Useful knots for camping?

Ben Cooper

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Hi all, I recently had some paracord delivered and I have been practicing a few knots... The knots I have learnt so far are: square knot, granny knot, thieves not, figure 8, bowline, girth, Prusik, taut-line, sheet bend & clove hitch... & I plan on learning the Siberian also.

Is there any knots I should learn that would be super handy out in the bush that I haven't already mentioned?



Regards
Ben
 

remember-the-mount-bread

Malcolm Douglas
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Depends on what you need to do out bush (Kayaking vs hammocking vs putting up a tarp etc) but the most useful knots I know are mostly loops. If you can tie a loop a few ways (On a bight, sliding etc) then you can really achieve a lot. hitches are also super useful I find.
Hope this helps.
Thanks a lot,
Aidan
 

barefoot dave

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G'day Ben.
You have a good list to start with.
Working with light gauge synthetic (kern mantel construction) requires the use of knots that allow release without the use of a knife ;)
Add the fisherman's bend as a hitch that releases easier than a clove hitch if loaded.
The zeppelin knot is another that releases more easily.
A double fisherman s knot is a handy way to join two lengths and its adjustable.
My water bottle carriage system is an adjustable loop using the DF knot and a classic prussic around the neck of the bottle.
Be careful using high mechanical advantage hitches like the truckies hitch with 550. Their sheath can't cope with high abrasion that comes with that hitch.
Use an overhand knot and pull a bight through and use that loop. Your hand will abrade earlier than your line :)
A mountaineer once said he only knew 5 knots. I rig recreational heights ropes most days and agree. For general use, 2-3 know per use will do; hitch, joining, tensioning and lashing..
Oh, remember when you lash something, frapping ads a lot of extra tension.
I hope this helps.
Dave
 

remember-the-mount-bread

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I really like Knots 3d app for the iphone.
Amen on that one, that app's definitely worth a look if you wanna learn some knots.
Thanks a lot,
Aidan

Also, a sheet bend is a good way for joining two ropes, especially of different sizes, can hold very heavy loads, and is super easy to tie to boot, probably worth checking out too. (and a double sheet bends not much harder either)
 
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barefoot dave

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Nice one, great bloke.
I love those apps, especially when I confiscate people phones when they are building a raft or shelter :p
Teaching point: great for learning, then practice practice practice.
 

n5750547

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Hey Ben, These are my "must learn" knots:

Bowline.

Round turn and two half hitches.

Truckies knot.

Sheet bend.

taught line hitch.

Canadian jamb knot
Truckies knot, taut line hitch and Siberian hitch are the ones I use most often. The truckies knot is especially handy when tying things to roof racks etc while the taut line hitch and Siberian hitch are for setting up tarps (for me anyway). I did learn a few more but these 3 are what I almost always end up using, they are especially handy when you leave a loop to make them quick release
 

Greatbloke

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I'm not sure that I've tied a Siberian hitch before, but looking it up, I can see why you and Ben chose it N57, It's a great alternitave to the round turn and two half hitches.
 

biggles1024

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I find the square lashing indispensable for constructing camp furniture and also shelters and the figure 8 lashing for building tripods.
I see you've learnt the clove hitch which is good. You can now move on and learn to "throw a clove hitch" which means to tie it in the centre or at least quite some distance from the ends of the rope. It's dead simple and is most often used when tying long guy ropes to something.
 

chris larrikin

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The round turn & two half hitches and clove hitch are my go-to end attachments because they're easy to adjust and can tie them in the dark easily enough.

To be honest you can never know too many knots and practicing on a piece of rope is a good way to kill some time around camp. I would use something thicker than paracord to practice with; a metre of 11mm static rope will cost about $3.50 from a climbing shop.
 

Lifecraft

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The first two knots Ray demonstrates in this video are the ones I use for pretty much everything (in terms of stringing up tarps, etc.):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG_-N4NiSlo

Prusik knots are another handy one but I haven't used them much. Seems useful for hanging items from your ridgeline, and pretty easy to do.

