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I'm a knot novice and I was thinking about using a Blake's hitch while camping. The hitch is finished with a stopper knot, which appears pretty critical to me. I thought it would make sense to insert a small stick into the stopper knot to function like a toggle does on a tarp grommet (I think it's called a toggle). I imagine that something like this might be useful in some other context also.

Are there stopper knots that are particularly suited to holding a toggle/stick? Are some stopper knots a bad idea for this purpose? Finally, is putting a toggle on the end of a Blake's hitch a bad idea for some reason?

P.S. I considered just using a constrictor knot on the toggle instead of a true stopper knot, but I read that this can be impossible to untie after use and that scared me off.

P.P.S. I was thinking of using this like a taut line hitch. Appeared more secure and easily adjustable.

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The Blake's hitch is widely used in on-rope tree climbing / arborist work (Doubled Rope Technique, DdRT, methods). The nature of on rope tree climbing lends itself to having many loading/unloading cycles.

Typically when tied and properly adjusted, climbers will put either a simple overhand, double fisherman's, or figure 8 in the tail. Anything more than this isn't deemed necessary for life-saving utilization of this knot, which is more critical than it being used for tarp tie offs.

I'd stick with just a simple overhand knot (as shown in your link) or a figure 8. Just be sure to properly adjust and set the knot before heavily loading it.

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The stopper knot is purely a backup to prevent disastrous slippage (i.e., the end pulling through the knot). For most cases, the stopper knot will not be loaded. Even in the case of slippage, the stopper knot is only taking a fraction of the weight so will probably not become overly tight.

If your use case is going to likely result in the heavily loading of the stopper knot, you probably want to consider a different tension hitch.

  • Although I don't really know what I am talking about, I would say that I don't expect heavy loading of the stopper. I expect heavy loading of the main knot/hitch, but also some cycles of loosening and loading. I guess the cycling is what makes me think the stopper is important an why I thought a toggle on the stopper would be more secure. Having said that I don't expect the stopper to get heavy loading, I now wonder whether a constrictor on a toggle/stick is indeed a good idea instead of a straight stopper knot. – joeA Jul 19 '17 at 20:57

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