Properly tied knots are important in camping and survival because they help with improvising, safety, hauling, and can be untied with relative ease. Proper knots will also save you time and energy. Here are some basic knots every outdoor person should know.

Square Knot:

Uses: To join two ends of a rope or line together to make a loop or to extend the length of two lines to make a longer line. Mainly used in tying down equipment and shelter lines. A square knot is easy to tie and untie but can come loose with movement so it shouldn’t be used for climbing.

Step 1:

Take one end of the line and go over the other end, and then make an overhand loop. Example Right over Left.

Step 2.

Then around the body and through the bottom of the loop.

Step 3:

Pull both ends to tighten the overhand loop.

Step 4:

Take the opposite end and make another overhand loop. Example Left over Right.

Step 5:

Go through the bottom of the loop and pull tight.

Step 6:

If done properly both ends of the line should be pointed up or down depending on how you’re holding the line.

Step 7:

Cinch down the ends:

Click here to see a video of how to tie a square knot.

Clove Hitch

Uses: A clove hitch is used to tie an end of a rope or line to an object and take up the slack to cinch tight. It grips the line well to wood.

Step 1:

Go around the object with the end of the line, cross under the body.

Step 2:

As you loop under come up and over and make an X.

Step 3

Pinch or press down on the X with your thumb to prevent the line from slipping and then go around the object another time then through the loop and tighten. Continue to pull the end partially around the object to tighten.

Click here to view the clove hitch video.

Slip Knot:

Uses: A slip knot is used to apply tighten around an object as tension is applied. Similar to a noose. I like to use it to attach a line to a piece of shelter material where there is no O ring to tie to.

Step 1:

Cross over the body of the line with one end, to create a loop.

Step 2:

Reach your hand through the loop from bottom to top and grab the body of the line and pull your hand back and the body through the loop.

Step 3:

As the knot cinches you have a slip knot you can slide the loop over an object and pull one end to tighten. This end can be tied with a clove hitch to another object. You can release the knot by pulling an end after removing the loop from the object it was around.

Click here to see the slip knot video.

Clove Hitch application to create a button to connect to shelter material. Use dirt, snow, leaves, or other material as a filler.

Step 1: Slide the filler material around the shelter material and create a button.

Step 2: Loop the slip knot around the button.

Step 3: Pull the end of the line and cinch the knot tight. Finish off by tying the end to an object such as a tree, stake, etc… with a clove hitch.

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