I thought that Les Stroud was about to make a taut line hitch. But at the end he did a couple of things a little different. What is this knot? Does it hold better than a taut line hitch?

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  • Looks like a timber hitch, but finished a little differently, and without the timber, ha.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 20:03
  • @BlackThorn - So, if you'd like, make this an answer, preferably with a picture showing the likeness between the knots, so that it can be voted on and accepted. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 21:54
  • I would if it were the right answer, but I am quite sure that this is not the timber hitch, even if it resembles it. This knot probably has another name.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 23:17
  • @BlackThorn - Gotcha. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 23:18
  • Do you have any more pictures of this? He is covering up an important part of the knot with his middle finger in the first picture, and it is difficult to tell where he is putting the end in between the 2 pictures. Either way, I'll monkey around with some rope tonight and try and figure out what this is.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


This knot appears to be one referred to as the tarbuck knot, named for its inventor, see for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarbuck_knot or http://www.craigmarine.info/accessories/fishing_equipment/Tarbuck-climberKnot.htm

It is intended to be able to absorb sudden loads, which is useful for climbing, especially in stranded, synthetic type ropes.

(Note: adding as community wiki, as the correct answer was found by another user, but that answer was deleted for reasons of moderation.)

  • It is related because the prussik and the knot in the video (not the tarbuck or whatnot) but the first survivor guy one, is also using the principle of tension. I am not sure what it is called either. I use it for tightening my ridgeline on tarps.
    – leigh
    Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 20:30

It seems related to the knot that I use to tighten a tarp ridgeline that is often referred to as a 'prusik'. I can't remember how I first came across the method but it's very useful for maintaining tension.

  • 2
    Normally, a prusik is a friction hitch that is tied from a loop of cord: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prusik I didn't find any reference that uses it to describe the knot mentioned here.
    – Qudit
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 9:15
  • 2
    This is simply not a Prusik.
    – Beanluc
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 20:28

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