11 Knots that Every Primitive Camper Should Know

Knowing about knots and their different uses is a very important skill every camper should master before going out.  Below are 11 basic knots that should aid any camper in any situation they may find themselves in but always remember that the knot is only as good as the rope and its preparer.

Common Whipping Knot is one that is used to prevent a rope from unraveling.  This can occur on both synthetically and naturally made ropes.  Synthetic ropes will only need to be burned on each end to prevent unraveling while natural ropes will need the whipping knot. 

To begin the knot, get a piece of twine and lay one end slightly above the cut end of the rope.  Now make a loop with the twine on the rope.  This is called the bight.  Once that is done, run the other end of the twine around the back of the natural rope and overlay it on top of the bight.  Continue this until you have at least three wraps.  The number of wraps will be determined by the diameter of the rope. 

After the appropriate number of wraps has occurred, secure the loose end by sticking it through the loop and securing by pulling both ends of the rope.

Keep in mind when using this knot that it is only to prevent raveling and not to be used to secure anything.

Overhand Knot is an easy one to start with since you have been doing this knot since you started wearing shoes.  This knot is used as a stopper knot or one to keep a rope from sliding through a grommet or hole.

Larks Head is a knot that is used around ring shape.  To make the knot, simple fold the rope in half and run through a ring.  Once that is done, take the end of the rope and run it through the looped end of the rope.  Pull tight.  Keep in mind that this loop is one that easily comes undone especially if you are using a synthetic rope. 

Square Knot is a great knot for tying things down verses tying two ropes together to get a longer one.  To create this knot, lay two ropes on the ground with one end going in one direction and the other end going in the other.  Twist the ropes together with one twist and then bring up the ends.  Loop the ends together with one twist and then tighten. 

Two Half Hitch is a knot that can withstand weight.  To begin the process of making this knot, you will need to wrap your rope around a post twice.  On the second turn, take the end of the rope and go under the straight rope and through the loop that has formed.  Pull tight.

Tautline is created as described above but with an addition loop at the end.    This is great for tents, and clotheslines. 

Sheet Bend is a knot that can be used to secure two ropes of different diameters together securely.   To begin, form a loop with the thicker rope and hold in your hand.  Take the thinner rope and pass it through the loop of the thicker rope from the back.  Pull it through and wrap it around the loop of the thicker rope.  Once this is done the thinner rope will be in a loop.  At this point, run the end of the thinner rope through its own loop and pull to secure.

Clover Hitch is another great knot for binding but it does slip easily so use with caution.  To complete a clover hitch, one must first make a loop somewhat up on the working end of the rope.  Once that is done, place over a post.  Repeat with the loop forming on the end of the rope and place over the post and tighten.

Bowline is a knot that will not slip and can be used to secure items.  To begin this process, make a small loop leaving enough rope to make a loop large enough to hold your item.  Next, pull the rope around and go through the small loop.  Then, go above the loop and repeat by threading the end back into the loop.  Pull tight. 

Timber Hitch is another great knot to use around a post or any circular object.  To make this knot, first wrap the rope around the post, then around the standing end of the rope and then back through the loop around the post three times.  Pull tight to secure. 

While the above knots may sound complicated, they really are not and only require practice to be able to make them perfectly. 

Please keep in mind that the skill of knot tying is very important but so is the care of ones ropes.  Always coil them up neatly when not in use.  If they get wet, always allow them to dry completely before backing them away for the next campsite or camping trip.