Training: Six of the most useful outdoor and survival knots you should know
Knot-tying is one of those skills that never go out of fashion, especially for outdoorspeople but really for anyone who wants to become more resourceful on the off-chance they find themselves in dire straits. If your experience in the art up till now has been restricted to tying shoelaces and the occasional in-a-pinch overhand knot, knots can seem a difficult, even esoteric challenge. But while there are many kinds of knots better- or worse-suited for all sorts of situations, you actually can get by fine for most everyday applications learning just a handful.
The following are some of the basic, tried-and-true knots with a whole lot of value on a camping, backpacking, or river trip. That includes in practical matters such as setting up a tent or lining a kayak through risky rapids as well as all-out survival situations, such as hastening to erect an emergency shelter in the teeth of a dangerous storm or trying to hoist an injured companion up or down a cliff face.
In this blog post, we’ll simply be introducing these standout knots and some of their important uses; follow the links provided to pages with step-by-step details and good illustrations on how to actually tie them. (A picture’s really worth a thousand words when it comes to demonstrating knot-tying.)
The Clove Hitch
The Clove Hitch, also called the Double Half Hitch, certainly ranks among the most versatile knots. A hitch refers to a knot that attaches a rope to another object. The Clove Hitch is a handy way to tie an anchor to the middle of a line and to tie something down to a post or stake with the ability to easily adjust the tension. It’s a classic knot for securing guy-lines and thus useful to know for both everyday tent or tarp setup and the quick assembly of an emergency shelter when the elements are bearing down on you.
The Clove Hitch has many applications for climbers, attaching oneself to an anchored carabiner, passing an object along a length of rope and can tie up a boat in quick fashion. But it can slip under load and when pressure on it shifts direction, so it’s more of a temporary or quick-fix option in these cases: not a knot to absolutely depend on.
Clove Hitches in combination with Square Knots (see below) are used in the Square Lashing method of tying together poles, a very useful knot system to learn for jury-rigging shelters, for example.
Source: Mountain House