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I'd rather be Jeeping...
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I like having a lot of rope/cordage around. I'm particularly fond of genuine 550 7-strand parachute cord, but it's also good to have larger line. You never know when cordage will come in handy, but to make it really useful you need to know how to tie a few practical knots. I have two criteria for knots, they must be easy to tie and they must be strong. Here are a few knots that have served me well.

My favorite is the double constrictor knot. It has one more wrap than the constrictor knot and grips more. It is useful for tying bundles of things, like poles, that need to be tightly bound. It can also be used for tying a line to a make-shift tent pole. There won't be much slippage. I have speed loaders for my Marlin 60 that are essentially long, hard plastic tubes about 1.5 inches in diameter. They have no lanyard or easy way to carry them. I tied paracord to them using a double constrictor knot and it has worked very well. These knots are very strong and do not slip. The only downside is that once they are drawn tight, they are almost impossible to untie. It's a very strong knot with many uses, but do not play 'the handcuff game' with your wife using constrictor knots. They are too hard to untie. :eek::

I think my second favorite knot is the adjustable hitch. It's truly amazing. It is used to put tension on a standing line making it tight and is most useful for things like guy wires , tents, and securing tarps over loads. It forms a nice loop that is adjustable, but won't slip even under a fairly heavy load and the tighter you draw the knot the more it grips. Years ago I bought a little two-man tent that had little metal doodads for tightening the lines that were pure junk. I was constantly having to retighten them. If I had of only known about the adjustable hitch back them.

Then there's the tucked double overhand loop. Yep, it has a long name, but it's easy to tie. It's a nice sliding noose commonly used for snares and the like. One thing I like to use it for is temporary tie points for tarps. Simply place a small rock on the backside of the tarp where you want to tie. Slip the noose over the rock on the front side, tighten it, and, Bob's your uncle, you have a temporary tie point No hole in the tarp, no damage at all, and you can move the tie point to where ever it is needed. It's a very useful loop. I walked around my house one Saturday morning with my coffee mug tied to my shirt, using an almond on the backside, driving home to my daughter how useful this is. And she called me a dork. :confused:

I don't often need a strong fixed loop, but when I do it's the figure 8. It's only drawback is that, once a load has been put on it, it is hard to untie. The bowline is more commonly used for fixed loops, but is not as strong. The bowline is easy to tie and untie, even after a load has been applied to it, but I prefer the figure 8 for its strength.

The alpine loop is used to put a loop in a section of rope that has tension on both ends. It's also called the butterfly loop. It's used a lot by climbers to secure themselves to a common line. I don't know if they actually used the alpine loop, but every time I watch an old western movie and see a string of horses tied to a common line I think of the alpine loop. It's pretty easy to untie, even after a load.

Many knots can be made more secure by using a stopper knot. Often a plain old granny knot is good enough, but I like using the figure 8 knot for a stopper. It's a little more secure and looks cooler.

'The Ashley Book of Knots' has about 3900 knots, but these are the ones I use most often. There are many good books and websites devoted to knot tying. My favorite book is 'The Book of Knots' by Geoffrey Budworth & Jason Dalton. It's small, has easy to read diagrams, and rates the knots for strength, security, ease of tying, and ease of untying.

Hope you all find this useful. :)

~JohnP
 

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Maximus
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Here is a website that I found particularly useful when learning to flyfish. But it also applies to campcraft, climbing etc. It shows you step by step (with pictures!) how to make a variety of knots very accurately and at your own pace.

You can choose knots by category or by name on the index list. A few of the ones you mentioned are there but might have a few variations or different names.

This is a skill that is fast dissapearing.

Well here is the site, I hope it helps the visual learners out there!
http://www.animatedknots.com/
 

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Good post. Knot tying skills are pretty handy. Don't try to learn everything at once. Just learn basic knots that can serve you on a wide variety of ways. Once you have mastered a knot so that you can tie it with your eyes closed learn another.
 

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As an Eagle Scout, and the son of a professional Scouter, knot tying was a way of life for me. Although I found it terribly boring to learn knots at the time, it is one of the most useful (and frequently used) skills I gained as a scout. I plan on continuing the tradition of boring my children to death and passing on those same skills.

As far as favorite knots, I'd say the tautline hitch, the bowline and the good old square knot are my favorites.
 

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I know a few basic knots, but I recently bought a knot guide app for my iPhone. So far it's been quite useful. It's got step by step instrictiins for approx. 75 different knots. And it covers all sorts of different applications from climbing knots, to fishing knots, to lashings, to knots you'd use to wrap presents.

The best part is that it's on my phone, which is almost always with me. That way if I run into a situation, and need help with a specific knot to suit that situation, it's right there.

I want to say the app cost $2.00 or so?
 

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barking at the moon
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Bowline , clove hitch, and half hitch (or variations of) will let you do most anything you need and are very easy to learn. All of them can be untied without too much trouble. Keep it simple. If i want fancy knots I'll go braid myself a tripple cobra hitch rifle sling or something (which isnt that difficult it just takes time).

Ed
 

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There are two very good books about knots I use for reference all the time they are:

Ashley's Book of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley and published by Doubleday and Company. The Encyclopedia of Knots and Fancy Ropework by Raoul Graumont and John Hensel. Published by Cornell Maritime Press. Both are very good.

Regards,

Caseyboy
 

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I'd rather be Jeeping...
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You can't get any easier to tie than a figure 8 and it's much stronger than a bowline. None of the knots I listed could be considered fancy, but they are all strong knots which is my first priority. Not much sense in tying it if it isn't going to hold.

My $.02

~JohnP
 

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Knots are good to know how to tie... and un-tie... anything else is a "KNIFE KNOT"!

I spose it is a pet peave but I don't like anyone messing with my ropes but me... otherwise they have a tendency to keep being made shorter.

I might mention that the cheapo plastic rope they let you use for tying down loads at the home depot is some wicked rugged stuff... it comes in a spooled box (which you leave it in) and pull out what's needed.
 

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In my fire fighter days the less complicated the better. We could hoist a stihl roof saw with a clove and a half hitch and a safety, pike poles were even simpler... 2 half hitches (opposite directions) and a safety. I always loved figure 8 on a bight and it was useful but it was time consuming.
 

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You can't get any easier to tie than a figure 8 and it's much stronger than a bowline. None of the knots I listed could be considered fancy, but they are all strong knots which is my first priority. Not much sense in tying it if it isn't going to hold.

My $.02

~JohnP
Figure eights work best with synthetic's, bowlines are **** poor with synth's imho. It was the hardest knot for me to learn.. maybe thats the reason I loathe it.
 

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Wanderer
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Go to a store that sells Boy Scout uniforms and equipment. They'll have several books about knots, and also knot tying kits with a board with holes and two pieces of cordage to practice with. You can also find knot books at your local library, and at major bookstores like barnes & Noble, etc.
Also look at YouTube for Ray Mears videos about tarp shelters. He uses and demonstrates some really good knots I've not seen in other places.
 

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Spook
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My favorite knot I learned way back in boys scouts is the man overboard knot, makes a rope into a series of knots that it becomes a ladder with proportional steppings
 
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