Five Really Useful Knots and Hitches

Posted by Stacy on 2/26/2013

These are five knots that are useful for virtually anyone.  The author, Wildernessway, uses paracord in the instruction.


I bet everyone is wondering what all of these items have in common. What Iím going to do today in this video is I am going to show you how to tie five of my favorite knots. In order to do that, Iím going to use a quickdraw, a piece of fat wood, my mug, and a piece of rope. The first thing that I want to show you, and I showed this in another video, this is a daisy chain. Itís a great way to store rope, however, it is not one of my favorite knots. Iím going to untie it right now.

Before we get going on rope, there is a few things that I wanted to mention to you. The first one is a little bit of nomenclature. This is what you call the working end of the rope. This is the end that youíre going to be tying the knot with. This is going to be called the standing part of the rope. Thatís the part that Iím not tying the knot with. Way on the other end of this is going to be the standing end of the rope. Thatís, again, the end that Iím not tying the knot with. Let me show you some of my favorite knots.

The first one would be the square knot. Itís a great knot for tying two equal-sized, or closely equal-sized pieces of rope together at the ends. This one is a very easy knot to tie. You simply go right over left, and then I take a turn underneath, and then you go left over right, and then you take a wrap underneath, and there is your square knot. You know that itís a good square knot because both ends come out on the top, and both ends come out on the bottom. Thatís your square knot.

The next one that I want to show you is a Bolin. In a Bolin, Iíve got my working end of the rope here, and my standing part. The problem that Iíve always had with Bolins was which direction to make the loop. I finally figured out a way to do it. I have the standing part of the rope in my right hand, the working end in my left, and what Iím going to do is take my fingers and twist the working end away from me, and Iím going to make a loop. That loop is the right direction, so that when I follow the knot Ö the saying to remember this knot, which means the fox comes out of the hole, the fox goes underneath the log, and the fox goes back into the hole. Hereís my loop, and then I simply pull this tight. Thereís my Bolin. The Bolin is going to be a lot stronger when you have this working end of the rope on the inside of the loop, as opposed to the outside of the loop. Itís a great knot for making a loop in the end of a piece of cordage, and itís also nice because even if you pull it down really, really, really tight, it still comes out fairly easily, and it doesnít bind up on you, typically. Thatís my Bolin.

The next one is going to be a half hitch. I lied to you at the beginning of this video and I said I was going to show you my five favorite knots, Iím actually going to show you my two favorite knots, which are the square knot and the Bolin, and my three favorite hitches. The difference between a knot and a hitch is that a hitch needs something to put it around in order for it to maintain its shape. This one Iím going to show you two half hitches. Iím going to use my handy-dandy coffee mug here, because itís got a convenient handle. The first half hitch goes underneath, back around, and then you pull it tight. Thatís one half hitch. In order to secure it again, Iím going to do the exact same thing, do a second half hitch. There are my two half hitches. Itís a great way to secure a rope to a post, and have it stay in place. I also use this a lot when Iím putting ropes on my tarps and things like that. Iíll secure the rope through the loop on the tarp or through the eyelet on the tarp, in order to give me a foundation so I can tie my tarps out. Thatís two half hitches.

The next one that I want to show you is probably my all-time favorite. I use it more than most knots, because itís great for tensioning the tie-outs on my tarps or on my tents, and itís really basically just three half hitches, but the way that you do them is important. This is called a taut-line hitch. In the taut-line hitch, you take a half hitch here, and then a second half hitch, but it is above the first half hitch. This is whatís really important.

There, youíve got one on the bottom and then one on the top, and then you take a third one, which is all the way down, and then you go down and through. Then, when you tighten this knot up, the beauty of this is I can pull really, really hard on this knot. Iím pulling probably five or six pounds of force at least, it doesnít slip. Yet, when I want to, I can slide it down very easily, or I can slide it up very easily, by just feeding the rope through. Thatís my taut-line hitch. This one is just absolutely rockiní good for tightening down your tie-outs on your tents or on your tarps. Thatís my taut-line hitch. The last one that Iím going to show you is a clove hitch. A clove hitch you do a couple of different ways. Iím going to show you two different ways to tie it. The first one is if youíre going to tie it around a post, you go around like this, and then over the top, so Iím crossing over, and then Iím going to go under this first one, and that is my clove hitch. Thatíll hold on to the post and itís not going to go anywhere. Another way to tie it, and this is one that comes in handy, especially if youíre a climber, and you want to put a clove hitch around the carabiner. What I do here is, Iíve got the working end of the rope here, the standing part here, and Iím going to make an overhand loop, take my fingers and twist away from me again. Thereís one loop. Same thing, I make a second loop, and then I just take the second loop, put it behind the first loop, and now I put it on to the carabiner, and there is my clove hitch around the carabiner.Those are my five favorite knots. I hope that it was clear on how I do them. I hope you learned something today. Hope you enjoyed the video. As always, if you like the video, please ďLikeĒ it. If youíd like to see more, subscribe to my channel. Tell your friends about my channel. As always, be safe, have fun, and take your kids camping. Have a great day, everybody.
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