KNOTS YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO KNOT
Tying a knot has always been one of those key outdoor skills that the inexperienced take for granted. That is the reason why it is not practiced enough. A good knot can save lives when you’re dealing with a survival situation, performing first aid, and when working over heights or water. But, you have to know how to tie it. Unfortunately, many men don’t know how to tie a proper knot. When they do have to tie something, they make random loops and passes until they have something that sort of looks like a knot, but isn’t as secure as one. So today we’re going to look at the art of knot tying.
The Square Knot
The square knot (also known as a reef knot) is a simple, quick knot that is useful for low strain ties. The knot is popular among sailors, climbers, gift wrappers for its convenience and ease of tying. One of the simplest knots available, the square knot nevertheless proves plenty strong for most casual applications. Best of all, almost anyone can learn to tie a square knot in just a few steps! Hold one rope end in each hand. Pass the right end over and under the rope in your left hand and pull it tight. Pass the rope now in your left hand over and under the one now in your right, and pull it tight.
Figure Eight Knot
The figure-eight knot is a type of knot that is very important in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices. Unlike the overhand knot, which will bind iron-hard under strain, often requiring the rope to be cut, the figure of eight can be easily untied after even the greatest strain.
The Clove Hitch is an easy knot to tie, and it secures a line to a tree or post quickly, but it does slip when used alone, without any other knots as a backup. To create a Clove Hitch on a tree, make a loop of rope around the tree. Then make another loop and pass the free end of the rope under the second loop before tightening. To tie this one over a post or stake, just create a loop in the free end of the rope and slide it over the post. Then make another loop the same as the first. Put the second loop over the post (just above the first loop) and tighten the hitch.
Sheet (Becket) Bend
You should use this knot to join two ropes of different diameters. It’s much stronger and less slip-prone than the square knot, but can be easily untied no matter how wet and tight it may be. Just form a bight (big enough to work with) in the larger of the two lines. Run the working end of the smaller line through the loop, around the doubled heavier cord, back over its own standing part, then under the bight in the larger line. Always snug the sheet bend up by hand before you put any strain on it.
The purpose of the bowline is to form a secure loop in the end of a line. It can be tied swiftly and is easily loosened, even when it’s under strain. Simply form a closed bight in the rope (leaving an ample working end, which will form the loop), bring the bitter end up through the bight, around the standing end, back down through the bight again, and pull the knot tight. One slight caution: The good old bowline — which holds with fair reliability in natural fiber ropes — may slip when tied with some slick-surfaced synthetic lines. These knots provide a loop in a rope through which the other end of the rope, or another rope, can be passed, either to create an adjustable lasso-type attachment or to pull a rope up tight before tying it off.
Double Overhand Stopper
The double overhand knot makes a good stopper knot to tie at the end of a rope. It is easy to tie and makes a fairly bulky knot. Other good choices for the task of stopper knot is the Ashley’s Stopper. First, tie an overhand knot at the end of a rope but do not tighten the knot down, pass the end of the line through the loop created by the first overhand knot. Tighten the knot down while sliding it into place at the end of the line. Be sure to leave some tail sticking out from the end of the knot.
So make sure you know what to do with your rope the next time you head into the wild by learning these essential knots. There are a number of basic survival knots that anyone can master and that are a good preparation for any wilderness or outdoors experience.