KNOTS

January 2015

This is a simple collection for my hiking and backpacking use

Anil Mitra

Home   |   One page version for travel

CONTENTS

Principles

Cover the main applications

The main knots

Ways to improve and improvise knots and rope use

A Collection of Knots

Overhand knot

Half-hitch

Figure of eight

Bowline

Yosemite bowline

A useful tension slip knot

Square or reef knot

Fisherman’s knot

Double fisherman’s knot

Sheet bend

Double sheet bend

Bowline bend

Shoelace knots

Sheepshank

Clove hitch

Prusik friction knot

Bachman friction knot

Mountaineer’s coil

 

THE KNOTS

Principles

Cover the main applications

  1. Bear caching (loop knot for food sack, slip knot or loop to tie to a tree trunk or other object).
  2. Setting up tents and tarps (loop knot to secure to a grommet etc, slip knot to adjust tension, a hitch to secure a line to a post or pole)
  3. Tying two ropes or laces together (square or reef knot, double fisherman’s knot for equal size rope or sheet bend for ropes unequal in size, shoelace knots)
  4. Simple climbing knots.

The main knots

  1. Basic knots (a) the half hitch almost always used with other knots and (b) stoppers or ends such as overhand and figure of eight knots
  2. Loopsbowline, Yosemite bowline (more secure than the bowline); slip knots provide adjustable loops
  3. Bends to tie two rope ends together—reef or square knot for tying bundles, double fisherman’s knot to join two ropes of equal size, sheet bend and the more secure double sheet bend to join ropes of unequal size, bowline bend, shoelace knots
  4. Hitchessheepshank for bypassing a damaged portion of a rope, clove hitch to attach to a pole.
  5. Climbing—the Prusik, and Bachman friction knots attach a small diameter rope to a larger diameter climbing rope; the mountaineer’s coil is used to coil and carry a rope

Ways to improve and improvise knots and rope use

  1. Practice, reflection, and memory (i.e. keeping records).
  2. Combining knots as in bowline bend.
  3. Use of friction—single and multiple half hitches used alone and with other knots.
  4. Reduce friction load and reduce rope wear—e.g. by use of a carabiner, especially in climbing. Another example is to use a key chain or micro carabiner to hold the sliding rope for bear caching: this is useful if the cache is heavy.
  5. Load multiplication—using a ‘block and tackle’ or ‘pulley’ system rigged from anchors (climbing), branches (caching) and carabiners functioning as pulleys.

A Collection of Knots

Overhand knot

                                

Half-hitch

Overhand knot used as a hitch

Figure of eight

Bowline

Note, if there is a lot of rope left over, the rope can be doubled up on itself (this is called a ‘bight’) to form an end.

Yosemite bowline

See the note for the bowline, above.

A useful tension slip knot

This shows a slip knot with three hitches; I use four. See the note for the bowline, above.

Square or reef knot

Fisherman’s knot

Double fisherman’s knot

Sheet bend

This is the knot below without the extra final loop on the small rope.

Double sheet bend

Bowline bend

Ties two ropes are joined with inter-looping bowlines

Shoelace knots

I don’t use special shoelace knots. The main points are (a) interweaving the laces before the ankle to maintain different tensions and (b) multiple loops for to secure laces and avoid too long loops.

Sheepshank

Clove hitch

Prusik friction knot

Bachman friction knot

Mountaineer’s coil