If you’re into survival, camping and hiking then you will understand the importance of knots. A good knot can be the difference between having a secure place to sleep, or your tent blowing away in the night. If you’re hiking or rock-climbing you will also want to make sure that you have a good knot in place – it will have to hold your weight after all, not something you want to risk.
With that being said, here are five incredibly useful knots that every dedicated camper, hiker or survivalists should know.
Figure Eight Knot
There are many variations on the figure eight knot, although there are three which are more common. The simple figure eight, figure eight follow through and figure eight on a bight. The first is a basic knot which most people probably already know. This is a really simple knot and yet one of the strongest. It maintains 85% of the rope’s strength meaning it is highly unlikely to break while you’re using it.
A figure eight knot is good for climbing as you can make a secure loop at one end of the rope in order to lift things up. You can also create larger figure eight knots along a length of rope to use as foot or hand holds when the rope is slippery.
The bowline knot will hold thousands of pounds of pressure. It is also easier to untie than a figure eight knot and is incredibly versatile. You can tie a bowline knot around things, and even yourself. One of the reasons that people recommend this as a good survival knot is that it’s so easy it can be done one handed.
The loop at the end of the rope can be tightened with an increase in pressure on the loop. That’s why it’s useful for hanging things like gear and food.
A hitch is a knot which connects the rope to another object. This makes it a good knot for camping as you can connect objects securely. It’s also useful because it’s easy to tie and you can lengthen and shorten the rope without having to untie the rope and risk losing the object.
This makes the knot excellent for raising and lowering heavy objects, without having to untie and retie every time.
In rope tying, a bend is a term for two pieces of rope which are tied together. So if you have two pieces of rope which are shorter than you need you can use a sheet bend to make a longer piece of rope. This works if they are different thicknesses and different materials.
If you don’t have enough rope then you can use this to make a length of rope suitable for your needs. This makes it ideal for survival when you are caught without something and need to make do in a pinch. However it isn’t a very strong knot so make sure that you’re not using it for anything too risky.
Taut Line Hitch
This knot is easy to untie which makes it good if you need to reuse it many times. It can be easy to slide up and down the cord and tighten it if needs be. A taut line hitch is what you use when sheltering under a tarp. What you need to do is string a rope between two trees and then lay a tarp over the top of it.
This will allow you to shelter from the elements, but it does need adjusting often in order to keep it taut. It won’t naturally stay that way so isn’t good for prolonged periods of time.