Tying knots is an essential survival skill that far too few of us have mastered. We learned how to tie our shoelaces as kids, and some of us learned how to tie a tie. After that, most of us stopped learning new knots to tie, which is a shame… whether camping or in a long term survival situation, knowing a variety of knots (and HOW to tie them correctly, and WHEN to use each one) can be the difference between life and death.
The key is to master the basic knots and take it from there. When SHTF, you’ll need to move quickly but efficiently. Watch Craig Caudill from DansDepot show you how to make the best knots for survival and camping. Then scroll down to see how it’s done step-by-step.
1. Using a Rope without a Knot
Anybody can tie a knot. The question is, can anybody tie a knot and get it undone easily in such a way that the rope can be used again? Sometimes when using a rope, you don’t have to actually use a knot. You just have to put it against something and put tension on it.
We’re going to wrap this rope around the tree trunk. So I have the long end in my right hand and the working end on my left. Take the working end and wrap it around the long end. Do this several times. Then we move the wrapped section around the back of the tree. So that it has tension on it. Then I can pull the tension here. This is not what I would consider a rope to hang my life on, but this will create a lot of tension and it is going to stay.
And the cool thing about it is when I need to pick up and go, I grab the end of the rope that’s loose and it’s free.
2. Half Hitches
Take the rope. Wrap it around the tree. Lay the working end on top of itself. Pull that up through the hole. Repeat. And you have two half hitches.
This knot is pretty secure. It’s not the best knot, but you can hang off on a knot like this easily. It’s not for climbers either but it’s good for basic survival and camping.
The other cool thing about this knot, like most others, is that there is a loop on top of it. You do your best to push it back over the top and it will loosen up.
3. Round Turn with Two Half Hitches
We’re going to use the same knot but this provides more tension so that the rope won’t slip as easily. All you do is take the rope again and wrap it around the tree. Now you have more tension on the rope as it is wrapped around the tree and snagging against it.
Then apply the steps for half hitches.
Now you’ve got not only the knot but you have got the rope wrapped around the tree for tension. You have a really secure setup tied to this tree. Again, this is not for climbers but for campers and survival.
I take my loop, tug and pull, and the knot comes off rather easily.
4. Clove Hitch
Take the working end of your rope and put it underneath the long end. Wrap the rope all around the tree. Where you wrapped it, take it back underneath that. And you have a clove hitch. Tension pulls this but you have to make sure that tension is going in this direction.
This knot will not work very well with a diagonal. You need to make sure that the tension is perpendicular to the knot or whatever it is you’re tying off. Pull the tension against the knot itself. As soon as I get diagonal, the knot comes off. But that is good when it’s time to untie. You can remove the rope rather easily.