Truckers hitch is also really useful if you need to tighten cord up really tight (tighter than you can do with a standard sliding/tension knot). Just be careful with them because it's possible to snap even really strong cordage with a well made truckies hitch, but that shows how powerful it can be.

I find that unless I actually use a knot regularly I forget how to do it. So I decided to stick with just the ones I find most useful, and use them over and over again.
I've got to the point now where the 2 knots I use the most I can do by feel, in the dark (at least on a good day, might not be so easy when I'm cold and tired). As for most other interesting knots I'm somewhat useless at them haha.


How many types of knots do most bushcrafters actually need to know?
It would be interesting if other bushcrafters on here would count the number of knots they actually use regularly for typical bushcraft activities and let us know. (Excluding fishing because that brings in a new range of knots.)
I think beginners only really need to learn a few to get by. But it's probably a good idea to try out a bunch of different ones and select a few of the really useful ones, then not worry about trying to memorise the rest unless you enjoy doing so.
 
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Ben Cooper

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Thanks all for the great replies and ideas... I realise I will most likely like end up with a few knots I rely on, though while I am just starting out it will be fun to play around with a few knots.

I agree with lifecraft & think it would be interesting to see how many knots ppl use when they go camping...


Thank again all for the replies!


Regards
Ben
 

Aussie Forager CQ

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I have thankfully had a good deal of exposure in the rope rigging industry and have picked up a couple of knots along the way. As you can imagine there are dozens of different knots and techniques available. In many ways it's similar to any sort of application of knotcraft. One of the beautiful things about knots is that every knot has it's perfect purpose for use in the world where it is the best knot for the job. It's a pretty cool thing to be able to use that special knot at that time where it is the perfect knot. The thing is that the time to use that perfect knot may only happen once a year or more! In my opinion it's worth it. Within reason ofcourse.*

The more knots you know the easier it is to remember and learn new knots.

Here is a list of what I think are must have knots in the tool kit. Alot have already been mentioned above obviously. I havent listed prussik and slinging techniques for now. If anyone is interested I can list those and a bunch of other knots I would suggest to learn too. I am happy to describe applications for certain knots if anyone is interested.

'In the bight' means to tie in the middle (not at an end) of the rope without the working end. Eg clove hitch in the bight. Also mentioned above as throwing a clove hitch.

'On a bight' means to tie it without using the working ends. Generally resulting with a loop knot. Eg figure eight on a bight.

'With a bight' means to tie with a bight of rope as you would with an end of rope. Eg a 'bowline with a bight' is the same knot as a normal bowline only it is tied with a bight instead of the end. This means it can be tied without the end of the rope which is extremely handy.

Feel free to ask questions if you like, things can get confusing.

Hitches

Half hitch
Round turn and two half hitches
Clove hitch with the working end
Clove hitch in the bight
Constrictor hitch with the working end
Constrictor hitch in the bight*
A couple of one handed clove and constrictor hitches in the bight are very handy
Rolling hitch
Taught line hitch
Timber hitch
Marlingspike
Girth hitch

Most hitches can be tied 'slipped' which is handy to practice and easy to undo things if applicable. Like our shoes.

Square lashing
Diagonal lashing*
Common whipping

Loop knots

Figure of eight on the bight*
Overhand on the bight
Alpine butterfly
Bowline
Bowline with a round turn
Running bowline
Bowline with a bight
Portugese bowline
Double overhand noose

Bends

Sheet bend
Double overhand bend
European Death Knot

Other

Truckies hitch
Double overhand stopper knot
Reef knot

Note: the Reef knot is not in the bends section as it is a binding knot and not a bend. It is great for binding, like when we bind our shoe to our foot with it but it can be dangerous if used as a bend. The European death knot on the other hand is quite safe :)
 

Ben Cooper

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Thanks Aussie Forager, that should keep me busy for awhile :risatonaD: much appreciated!

Regards
Ben
 
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