Questions tagged [knots]

Questions relating to the use of knots in performing activities in the great outdoors such as climbing and fishing.

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64
votes
8answers
24k views

What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?

I once tied a bear bag with a haphazard bundle of knots, and despite being seemingly impossible to untie, it came loose when lowering the bear bag and nearly smoked my friend standing under it. What ...
32
votes
7answers
11k views

Which knot for climbing: figure eight, yosemite bowline, bowline on a bight?

This is a topic often discussed online, but all I could find so far was people sharing their opinions (including numbers) on what tie-in knot is the best. Here's what I've found out from different ...
29
votes
6answers
5k views

Most practical knots for hitching a line to an object while keeping the bitter end as tight as possible, without sag?

Say, I want to tie a rope between two trees, and I want it to have as little sag as possible. I have attached the rope to one tree and I'm trying to tie it to the other tree while pulling it to create ...
24
votes
5answers
8k views

How safe is the bowline knot in different situations?

The bowline knot (picture below, source) has a great reputation as a very safe knot. Is it really completely safe in all situations and loads, or are there use cases where it may fail?
24
votes
3answers
9k views

Bowline knot, end at the inside or outside?

Why is it advised (here at Outdoors) to tie a bowline knot with its ending on the inside ("Standard Bowline") and not at the outside ("Cowboy Bowline")? See pictures below. If you're unlucky the end ...
20
votes
8answers
8k views

How do you tie in to the centre of a rope?

Suppose you're leading a short pitch (20-30m) and you have two followers, or you want to double rope the route, and want to simply half your rope and tie into the centre, pulling the two halves up ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Using a Girth Hitch in Alpine Draws

I've recently started making my alpine (or "trad") draws by girth hitching one end of a sling to the gear side carabiner and then clipping and passing the rope side through as usual. The girth hitch ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Crevasse rescue with knots in the rope

This has been bugging me for a while. A party is traveling on a glacier and adds braking knots evenly to the length of the rope as seen in this answer. The person leading the rope falls into a ...
18
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I tie a slackline with only carabiners and webbing?

Commercial slackline solutions seem bulky, heavy, overpriced, and a little too industrial for my liking. I have 6 carabiners and 50m of tubular webbing. What knots do you recommend for building, ...
16
votes
2answers
10k views

Making a Make-Shift harness from Tape-Slings

I have some common knowledge about knots used for Climbing and Rope-care. There was an incident last week, where I needed a Seat-Harness which I didn't have with me. I needed one for tying up a ...
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Knot to turn cord into loop (load bearing)

What's the best knot for turning a piece of cord into a loop? The cord would then be used for a prusik so needs to be very secure and load bearing.
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Which mid-line knot is best suited for a trucker's hitch?

I've been using a trucker's hitch knot for a very long time (camping, strapping stuff down, line length adjustment, pulley system) I've always switched my mid-line loop when I've come to not trust ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to use a Munter hitch to belay and rappel?

There seems to be conflicting information on the web about how to use a Munter hitch for belaying and rappelling while rock climbing. The way I learned decades ago is consistent with Nols Wilderness ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are eye friction hitches not commonly used in rock climbing?

It seems that the majority of professional arborists favor friction hitches that are tied with a free cord rather than a loop: Blake's Hitch Schwabisch Distel Valdotain Tresse This is often tied ...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

How do you tie your shoes one handed?

My arm is currently in a sling with a separated shoulder from a mountain bike accident, so I'm trying to learn how to do everyday tasks one handed. Shoelaces are proving annoyingly difficult. What's a ...
14
votes
1answer
897 views

How do I tie a Prusik knot?

Prusik knots are useful in emergency situations as they can be used for both climbing up a rope (out of a canyon) or down a rope (rappelling) without someone else providing a fireman's belay. How ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Which is better, a single fisherman's knot or a double?

I ask this question based on the fact that tensile strength tests show that putting a double fisherman's knot in kernmantle rope makes it more likely for the rope to snap than a rope tied with a ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the preferred knot for cinching a hard item to your car rack?

Let's say I want to tie a hard object to the top of my car, like a kayak. What is the preferred knot for cinching it down tightly? I often run into this problem with boats, lumber, and the like. In ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I tie a bowline knot with one hand?

A bowline knot is an excellent rescue knot as it tightens when under load. However, its very use as a rescue knot may make it hard to tie - for example, if a person fell and damaged one arm to the ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Fixed line: Prusik vs mechanical ascender

The standard mountaineering textbook Freedom of the Hills has a long discussion of fixed lines, and they state simply that you use a mechanical ascender on them. This seems odd to me, since for most ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Safety in re-slinging old trad gear

I have read some posts here regarding the expiration dates of climbing material, especially trad gear. Friends and nuts (as all climbing equipment) have a lifespan of 10 years according to all ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I know when to choose between a Klemheist or prussik knot?

Both effectively do the same job, grip a rope as an auto bloc or an ascender. What are the pros and cons of each? Why/when would I choose one over the other?
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Adjustable mid-line knot?

