Technology has seen the development of gear, gadgets, and gizmos for pretty much every aspect of camping. One of the areas where this is certainly true is in tying knots. There was a time where every camper needed to learn a few basic knots to be able to survive well in the backcountry. These were the days of wooden pegs and thick canvas tents.
Even with modern technology, campers still need to know where one rope goes over and where another rope goes under. Forget the gadgets that only add to your backpack weight, lets consider 6 essential camping knots that every camper should know how to tie.
But first, even before diving straight onto these 6 important knots, every camper must know some terms. There are hundreds of different knots. By knowing certain terms, it becomes even easier to understands how they work.
1. The classic knot
When a rope is tied onto itself, such as when you tie your shoe strings, this is what is known as a knot.
When you want to tie another object with a rope, then you use a hitch. Think of tying your dog’s leash to a tree or post.
3. The bend
The bend is where you attach two pieces of a rope. This is a less popular method of tying a rope but important nonetheless. If say you want to escape for a high window, you could use the bend to tie together multiple bedsheets and make your valiant escape.
The Important of learning to tie knots
There are still plenty of scenarios that are going to require you to use ropes when camping. Whether you want to secure shelters and tarps, add the guy lines on the tents, fix lines for air-drying your clothes or holding down a gear and fastening it on the car,
And that is not the only benefit of learning to tie knots. You will also know how to fix things when they break as well as being able to adjust the ropes according to the weather conditions.
And learning to tie knots for camping can also help you in a survival situation. To become good at tying knots, you should practice as often as you can. We all learned how to tie some simple knots at a very young age. Often these knots were useful for tying gift cards or tying our shoes.
The types of knots however that you need to learn for camping can be useful in a survival situation. Sometimes you are out hiking and it so happens that you need to tie a secure knot around a branch or rock and haul yourself down a steep valley.
Often some of the most beautiful sights are found in places that are difficult to access and strong knots can help get you there. Once you reach these often inaccessible locations you may just decide to set up camp.
For knot tying to help you in most scenarios, they should come second nature so much so that you can tie them up quickly when you want to.
Not only will you need to know how to tie camping knots, but you will also need the right ropes. These should come in different thicknesses and lengths depending on what you require them for.
The 6 Essential Knots
Now it’s time to get into the meat of it. While there are hundreds of different types of knots, these six are the most popular.
1. The reef knot
This knot is also known as the square knot and is used to tie two different pieces of ropes. A point to note is that this type of knot is not ideal if you want to exert pressure on the rope. It is however among the simplest knots to make.
The reef knot is used for activities such as tying up branches to carry for firewood, tying a bandage, or extending a rope to use for airdrying your clothes.
This is the most basic type of knot and chances are you already know how to tie the reef knot only that you didn’t know its name.
Begin by tying two knots overhand to each other. You can do this by placing one right over the left and twist, then take the left and put over the rights and twist this.
Keep in mind that both parts of the ropes need to exit together.
2. Sheet bend
You will use the sheet bend to effectively tie two different ropes that are not the same size or thickness. Here you will take the thicker rope and use it as the bight. You can then tie the thinner rope around it.
While it is not as simple to tie this knot as the square knot above, it is still fairly quick to tie. One of the main uses of the sheet bend while camping is to extend the length of the guy line. You can also use it to add onto to boot laces that have snapped.
The sheet bend is also known as the weaver’s knot. To tie it, take one end of a rope and form a hoop. Next, take the free end of the rope and pass this through the hoop from the bottom.
Then take this end around both parts of the rope and then bring it back and under itself. To tighten the knot all you need to do is pull all four parts of it. if you want to make a double weavers knot simply make two wraps around the first rope.
3. Round turn hitch
When you want to secure a rope to another object, one of the most effective types of knots for camping is the round turn hitch. This is one of the most versatile all-around knots there is. It creates a strong fix on the object and will not slip.
And the great thing is that the round turn hitch is not difficult to make. You can use this knot to tie a line for drying your clothes onto a tree or branch. Another important use for the round turn hitch knot is when you want to tie a weight onto the roof of your car.
To tie the round turn hitch, the first thing to do is to wrap the rope on the support. Then take the end around the support and bring this to the standing part of the rope and wrap it around it.
The third step will require you to turn it around the standing part another time if you are looking to achieve two hitches. Tighten by pulling over to the standing line and you are done.
4. The Bowline Knot
If you are looking to have a loop especially at the end of a line, then you will need to tie the bowline knot. This is a strong and secure knot that will not slip. What’s more, it is simple to untie the knot when it is not loaded.
Granted it is not the simplest knot on this list but it is also not difficult once you get the hang of it.
During camping, the bowline knot is used to tie a bear bag at the end of a rope with a loop. You can also use this to thread the other end of the loop and then use it to secure the load onto the car.
To tie the bowline knot, your first step will be to hold the rope with your left hand and let one free end hang down. With the part in your hand, form a hoop.
Next, take the free end and bring it up and pass it through the underside of the loop. Take the standing line and wrap this around the line and then pass it through the loop and back down again.
Take the standing line in your hand and tighten the knot by pulling the free end.
5. The double figure of eight knot
The double figure of eight can be used in the middle or end of a rope to create a loop. It is simple to fix and you can easily tell when you tie the knot the wrong way. One of the best reasons to use this knot is that when a load is added, the more it will tighten.
During camping, you can use the double figure of eight knots to create a hanging line that has many loops. You can then use this to hang your lanterns.
If your car gets stuck in the mud and you have a rope that is strong enough and can take the pressure, you can also use the knot to pull the car out.
To tie the double figure of 8 knots, take a long bight of rope and make a loop. Then make figure 8 by passing the end through the loop.
Next, pass the end through the 8 and then open the end loop. Take this to the front by taking it from the back and later pass it to the right.
Lastly, hold one end of the loop and pull. This should tighten the knot. The resulting knot should come out looking like rabbit ears.
One of the main disadvantages of this knot is that it can be quite difficult to untie.
6. Taut line hitch
If you want to make a loop that can slide along a line, then you will make use of the taut-line hitch. What keeps the knot secure is the tension that it is subjected to. It is not difficult to make and will only take a few seconds.
When camping you can use the taut-line hitch for replacing the guy lines. If you require high tension, this knot can also be highly useful.
The first step to tying the taut-line hitch is to choose a post or peg that is far from the other end of the rope. With the free end, coil it twice and work it towards the post.
Next, make an extra additional coil outside of the coils you made and around the standing line. Adjust the tension by tightening the knot and by sliding it on the standing line.
Globo Surf Overview
There are hundreds of different knots for camping that you can learn. However, you can only be a master at a few of those knots. The top 6 knots that we’ve mentioned above will serve you in most camping and survival situations.
By repeating those knots, you can have everything set up quickly. The great thing is that they are also not the hardest knots to learn. Just make sure you have the right size rope for your particular situation.