Outdoors: Knots

A knot is a bond formed by tying a rope to itself, to another rope, or to an object. Knots can be confusing. One wrong turn can render a knot useless or dangerous. Knots are easier to remember when they're linked to stories and grouped by categories to help you know which to use when: Stoppers, Hitches, Loops, Joiners, Binders (SHL-JB).




Knot Basics
Examine rope terminology. Form basic figures like turns, holes, twists, hitches, and wraps. Count knot crossings and learn about knot strength, dressing, jamming, and capsizing.

9 pages
Knot Techniques
Experiment with a variety of knot-tying methods. Forming holes. Tying to open and closed objects. Moving knots without retying them. Untying knots.

5 pages
Stoppers: Stop rope from slipping through something.
Overhand Knot
Other names: Simple Knot, Thumb Knot, Half Knot
Variations: Overhole, Underhole, Above, Below
Notes: The basic "pinching" hole used in many other knots.

3 pages
Multifold Overhand
Other names: Double overhand, Triple overhand, etc.
Variations: Add as many folds as desired.
Notes: Creates attractive barrel-shaped stoppers.
Figure Eight
Other names: Flemish
Notes: Larger stopper, easier to untie than Overhand Knot.
Hitches: Attach rope tightly to something.
Half Knot Hitch
Other names: Overhand loop
Variations: Noose, Lifting hitch
Slip Knot Hitch
Other names:
Half Hitch
Other names:
Variations: Double half hitch, Round turn & 2 half hitches, Pipe hitch
Clove Hitch
Other names:
Variations: See Constrictor in Binders section.
Notes: Can slip under load.
Cow Hitch
Other names: Larkspur, Cat's Paw
Tautline Hitch
Other names: Rolling hitch, Guyline
Notes: Use to adjust tension on tent rope or clothesline.
Trucker's Hitch
Other names:
Notes: Use to securely tie down the load in a truck.
Timber Hitch
Other names:
Notes: Use to drag a log or a pipe. Does not jam.
Loops: Attach rope loosely to something.
Other names:
Variations: Double Loop Bowline
Notes: For loop at end of rope. Does not jam.
Double Loop Bowline
Other names: Bowline on bight
Notes: Use to lower a person. One leg in each loop.
Figure Eight Loop
Other names:
Variations: Free loop, Threaded
Butterfly Knot
Other names:
Note: For loop in middle of rope.
Joiners: Join ropes together.
Sheet Bend
Other names: Simple bend, Common bend.
Variations: Double sheet bend.
Notes: Best for joining smaller rope to larger.
Carrick Bend
Other names: Anchor bend, Sailor's knot,
Notes: Does not slip when wet. Strong. Can't jam. Easily untied.
True Lover's Knot
Other names: Fishermans, Anglers
Variations: Double, Triple
Other names:
Variations: Eye splice
Binders: Bind things together.
Square Knot
Other names: Reef, Hercules, Medical
Variations: Shoelace knot, Granny/False, Thief's
Notes: Easy to tie, but prone to capsizing.
Constrictor Knot
Other names:
Notes: Good for holding glued parts together or tying a bag shut.
Other names: Seizing
Notes: Keeps end of rope from fraying or binds rope to itself.
Other names:
Notes: Joins poles or logs together to form structure or raft.

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