6 Types of Knots Every Outdoorsman Should Know

types of knots

Whether you’re tying your tent’s rainfly down in a nasty storm, lashing your kayak to a well-used roof rack, or making some on-the-trail gear repairs, tying knots is a skill every modern outdoorsman needs to master. We’ve put together a handy little guide to the most essential type of knots: a taut-line hitch, square knot, figure eight knot, prusik knot, waterman’s knot, and bowline knot.

Step No. 2

types of knots taut line hitch 2
Coil your free end twice around the taut working end.

Step No. 3

types of knots taut line hitch 3
Make one additional coil below the first two.

Step No. 4

types of knots taut line hitch 4
Pull your hitch tight. It should slide freely along the rope, expanding or contracting the loop you created.

SQUARE KNOT

The square knot is an all-purpose knot for securing non-critical items, like bundles of firewood. It is important to note that you shouldn’t use it to join two ropes together, nor should you use it in a situation where you must trust your weight to the knot as a square knot can loosen and pull free.

Step No. 1

square knot 1
Tie an overhand knot, right end over the left.

Step No. 2

square knot 2
Tie a second overhand knot on top of the first, left end over the right.

Step No. 3

square-knot-3
Pull your knot tight, making sure that the free ends of each side are coming out on top. This ensures you didn’t tie a granny knot that will pull free as soon as it is loaded.

Figure Eight Knot

The figure eight is the strongest knot for creating a loop at the end of a rope and is the most common way that rock climbers tie into the rope. It is easy to visually inspect, which is key for safety — especially when you and your climbing partner double check each other.

Step No. 1

types of knots figure eight knot 1
Start with a bend in the rope. Make sure you have a long tail to work with.

Step No. 2

types of knots figure eight knot 2
Twist your bend twice, then pass the free end through the loop you created.

Step No. 3

types of knots figure eight knot 3
Pull the free end tight and you will have the first figure 8.

Step No. 4

types of knots figure eight knot 4
Retrace the figure 8 you created, leaving a small loop at the end.

Step No. 5

types of knots figure eight knot 5
Grab the loop at one end, and both ends of the rope at the other, then pull tight.

PRUSIK KNOT

The prusik knot makes a secure loop along a tight line. This is useful for lashing guylines on a shelter and as a backup knot when descending a climbing rope. You can buy premade loops for a prusik, or tie your own loops using a double or triple fisherman’s knot.

Step No. 1

types of knots prusik knot 1
Make your sling and lay it behind your larger rope.

Step No. 2

types of knots prusik knot 2
Girth hitch your sling around the rope. Pull the loop through the center of the girth hitch at least three times.

Step No. 3

types of knots prusik knot 3
Pull your prusik tight. Pull on it to ensure it “bites” onto the standing rope. If it slips, you can re-tie it with more loops in your girth hitch for added strength.

WATERMAN’S KNOT

When working with webbing, climbers often tie cut lengths into slings. This knot is best used with flat nylon webbing rather than with rope.

Step No. 1

types of knots watermans knot 1

Tie an overhand knot in one end of the webbing.

Step No. 2

types of knots watermans knot 2
Trace your original overhand knot with the opposite end of the webbing

Step No. 3

types of knots watermans knot 3
Pull the knot tight, ensuring that your free ends are at least two inches long to inspect for slipping and that your loop is large enough for what you need.

BOWLINE KNOT

The bowline is the easiest way to create a secure loop at the end of a rope. Additionally, it is easily untied, even after loaded with heavy weight. If you were a Boy Scout, you probably learned this knot for potential rescue situations, as well as how to tie it around your body with one hand.

Step No. 1

types of knots bowline knot 1

Form a small loop at the end of the rope

Step No. 2

types of knots bowline knot 2

Bring the free end of the rope up through your loop

Step No. 3

types of knots bowline knot 3

Wrap the free end around the standing line, then back down through the loop.

Step No. 4

types of knots bowline knot 4

Tighten the knot by pulling on the free end while holding on to the standing end. The loop should remain secure.

Source: https://www.themanual.com/outdoors/types-of-knots/
All photos by Austin Parker/The Manual.

6 Types of Knots Every Outdoorsman Should Know
Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *