Learning Camping Knot-Tying Skills is Worthwhile

camping knot-tying skills
You should evaluate your camping knot tying skills before your next trip. The odds are that even if you’re a veteran camper, you’ll find that you can benefit from freshening up on your camping knot tying skills before heading into the wilderness again. Knowing how to tie various knots can not only make your life easier while camping, but it could also save your life in a crisis.

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Why Knot Tying is So Important

Camping knot tying is a skill that can be obtained by anyone with a few hours of practice. Doing so is a minimal investment that could one day save your life. If in a life-or-death situation, you won’t have time to read a manual or pull up a YouTube video, which makes it all the more important to master the knots before departing on your trip.

Think about how easy it is for you to tie your shoes. It doesn’t take any effort, and you probably do so without having to think twice. Unfortunately, the knots that you use to tie your shoes are not going to cut it in the wilderness. When under stress, you’ll be inclined to rely on skills that come to you naturally. Knowing this, you can see how vital it is for you to learn how to tie technical knots before you go.

Knot tying is so essential because different tasks require different knots. The knot you use to climb up rocks is different than the knot you would you use to canyon down a wet mountainside. These knots are different than the knot you would use to splice multiple pieces of rope together, which is different from the knot needed to secure a makeshift shelter.

If you are a veteran camper but don’t have knowledge about various knots, you should consider yourself lucky that you haven’t found yourself in a situation that required a technical knot. If your technical knot knowledge is lacking, take time to study and practice multiple knots before your next trip. You should be comfortable enough with these knots that tying them is second nature.

Why You Should Carry Extra Rope with You

When packing for your next trip, you should strongly consider carrying additional rope segments. How much rope you need to bring depends heavily on how long you anticipate your trip being and the activities that you have in store. The rope is one of the most versatile tools you can carry. In addition to helping you out of an emergency situation, you could also use it for ordinary camping tasks such as

  • Making a clothesline
  • Create your shelter
  • Hanging your food and drinks out of a predator’s reach

Constructing a Rope Kit

While the amount of rope that you bring will vary depending on your situation, users on a Survivalist Boards forum said that they carry as little as 20 feet and as much as 250 feet. One user also recommended having enough, at the very least, to tie two boot laces. Another thread on Reddit also discussed the amount of cord needed for various camping activities, such as running a ridgeline.

Additionally, this post from Ramblin’ Jim elaborates on what a rope kit is and how to construct one. The author, who himself enjoys the wilderness, says that he typically carries at least 100 feet of rope in his pack, with additional rope stored in his survival kit. He also pre-cuts his cord before departing on his trip so that it is accessible at any time.

The author has discovered the four lengths of rope that he uses the most, which are

  • Three-foot segments
  • Six-foot segments
  • 12-foot segments
  • 28-foot segments

He organizes the parts by size and daisy-chains them together before his trip. In total, cutting and daisy-chaining the rope should take about a half hour. Daisy chaining is a way to shorten rope and efficiently attach multiple rope segments. Ironically, daisy chaining can be an excellent introduction to technical knots. You can learn to daisy chain rope here.

Paracord Bracelets

Not only should rope be a part of your day-to-day load, but you should also have a rope that is easily accessible at any time. The best way to do this is by wearing a paracord bracelet. These bracelets are held together by their buckle. To access the cord, you’ll need to unclip it and break the clasp.

The bracelets typically contain a foot of paracord for every inch of the bracelet. So, if you wear a ten-inch one, you’ll have access to ten feet of paracord in case of emergency. Paracords can also come fashioned with other survival accessories such as a whistle and a compass.

There are plenty of tutorials available online to build your paracord bracelet if you prefer not to purchase one. You can choose from many different designs. Paracord is relatively affordable, and you can buy a 1000-foot spool of 550 paracord that meets military standards for less than $50. Plus, you can choose the color scheme of your choice. This post from Explore Mag highlights 74 bracelet tutorials.

Types of Knots to Master Before You Depart

There are hundreds of different kinds of knots, all of which serve a different purpose. The knots found below are the essential knots to learn before your next camping trip. You are encouraged to take the time to learn how to tie these knots well so that they are strong and hold secure.

Most people believe that tying multiple knots in a line will strengthen it, but in reality, it will end up reducing the strength of the rope. Learning to tie secure camping knots will allow you to get the most out of your rope and help keep you safe throughout the entirety of your journey.

Slip Knot

Curious about how to tie a slipknot? Begin by holding a section of the rope in each hand. There should be about a foot of rope between your hands. Then, bring your right side underneath the rope on your left side. The rope should cross, forming a loop that resembles a ribbon worn on a lapel.

The slip knot is a stopper knot that can easily be undone, or “slipped.” You can loosen the knot by pulling on the end. It’s a great knot to use when you have a limited rope supply and need to keep the rope in tow. It is also a great option to use when creating a shelter because it is sturdy enough to last through the night but is easy to take down in the morning or case of emergency.

Using your left hand, grab the point where the rope crosses and hold it securely. Then, reach your right hand through the loop and pull one of the ends of the rope back through the loop. At this point, there should be two ends of the hanging rope. Finally, pull your hands away from each other so that the knot tightens. While pulling, twist your right hand clockwise to secure the knot.

Figure 8 Knot

The Figure 8 Knot is a sturdy knot that can be tied quickly and used for many different activities. Because of its non-slip properties, the Figure 8 Knot is used to prevent a line from disappearing. Tying the knot is very simple. Grab the end of the rope. Form a loop by passing the tail of the rope over itself. Then, take the end and move it back through the loop for a stopper at the end of your line.

You also may want to learn to tie the Figure 8 Follow-Through Knot, which can be beneficial when climbing. Knot usage should occur with a carabiner or ring. Start by tying a loose Figure 8 Knot as described above. To tie the follow-through portion, you’ll want to then pass the tail of the rope around the attachment point.

Then trace the original Figure 8, but this time in reverse. You’ll then use the tail of the rope to exit the knot through the standing end. The result will look like a twice-tied Figure 8 Knot.

Square Knot

The square knot will be particularly handy when you need to tie different segments of rope together. Tying a square knot will keep them together more securely that daisy chaining will. While this knot is secure, it does not have a high weight threshold. It should not be trusted to carry heavy weights.

Begin by crossing the end of one rope over the end of the second rope. Then, take the left end of the rope and place it overtop the right end. Wrap the remaining end around to the other side, much like the beginning steps of tying a shoe. Then, cross the right end over the left end.

After this, cross the right end of it over the left end of the rope and wrap them around each other. At this point, you should have a roughly square shape between the two of them. They should be intertwined twice, once at the top of the square and once at the bottom. The last step from here is to pull the knot tight.

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