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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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65 votes
8 answers
25k 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 ...
whatsisname's user avatar
  • 10.7k
33 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
David's user avatar
  • 1,037
29 votes
4 answers
15k 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 ...
user avatar
28 votes
6 answers
7k 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 ...
Andrey Mikhaylov - lolmaus's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
11k 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?
zoul's user avatar
  • 4,993
21 votes
8 answers
11k 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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
20 votes
4 answers
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 ...
crasic's user avatar
  • 1,333
18 votes
2 answers
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 ...
llama's user avatar
  • 1,972
18 votes
2 answers
10k 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, ...
Lost's user avatar
  • 19k
17 votes
5 answers
8k 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.
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
16 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 10.7k
15 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Mr.Wizard's user avatar
  • 9,526
15 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
g19fanatic's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
14 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Reverend Gonzo's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
ShemSeger's user avatar
  • 53.6k
13 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Edward Thomson's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
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 ...
Mike M. Lin's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
STW's user avatar
  • 1,460
12 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
QuantumBrick's user avatar
  • 3,379
12 votes
2 answers
6k 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?
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
smossum's user avatar
  • 123
11 votes
7 answers
4k views

Hanging water bags for bathing without tree damage

When I hang my water bag to heat water in the sun for family bathing, I do so by tying a weight to the end of the rope and throwing it over a tree limb. Then I lower the weight, tie the water bag to ...
Bookaholic's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

loop knot vs slip knot vs hitch knot around a tree when camping

When camping, I often need to tension a rope between two points, and it starts by tying the rope to the first point, which can be a tree. In this situation, I can use a bowline or a Siberian hitch or ...
hugogogo's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
11 votes
3 answers
409 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?
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

How to tie an EBSB bowline?

According to the most comprehensive reference ever written on bowlines, the EBSB bowline (which is a variation of another variation, called the EBDB bowline, together with a sort of Yosemite finish) ...
QuantumBrick's user avatar
  • 3,379
11 votes
4 answers
6k views

Most practical knots for a bend (tying two ropes together) while pulling to create tension?

My personal favorite for tying two ends of a rope together is the Flemish Bend. It's simple, strong, does not slide, does not require stopper knots (unless used for life-critical applications), allows ...
Andrey Mikhaylov - lolmaus's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
760 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
285 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 ...
rg255's user avatar
  • 383
11 votes
1 answer
523 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 ...
Miati's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Colonel Panic's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
17k 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 ...
Captain's user avatar
  • 1,059
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Alternative to midshipman's / taut-line hitch for modern ropes

A taut-line hitch is used to tying tent ropes to a stake. It can be manually slid up/down the standing part of the rope, so as to adjust the tightness in the line, but it holds well under tension. ...
ahron's user avatar
  • 1,841
10 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Michaël's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Chris J's user avatar
  • 1,778
10 votes
1 answer
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 ...
AM_Hawk's user avatar
  • 4,493
10 votes
3 answers
5k 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.
Zeke's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
WedaPashi's user avatar
  • 31.7k
10 votes
1 answer
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 ...
SwimBikeRun's user avatar
9 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
683 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 ...
M. Troy's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
3 answers
331 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?
Chris J's user avatar
  • 1,778
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is a clove hitch to be distrusted in climbing?

Reading the description for a clove hitch on animated knots by Grog (the go to bible of knots IMO) I was surprised to read: Caution: The Clove Hitch was, originally, included here with the ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
510 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 ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
198 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?
dinosaur's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Chris Mendez's user avatar
  • 7,210