Tying a knot is an essential outdoor skill that you should not take for granted. Even if you are not an outdoorsy person, it can help you in many practical ways and also save your life in an emergency. You may have learned some of these knots in school, but many of them are essential that you have never heard before.
To start with, you have to be familiar with the few terms that we will be using in the course of this article. Here are some of them.
- Knot – is a splice or fastening produced by interlinking one or more ropes or any flexible material together. When the knot is tightened, it should be able to hold on its own.
- Hitch – is like a knot but includes another object like a post, a ring, or a stick, and sometimes another rope. If tied correctly, the hitches will be kept in place, or slide depending on what you want to do.
- Lashing – is a more complicated hitch because its goal is to hold many objects together.
An excellent knot can help you during emergencies, especially in a survival situation or when employing first-aid. To do all of this, you need to know how to tie a knot. Follow this easy to follow guide on what to do with the rope here.
1. SQUARE KNOT
This type of knot is the most basic when connecting lines or tying knots and used when tying two ropes to make a longer rope, or when you want to tie a bundle of objects like firewood together.
Tying a solid square knot is easy as you only need to lap one rope over the other in the right over left format and then under the other. Repeat the pattern in a reverse direction, meaning left over right and then underneath. To check if you have done it correctly; your working end should be beside the standing end of the rope, and there is no crisscrossing.
2. THE BOWLINE
You can do this knot by creating a loop that does not expand or shrink at the end of the rope. When you were a child or in summer camp you learned this through a short poem that goes: the rabbit came out of the hole, hopped in front of the tree, then went behind the tree and back to his hole.
To translate: make a loop at the end of your rope, pass the working end of the string into the circle and behind the line and pass the working end again through the original loop. You have to keep the shape of the second loop; that is your bowline loop. To tighten the bowline, you need to pass the rope into the loop and pull it.
3. FIGURE EIGHT
A figure-eight is used to create a stopper when you need one. This type of knot is also known as the Flemish bend. You pass your free end of the rope over itself to create a loop. Continue doing this under the string and around and tighten the knot by passing its working end through your original circle.
4. FISHERMAN’S KNOT
Just like its name, the knot is used on fishing lines. To do this, you have to pass the free end of the rope around the object that you need to secure through the loop of the fishhook. Wrap the free end of the rope around the other side of the rope about five or six times.
Pass the end of this rope through the triangular opening beside the object that you need to secure and pass the free end of this line through the large loop that was created when you went through the small triangle.
If you are doing this with a fishing line, spit on the line to lubricate it. If the line is not lubricated, the friction could cause heat damage to the rope. Tighten the created knot and cut the extra rope if you have to.
5. SHEET BEND
The sheet is a favorite of most people and is more of a bend rather than a knot and connects one line to another. You can join different types of ropes together using this knot regardless of their thickness.
To do this, you need to make a “J” shape, which looks like a fish hook of the more slippery line. Pass the other rope through the hook shape and wrap it around the entire J-hook once and tuck the smaller line in between itself and the other. If you have the same type and diameter of the rope, you will see that the sheet bend looks the same as a square knot.
If you are using a piece of fabric or something like it, you also need to shape the material into the same “J” shape and run the other rope through the loop and around it.
6. TWO HALF HITCHES
You can also use this type of knot to secure a rope around trees and posts. This knot is also used to secure a rope in itself as you would in a trucker’s hitch. It is easy to tie a half hitch; hence, it is commonly used in tying hammocks or traps in shelters.
After wrapping the rope around the steady end and through the loop that was created to form the first half hitch, wrap the rope around the line again to make the same second half hitch. After pulling it tight, you will have two half hitches that are next to each other. For more security, you can do an overhand knot using the tag end of the rope to keep the double half hitches from sliding.
7. TAUT LINE HITCH
The taut-line hitch is used as a slide that loosens or tighten a loop in the rope; the grip it creates will remain as long as there is tension on the firm side of the loop.
To tie a taut-line hitch, you need to create a loop by wrapping the rope around a solid object. Wrap the cord around the mainline and draw the free end of the rope through the loop that you have created. Cinch these wraps until they are tight and pull the standing cord. The taut-line hitch should be able to grasp the loaded line.
8. CLOVE HITCH
The clove hitch is the easiest knot to tie and is used to secure the rope to a post or a tree quickly. The only downside is that it needs another knot as reinforcement.
To do the clove hitch onto a tree, you have to loop the rope around it. Then create another loop and insert the free end of the rope under this second loop to secure it. If you use a post, create a loop, slide this over the post and another loop to tighten the rope.