Learning how to tie a knot is one of the most important skills that you need to learn for outdoor survival. This is valuable knowledge that you can use when hiking, backpacking, or camping, among other activities. Whether it is for practical, sporting, or artistic purposes, knot tying can save your life in more ways than one. Each knot is useful in a variety of situations, so you need to pick one that is most suitable for your needs.
Ready to learn how to tie a knot? This post tackles the basic knots that you need to learn. Even if you are not a seasoned outdoorsman, you can do these knots easily as long as you follow the right steps.
1. Half Hitch
This is a knot that can be useful in several situations, especially when you are working with a ridgeline. To put it simply, this is basically an overhand knot. When done on its own, it will be unsecure. However, you must learn how to do this because it forms the foundation of other knots.
There are several situations wherein you will need to use the half hitch knot, such as when you are tying a bait when fishing, tying a paracord in making a survival bracelet, knitting, crocheting, and jewelry-making, among others.
Two main components will make the half hitch knot – the starting end and the working end. The starting end is also known as the load end, which is the inactive part of the rope. The working end, on the other hand, is the one that will be moving and doing the work.
Here is a quick guide on how to do the half hitch correctly:
2. Fisherman’s Knot
This type of knot is basically combining two knots or ropes. The two ropes that you will tie should have an equal diameter. It is also called angler’s knot, halibut knot, or waterman’s knot. While it is common for fishing applications, take note that using slippery lines, such as a nylon monofilament, will make it slip. It also weakens the rope, so this is not recommended in survival situations wherein you will need a tight or secure knot.
One of the basic ways to describe the fisherman’s knot is that it combines two overhand knots. The most popular application of this knot is when you are connecting your hook to a line.
Before we talk about the specifics of doing this knot, there are three terms that you need to know. The tag end is your line’s end. This is part of the rope that will tie the knot. The standing line, on the other hand, is the part of the line that rests. Lastly, a turn or a wrap is an action wherein the tag end connects to the standing line.
3. Prusik Knot
Also called friction hitch, this is a 3-turn slide and grip knot. It is often used when sliding a loop in a tight line. When there is no load, the knot will slide smoothly. On the other hand, when it is loaded, the added weight will prevent the knot from slipping.
This knot is mainly used for climbing. One loop helps your leg power, which is crucial when you are ascending. Meanwhile, the other loop is for sitting as it is connected to a harness. Climbing is a dangerous activity, so be cautious when performing this knot as it can save your life. You can also use this knot for the ridgeline of your hammock, when hanging a camping tarp, or when making paracord belts, among other situations.
4. Trucker’s Hitch
The name of the knot is a reference to how this is often performed to secure loads. It is a combination knot that will also allow you to secure a kayak or a canoe, among other possible loads. When doing this knot, you are basically creating a pulley system on the rope.
This knot is also useful when you need to tie a long line or rope, such as for a clothesline or your tarp guy-line. While it is easy to tie and untie, one of the drawbacks is that when pulled too tight, this can result in the material tearing up.
Also called a double hitch, it is simply doing back-to-back half hitches. Along with the sheet bend and bowline, it is considered by many outdoorsmen to be among the most popular types of knots. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it is effortless to tie and untie.
It functions as a crossing knot. It is useful in a variety of situations, such as when hoisting or making an arm sling. However, take note that this may not be a safe type of knot because it is prone to slipping.
There are hundreds of knots that can be useful in several situations, especially for your survival. You don’t need to learn each knot. Start by learning the five knots below and you will find them useful in many situations.