Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

5 Basic Knots You Need To Know

Most people can tie a bow, after all it’s the same knot used to tie your shoes. Even fewer people can tie a tie. But knots are used for all types of chores and activities. They are found in everything from fishing and boating to crafts. Knowing which knot should be used can be helpful or even required for your activity.

Preparedness is no different. Having the ability and practice of knot tying could potentially save your life. Knowing rescue knots, how to properly tie up a bear bag while out in the woods, or even how to lash together a raft, can be very beneficial. The following knots may be basic, but they are widely used and easy enough to teach young children.

The Knots:

Square Knot: The common name is the square knot, but the true name is a Reef Knot. This is a binding knot and can only be used with two cords of the same size, but can be particularly helpful when tying up bandages. There are several ways to actually tie this knot. The most common way is to tie two overhands. Right over Left and then Left over Right.

Learn To Tie It:

Bowline: The bowline is used to create a fixed loop within the rope. It can be used as a rescue knot and tied around a bundle to drag or lift it. It is also used in sail boating. With a little bit of practice, you can tie this knot around your waist with only removing your hand once from the rope.

Learn To Tie It:


Round Turn with Two Half Hitches: Technically this is a hitch, meaning that it is used to attach a line to something else, such as a ring or a rail. By lopping your rope around your anchor and tying two half hitches, you can tow your car from the side of the road, or very literally, hitch your horse to a tree.

Learn To Tie It:

Sheet Bend: A sheet bend combines the ends of two separate ropes. It looks very similar to the bowline, but since it has two different ropes, it does not create a loop. To tie this rope, first create a bite in one rope. Then with the other, take your running end up through the bite, around your ends and back underneath itself to create your knot.

Learn To Tie It:

Sheepshank: You find you’re in need of a long length of rope, but there is a worn part in the middle… You could cut it and have two shorter pieces you must tie together, or you can use a sheepshank to bridge the bad part of your rope. This knot is very useful in many situations. It can be used to temporarily shorten a rope and can be tied in the middle of the rope without any working ends.

Learn To Tie It:


As with all prep, make sure you practice your skills. Conditions may not always be ideal for you to learn how to tie a proper knot. It always seems to rain when you need to tow your car or it’s dark when you need to rig up a tent with a missing pole. Take the time now to learn some basic knots and you’ll be prepared no matter which situation you are in.
If you are looking for a great knot reference book, I suggest “The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Knots and Ropework” by Geoffrey Budworth. The pictures are colorful and easy to follow.
For an even larger collection of knots and how to tie them, try “The Ashley Book of Knots” by Clifford W. Ashley. This is a huge collection of over 3900 knots and where to use them.

One thought on “5 Basic Knots You Need To Know

  1. A V says:

    Eliminate It: If you are asked to learn to tie the Sheepshank, please request your Troop Leader to eliminate this knot and replace it with something safe and useful, e.g., the Alpine Butterfly Loop is an excellent way of isolating a damaged section in a length of rope; it may also be safely used to shorten a rope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 − 11 =