, then tie each end between two trees and your good to go.