Feb 26, 2008 at 2:30 am #1227502
What are some of the most useful knots that you know of for hiking/camping…hammock in particular, but I'm looking for all types of knots.Feb 26, 2008 at 2:43 am #1422084
@redolearyLocale: Mid West
I'm a big fan of the Clove Hitch on tent stakes and that sort of thing but I haven't tied up a hammock with one.Feb 26, 2008 at 4:28 am #1422087
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
A trucker hitch is great for really tightening a tarp down in a stiff breeze when tying of to a tree.
TomFeb 26, 2008 at 7:48 am #1422102
Joe GeibBPL Member
@joegeibLocale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
I forget all the time. I carry a Pro-Knot card in my safety kit.Feb 26, 2008 at 8:50 am #1422108
Adam RothermichBPL Member
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I'll second both the clove hitch and the trucker hitch. I'm also a fan of bowlines. I use them on my guylines to attach them to my tarp in a larkshead fashion (feed the loose end of the guyline through the tie out then through the bowline and pull).
Knot tying was my one of my favorite Scout skills but I've only used a handful of them in practice, especially with slippery, small diameter guylines.
AdamFeb 26, 2008 at 9:08 am #1422110
@foodLocale: Colorado Rockies
Elaborate hardware is not an acceptable substitute for the properly selected knot correctly tied. Good technique is:
Light weight (0 oz.)
Low cost ( $ 0)
Misplaced only at low temperatures.
If I were teaching a one hour knot tying class this is the order I would teach them:
around stakes when stake placement is used for tension,
around trekking poles or other uprights,
around stones in tarp in lieu of grommet/tie outs.
Taut-line: Adjustable knot used to keep tension on tarp/tent tie outs.
Figure 8 knot:
Make a loop on the end of a line when it does not need to be untied,
make a loop when there will be tension on both sides of the knot,
double figure 8 is a climbing knot.
Lanyard Hitch: Used with a figure 8 knot to attach lines to tarp/tent.
Mooring Hitch: Used to anchor tarp guy lines or hang bear bags.
Around the corner of a tarp/sheet of plastic and a tie out,
join a thick cord to a thin cord.
Tarp ridge line to tension the tarp along the ridge line,
tent line to make the vestibule taut,
also a climbing ascending knot.
Water Knot: Used to join cords/webbing of equal size that will not come untied.
Bowline: Make a loop when you want to untie easily.
Used often for first-aid,
join ropes of equal size that is easy to untie.
Truckers’s hitch: Tensioning tie down with mechanical advantage.
Alpine Butterfly: Makes a loop in rope that can be untied easy.Feb 26, 2008 at 11:59 am #1422135
@jackflLocale: New England
In general, I like Richards list a lot. I'd prioritizd learning them a bit diffently but that's based on my own habit and not the relative usefulness in any objective way.
The ones that I "use all the time":
*Clove hitch – also use to tie off to carabiners when hanging food; I often use it to tie off one end of my hammock
Since you asked about hammocks, I think that the timber hitch (http://www.scoutingresources.org.uk/downloads/knots_timberhitch.pdf) is also a great way to tie off one end of the hammock (first the timber hitch, then the clove hitch at the other end because you can easily adjust the tension of the "hang".
*Figure 8 / Figure 8 on a bight (is this the same as the lanyard hitch?
Use once in a blue moon:
*Alpine Butterfly – also nice because you tie it in the middle of the line without need to pass the end thru a loopMar 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm #1423037
Denis HazlewoodBPL Member
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
When I rode motorcycles I was taught to use a Trucker's (or Hay) Hitch to tie the bike down in my pick-up. When I raced sailboats I used a bowline a lot and a figure eight for stopper knots on sheets and halyards. Now I use the Trucker's Hitch for tensioning tent guy lines and a bowline to attach guy lines to the tent tie-outs.
The sailor who taught me to race said that "If you don't know the right knot to use, just tie lots of them."Mar 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm #1426001
— The sailor who taught me to race said that "If you don't know the right knot to use, just tie lots of them."
I once went bridge jumping and the man who was tying me up said THE EXACT SAME THING. I was petrified…
Anyway, I love the bowline, clove hitch, half hitch, and square knot. The double figure-8 knot is also a favorite, since I am a climber and I can tie that knot with my eyes closed.
http://www.42brghtn.mistral.co.uk/knots/42ktmenu.html this Web site has some info on knot tying.Mar 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm #1426006
Roleigh MartinBPL Member
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
As an ex-assistant Scoutmaster and longtime backpacker, if you only know one knot, the knot to know is the bowline knot. So much can be done with that one knot.
The second knot I like next is often called a "double clove hitch" but when I googled it, it was called a "clove hitch tied in a bight" at this site:
ps – I wonder if the second knot I'm thinking of is the Boy Scout's Sailor's knot — looks very similar to the above knot – it has the alternate name of a double half-hitches. I think I'm getting the double clove hitch and the double halfhitch knots confused, but both are very similar functioning knots — good for tightening a rope around the end of a tree or stump (such as when you make a clothesline out on the trail.
pps – a third knot that is useful is the surgeon's knot. Together the three knots accomplish so, so much.
A good animated page for the bowline knot is:Mar 28, 2008 at 8:19 pm #1426037
Denis HazlewoodBPL Member
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
I remember an article in a sailing magazine, the title of which, I remember, was: "How many ways can the rabbit go around the da** tree anyway?"Mar 29, 2008 at 9:29 am #1426082
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
1) Knots I use the most:
*tautline hitch/prussic knot – to tension tarp lines
*two half hitches – on stakes (I put the tautline hitches next to the tarp so I can adjust them without going to the stake.
*sheet bend – to join two lines
*figure-8 – to join lines, as a stopper knot, as a trucker's tie-down, to form semi-permanent loops.
For hammocking, I use the Hennessee hitch or lineman's knot because it holds with slick lines and puts less stress on the line.
It is easy to be intimidated by knots. Sort of like mathematics. However, there are really only a couple of knots. Everything else is elaboration. It is all in how you shape them.
A knot (or a hitch, bend, etc. – the terminology is less important than the skill) is a way to make cordage hold on to something and let go when you want it to. In other words, good knots are simple and easy to tie, do their job, then come undone so the line can be used again. (Some would add that a knot should not weaken a line unnecessarily, but that is a more technical matter.)
Tying a knot is more than tangling line. It is also shaping the tangle into what you want. For example, a bow knot (for shoes) is just a square knot – which is just two simple overhand knots made in the right order and shaped. The bow assists in untying, but does not change the essential nature of the knot. The bowline is the exactly same knot as the sheet bend except it makes a loop on a line instead of joining two lines. You can tie a sheetbend using the same method you like for tying a bowline. The tautline hitch is a variation on two half-hitches with an added turn to increase friction on the standing line. And a half hitch is just an overhand knot seen from a different perspective. Two half hitches is where you do it twice. Big deal.
One important trick to turning a tangle into a useful knot is to give the line a little twist between your fingers as you tie it. People who get good with knots learn to do this instinctively. Try this with your shoe laces: Make the first overhand knot while rolling the lace one way, then untie it and tie it again while rolling the lace the other way. Rolled the right way, the knot will lie flat and firm. Rolled the wrong way, the lace will buckle and refuse to lie right. Simple.
Knots work through friction. Slick materials such as Spectra, nylon and some other synthetics require special attention and often require more complex knots. When learning, it is better to practice with high friction lines. TripTease is really good for this.Mar 30, 2008 at 1:08 pm #1426215
Excellent analysis, Vick.
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