I'm looking for a knot similar to a sheepshank but adjustable and stable under load on both ends. Think of two poles that have the two ends of a rope permanently attached to them but you want to ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Knot for Joining the ropes of different thicknesses

As, I have been using a Double Fisherman's knot to join the two ropes. With some physics that I know, in Double Fisherman's knot the same amount of pressure (stress) is applied over the two turns of ...
11
votes
2answers
686 views

Belay with a broken arm

I follow Andy Kirkpatrick(Hull's second best climber) on instagram. He rencently posted this photo: with the comment: Teaching self rescue...(how to belay with a broken arm) It looks like a ...
11
votes
3answers
255 views

Fly fishing rig knots

I have been fly fishing with my dad for a number of years but recently I went on my own and hit quite the stumbling block... I didn't know how to set the kit properly, normally I drive the boat while ...
11
votes
1answer
394 views

Best knot (hitch) to backpack webbing

I've been tying a simple shoelace knot for this, however I'm worried it will eventually become loose and come apart all together - especially when on the outside of the backpack. I am looking for a ...
11
votes
1answer
712 views

Which bends are binding knots?

I read http://www.animatedknots.com/sheetbend/#weavers The Sheet Bend would replace the Square (Reef) knot except that it is not a binding knot – both ends must be loose in your hands with no load on ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

Which type of rope is to be used to practice knots?

I am a complete noob when it comes to ropes and knots. It's high time I start practicing. Which rope, most preferably easily available and portable, should I use for practice? Should it be of ...
10
votes
3answers
384 views

One-sided overhand bend

Why is the one-sided overhand bend also called the European death knot (EDK)? Is it safe for climbing and mountaineering purposes?
10
votes
2answers
561 views

What is a bloquers?

Simple question, which has been prompted from this answer. What is a bloquers? I'm guessing it's some kind of prussik and it's a French term. But I'm not familiar with it. A quick google search ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Top Rope Anchors - is a figure-8 on a bight stronger or just easier to untie than an overhand knot?

I've been learning to build basic TR anchors; a sling clipped to two bolts with a master point in the loop of a figure-eight on a bight. While learning this I struggled to get a tidy figure-eight ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Which knot to use to hold a rope in a loop, tight, around a large object?

I have a large, cubic object and I wish to tie a rope around it so that the rope is very snug and tight around said object. In a picture, my question is as follows: Moreover, the path of the rope ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Tie in to harness, top to bottom or bottom to top

When tying into a harness with a figure eight follow through knot, does it matter if the running end comes up through the tie in points or goes down through them? From the figure it is hard to see ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Hitch with no ends

Is there a knot that can be used to hitch a rope to a pole without access to any of the rope's ends OR the pole's ends? I know of hitches that work in the one case or the other but not both.
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Distel Hitch vs Prussik

The Distel Hitch and Prussik both appear to be slide and grip knots, used for ascending a climbing rope. I have heard of people using Prussik many times more often than Distel Hitch. Which is a ...
9
votes
2answers
427 views

Knot for adjusting the length of a loop using both ends of a cord

I have a requirement where I want to tie a knot with the two ends of a cord where the length of the loop can be adjusted using either of the ends. (The knot has to be present on both the ends of the ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What would be a good knot to tie a clothesline to a tree?

I like the smell of sun-dried clothes/blankets/etc, and I got some line to make a clothesline. I've got a device that you pull the line through and it stays where you pulled it, which will be on the ...
9
votes
3answers
264 views

Quick release knot for attaching kit

I'm currently using a double fisherman's bend to tie my kit together but it's a bit fiddly to take apart. Is there a better knot for the task?
9
votes
3answers
775 views

How to join two pieces of rope in an adjustable tight loop?

I'm looking to use a piece of paracord as a ridge/sag line in my hammock setup, to do this I want to be able to tie the two ends together in a fashion that will allow me to alter the length of the ...
9
votes
2answers
934 views

What are different knots named in English?

As English isn't my first language, I don't know the English words for different knots. Any translator fails on this part too. Can someone point me to a source? edit: Please also describe synonyms ...
9
votes
2answers
354 views

How can you tie a clove hitch one handed?

I was watching a video this am where a guy tied a clove hitch and passed it though a carabiner one handed. This seemed a very handy technique to know. I usually use both hands to tie this, make a ...
9
votes
1answer
174 views

When a knot unties because the tail is too short

Is there a technical term that refers to a knot untying under load because the tail was too short?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a barrel knot the same as a double/triple overhand knot?

Climbing.com has a video showing how to tie a barrel knot in the end of a rope. To me (and many of you, I suspect) this knot is the very commonly-used double overhand knot. Confused, I looked for ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

water knot vs figure 8 follow through vs X for rock climbing anchor - What is easiest to untie?

I've recently been using figure 8 follow through on anchor webbing, and although it takes more time to dress properly and setup than a water knot, it's easier to untie at the end of the day and I feel ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the strongest knot using a steel-thimble to make a steel-eyelet at the end of the line?

(to be clear, I know I can just check knot-strengths for a general end-of-line attachment, it's the inclusion of the steel thimble - I'll find a link to add to end of post - it's that inclusion that ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What knot tightens under pressure and is difficult to untie under tension?

If I made a noose with this knot and lifted a heavy object by putting it inside the noose / knot: the knot should slip and hold the object tightly automatically it should be difficult to untie the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I tie a double fisherman's knot?

In climbing, a double fisherman's knot is used to tie together two separate pieces of rope. How would I tie such a knot?
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Knot to tie a hook onto the middle of a line

If I have a fishing line that's secured at both ends, what knot would I use to tie a hook onto the line? My situation is I'm making some rigs for fishing behind a boat, with 10 hooks spaced a foot ...
8
votes
2answers
609 views

How do I tie a stopper knot?

A stopper knot is often used to prevent rope from unexpectedly going throu some hole, such as a belay device. How would I tie a stopper knot?