The Square Knot can’t save you, and just forget about the silly Sheepshank. You already know how to tie a half hitch, slip knot, and the noose, right? Whether sailing, camping, fishing, climbing, or rallying – Here are five knots that you should know.
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The Bowline is a ‘day one’ knot. Any activity that involves lines or rope will utilize the bowline. Think of it as a slip knot that doesn’t loosen and a noose that won’t tighten. Tie a Bowline.
2. Sheet Bend
The Sheet Bend is used to connect to dissimilar sized ropes together. Just make a bight with the larger rope (in this case the tan cord) and tie. Tie a Sheet Bend.
3. Figure Eight Bend
Two knots in one here. Tie a Figure Eight knot and follow it again. This is the knot you tied into your harness when you went rock climbing (Figure Eight Follow Through). The Figure Eight alone can be used as a stopper, but better to use the Double Overhand Stopper. Tie a Figure Eight Bend.
4. Double Fisherman’s Bend
If you said “Two Double Overhand Stopper Knots” you got it. Another two in one here, the Double Fisherman’s Bend is two stopper knots that can connect line together. Used on the boat and in climbing. First learn to tie a Double Overhand Stopper Knot, then Tie a Double Fisherman’s Bend.
5. Alpine Butterfly
Need to tie into the middle of a piece of line? Need a loop to help you pull that sail taught? Need to make four or five hand holds in a rope to help the spectators pull your rally car out of the woods? The Alpine Butterfly is your tool.
If you want to earn extra credit, or if there was a number 6 on this list, it should be the Rolling Hitch (Taut Line Hitch). I learned this incorrectly as a Scout and was actually questioning the information from various sources. After tying a couple of them I see how easy it is to make it right. Use this to tighten or loosen a line on a tarp, etc. Tie a Rolling Hitch.
Are these the quintessential best five? Most likely not, but they seem to all be on the list of knots you should know. If you had to learn 5 or 6 knots that could save the cargo on the roof of your Jeep, or maybe your life when you descend into a crater on the moon (see climber / astronaut Jim Bagian), these are a great start.
Thanks to Grog’s AnimatedKnots.com – the descriptions, usage, safety, and info are spot on!