Knot tying is an outdoor skill that many people take for granted. But anyone who has spent some time outdoors knows that there are certain knots for certain jobs. And the success & failure of a project or application can depend on that knot.
We’re quickly going to cover the most commonly used knots so that in the future, you can figure out which one is best for your situation.
Before we jump in though, let’s quickly cover some knotsman language.
Standing part – The part of the rope that isn’t being manipulated. This area can be coiled, stretched or simply left as is.
Bitter end – The part of the rope that’s being manipulated, it’s also known as the working end.
Bight – This is where the rope curves or arcs. It might be a loose loop or semi circle through which the bitter end could run.
Okay, so now to the knots. It’s obviously quite hard to describe how the knot is done in words, but we’ll add video where we can.
The overhand – We all know this knot inside out. Simply grab the bitter end and pull it under the bight. It’s most often used as a temporary stopper. It prevents the rope from unravelling and passing through a pulley. It’s also the base starting point for other knots.
The figure eight – This is a more popular choice when creating stopper knots as it’s much easier to untie once tightened. Form a bight with the working end and then run the bitter end underneath the standing part to create a second bight. Put the bitter through the first bight and hey presto, you have a figure 8 knot!
The reef knot – This is most often used to lash objects together with one length of rope, or join two ropes together. It’s just two overhand knots on top of each other. The second will be tied in the opposite direction to the other. When finished the bitter ends and standing parts of the rope will lie inside the two bites.
So that’s our quick guide to some basic knots. The next time you need to create a knot, consider which of these 3 will be best for the job!