let's get knotty

We all tie knots every day. We tie our shoelaces, for instance. Or put that strangulation device around our necks every morning before heading to work or a meeting. We tie packages. So, whether we realise it or not, we all have some basic knowledge of knots. But, when in a survival situation, you need to know a bit more than just the basics. Knowing how to tie the right knot for the right job, in extreme cases, could mean the difference between life and death at times. Knowing the right knot also means that you save on the amount of cordage you use for the purpose you need the knot for. Cordage is one of the most difficult things to improvise in the wild and you would do well to carry some in your pack. Which means your supply is limited to the amount you are carrying and you do not want to waste it.

According to Clifford Ashley, the ultimate master of knots ... he literally wrote the book ... there are almost 4,000 knots to choose from. But we amateurs do not need to know so many. About a dozen knots should serve most of our needs. But then, all knots are not knots. A knot is when a length of rope is tied to itself. Some are bends (when two ropes are joined together), while others are hitches (when a rope is tied around a post or other external object.

Below are some knots, hitches and bends. Click on the animations and learn what they look like. The animations are fairly heavy files and might take some time to open depending on your internet speed.

Knots are fun and once you get the hang of it, you could spend days learning them, and then graduate to decorative knots. Have fun..

Bowline KnotKnot-bowline

Double Overhand StopperKnot-double-overhand-stopper

Figure 8 KnotKnot-fig8

Figure 8 LoopKnot-fig8-loop

Handcuff KnotKnot-handcuff

Klemheist KnotKnot-klemheist

Noose KnotKnot-noose

Overhand KnotKnot-overhand

Overhand SlipknotKnot-overhand-slipknot

Prusik KnotKnot-prusik

Stopper KnotKnot-stopper

Anchor HitchKnot-anchor

Blake’s HitchKnot-blakes-hitch

Buntline HitchKnot-buntline-hitch

Clove HitchKnot-clove-hitch

Cow HitchKnot-cow-hitch

Half HitchKnot-half-hitch

Highwayman’s HitchKnot-highwaymans-hitch

Rolling HitchKnot-rolling-hitch

Round Turn and 2 Half HitchesKnot-roundturn-2half-hitch

Timber HitchKnot-timber-hitch

Trucker’s HitchKnot-truckers-hitch

Blood KnotKnot-blood

Carrick BendKnot-carrick-bend

Constrictor KnotKnot-constrictor

Fisherman’s KnotKnot-fishermans

Double Fisherman’s KnotKnot-double-fishermans

Hunter’s BendKnot-hunters-bend

Reef or Square KnotKnot-reef


Zepellin BendKnot-zepellin-bend