You can tie 101 items in the backcountry. You might need to set up a ridgeline to protect your camp tarp or hang a bear bag so your snacks don’t get stolen. No matter what reason you have for tying a knot, the best knots are the ones that work for your job. There are some “one-hit wonder” knots, which can do multiple jobs, but sailors and mountaineers developed many knots throughout the centuries.

Here are six indispensable knots that will make your outdoor life easier.

Square Knot, also known as Reef Knot

A square knot, also called a reef knot, is an easy way to join two ropes with equal thickness. It is simple enough that most people can tie a square knot in no time — even before they learn how to tie their shoes. Okay, we can tie a bow but the base of the knot, however, is the square.

The square knot is not to be trusted. Although it can be secured when placed flat on a surface, the square knot is notorious for being untied. When you use a modern sheathed rope, this is the most common. The square knot can be used when there is no risk of your knot being untied. This might be annoying. To tie up firewood bundles or a bandage, you can use a square tie.

img alt=”A bowline tied against a tree.” class=”wp-image-1203373 size-large” onerror=”dti_load_error(this)” src=”×800.jpg”/>

Bowline Knot

This is the king of all knots. A bowline knot is the best choice for creating a loop on your rope when you have to carry a large load. This is because no matter how heavy a load you place on a bowline knot you can still untie them. Boy Scouts were likely to have learned how to tie a bowine knot. There was a lot of discussion about the rabbit getting out of a hole or around a tree.

You can tie a bowline one-handed. This allows you to hold the load and then tie it with the opposite hand. You can use the bowline knot for many purposes, including hanging your bear bags or anchoring your camp tent guide ropes.

img alt=”A double-figure eight against a tree.” class=”wp-image-1203374 size-large” onerror=”dti_load_error(this)” src=”×800.jpg”/>

Double-Figure-Eight Knot

Nearly everyone agrees that the double-figure eight knot is the best for climbing. The figure-eight knot tightens itself as you load it. There is little chance of the knot coming undone if you attach a stopper knot. After being loaded heavily, the figure-eight knot may be difficult to undo. This is why it is not recommended unless you are certain that your knot will stay put.

We recommend that you start by learning how to tie a figure-8 knot. This will allow you to attach the knot to an object. Although figure-eight knots are most commonly used by climbers, they can also be used to make loops on the ends of your rope when a bowline is not sufficient.

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Clove Hitch

A clove hitch, a basic bind, is simple to tie. It can also be easily adjusted without having to untie it. This knot is widely known to be the most essential and it’s often part of an anchoring system. A clove hitch can be tied around objects or freestanding. You can also use a karabiner to clip it through. To give yourself the greatest versatility, we recommend that you study both ways of tying a clove hitch.

The clove hitch can be easily adjusted and used to adjust anchor positions for belaying. The clove hitch is susceptible to sliding and can be used around any round objects. Always back up your clove hook. The clove hitch can also be used to hang a hammock.

img alt=”A double fishing knot wrapped around a tree.” class=”wp-image-1203369 size-large” onerror=”dti_load_error(this)” src=”×800.jpg”/>

Double Fisherman’s Knot

The double fisherman’s knot, which attaches two rope ends together securely when the square knot cannot be trusted is an alternative. The double fisherman’s knot is two stopper knots that you will recognize if you have ever spent time climbing. This knot, like so many other things, can go wrong and can lead to disaster. After you have learned how to tie the double fisherman’s knot, we recommend that you practice a lot.

The double fisherman’s knot can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a stopper for knots like the figure 8.

img alt=”A Prusik knot wrapped around a branch.” class=”wp-image-1203375 size-large” onerror=”dti_load_error(this)” src=”×800.jpg”/>

Prusik Knot

A prusik is a method of attaching a fixed line to a loop. You can create a system by wrapping a shorter rope around a longer line. This allows you to move the loop while the prusik does not have tension. However, it will grip the rope tightly when tension is applied.

Climbers love the prusik loop as an abseiling “hand”, or for securing a rope to a tree. A prusik can be used to attach a tent tarp or tent to a fixed line.

img alt=”A knot tied around a tree” class=”size-large wp-image-1203372″ onerror=”dti_load_error(this)” src=”×800.jpg”/>

The No-Knot Bonus

What is the difference between a knot and a loose knot?

The bonus knot blurs the line. A knot can only be used to attach a rope using friction. Why not use this friction instead? You can secure a rope by wrapping it around a pole or tree three times, and then pulling the ends tight.

This “knot” is not something we recommend. However, it can be a good makeshift solution if your rope needs to be secured quickly or you have to raise and lower an object, such as a bear bag. The friction of the knot is what makes it work best.


If you learn just three survival knots — Bowline, Double Sheet Bend, and Halter Hitch — you are ready for just about anything you might need in an emergency.09-Aug-2017

Knowing a few basic knots for camping will enable you to secure tarps and shelters, fasten guy lines on tents, tie down gear on the car and fix up lines for drying washing or hanging lanterns.

1. Hand Eye Coordination: It’s no surprise that learning to tie knots, from tying your shoes to essential camping and boating knots, promotes increased hand-eye coordination skills, and fine motor skills too!

– Alpine Butterfly Knot. The Alpine Butterfly Knot forms a secure loop in the middle of a rope.
– Artilleryman’s Loop Knot. Create a loop in middle of rope.
– Autoblock Knot. Friction knot for descending/rappelling.
– Backup Knot.
– Blake’s Hitch.
– Bowline.
– Bowline On A Bight.
– Distel Hitch.

– Phantom bend.
– Bowline knot.
– Big Tangled Mess knot.
– Clove hitch.
– Phantom knot.
– Sheet bend.
– T-Rex knot. Shaped like a T-Rex, the T-Rex knot is useful when you want to make a T-Rex out of cord.
– Prusik knot. Although technically a hitch, the Prusik knot can have some unique camping usages.


You can tie 101 items in the backcountry. No matter what reason you have for tying a knot,the best knots are the ones that work for your job. There are some “one-hit wonder” knots, which can do multiple jobs, but sailors and mountaineers developed many knots throughout


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