How to Tie Basic Knots


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Half Blood Knot

What a great way to attach a rope to a post, carabiner, hook, or just about anything else. This is a secure hitch that's been traditionally used by anglers to connect their fishing lines to their hooks. Easy to tie and very strong.

To tie this knot, I first brought my rope through my carabiner and made a bend in the rope.


After pulling the rope through about 12 inches more, I began twisting the working end around the standing part. I gave the rope about six twists.


I then brought the working end back to the carabiner and fed it through the loop.


And finally, I held the twists in one hand and pulled the standing end with the other. The twists compressed into coils and those coils tightened on the working end and held it in place.




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Mooring Hitch

This is a knot that's commonly used to tie a boat to a dock. The reason folks like to use this one is because it's easily adjustable and simple to untie. To untie it, all one needs to do is pull the working end and the entire thing will unravel. After tying this knot, I gave it a good pull and it seemed plenty secure.

To tie this knot, I first made a bend with the rope under and then over the log.


Next, I made a loop with the working end, over the standing end.


Pulling the working end for more slack, I then made a bight in the working end.


I fed the bight into the loop, under the standing part and then back out of the loop.


To finish, I pulled the standing part tight and then dressed the knot.



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Palomar Knot

When researching this knot, I found that it's almost exclusively used to tie a fishing line to a hook, so I guess that's what it's used for. I actually like this knot. It's very easy to tie and is very strong. And I don't think it'll ever come out if you don't want it to.

To tie this knot, I first made a bight in the rope and fed it through the carabiner.


Then, I tied a simple Overhand Knot.


After that, I took the carabiner and fed it through the loop in the rope.


I continued doing that until the loop had passed over the entire carabiner and the knot itself. Then, I dressed the knot and tightened it.



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Jansik Special

This is a very strong attachment knot. It's great for use when you'd like to connect your rope to a ring, carabiner, or something like that. With its multiple turns around both the ring and itself, it's proven to be extremely durable and efficient.

To tie this knot, I first made a turn through the carabiner and passed the working end of the rope under the standing part.


I then repeated the previous step.


Next, I took the working end and fed it through the loop I created with the two bends.


I repeated the previous step twice more, making sure that each bend was passed over itself.


Finally, I carefully pulled both the standing part as well as the working end to tighten down the knot. When I was finished, I had a wonderful Jansik Special.




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Turle Knot (Turtle Knot)

This is a simple knot used for things like pictured below. When you would like to tie a rope to a pot handle, this would be good. A fish hook - good as well. The reason this knot is so effective is because of the added friction applied to the first bend around the handle with the second knot. It works well and is easy to tie.

To tie this knot, I first fed the working end of my rope through the hole in the handle of the pan.


Then I passed the rope around the handle.


After that, I tied what appears to be an Overhand Knot. The first one of two.


Next, I tied another Overhand Knot. This time, it was with the tail of the working end.


After pulling both ends of the rope to tighten the knot, I had a wonderful looking Turle Knot.



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True Lover's Knot

This is a very handy knot to know if you need to make a loop of a certain size in your rope. Essentially, you would tie one Overhand knot in the rope to use as sort of a stopper and then tie another Overhand knot as another stopper. What you end up with is a fairly strong loop. This knot is handy for hanging items in your garage or attaching a hook to your fishing line.

To tie this knot, I first tied an Overhand knot about a foot from the end of my rope. Then, I fed the working end of the rope though the carabiner.


Then, I passed the working end through the loop in the Overhand knot.


After that, I tied another Overhand knot, but this time at the end of the working end. I made sure to tie this knot around the standing part.


And this is the final True Lover's knot after I tightened both knots and pulled them close to one another.



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Ashley's Stopper Knot

If you've got a larger hole that you need a stopper knot for, this one might be perfect. It's about twice the size of a regular Overhand knot or a Figure 8 knot. It holds well too, which is a benefit.

To tie this knot, I first made a bend in the rope, leaving the working end over the standing part.


Then, I placed the working end under the bend entirely.


Making sure I had long enough of a tail, I pulled the working end through the loop to create a bight.


After that, I fed the working end through the bight.


To tighten the knot, I pulled both ends of the rope.



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Figure of Eight Knot

This is a super simple to tie, super great stopper knot. I use this all the time when I need a safety knot to keep my Prusik or Blake's hitch knots ultra secure. If you're into camping, climbing trees, or just about anything else that might require knot tying outdoors, I think you should learn and get used to this one. It's very handy to know.

To tie this knot, I first made a loop with my rope.


Then I gave the loop a twist.


That makes the first (sort of) figure 8. After that, I took the working end of the rope and fed it under and through the first loop.


To tighten, this stopper, I pulled both ends of the rope.



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Stevedor's Knot

This is merely another good stopper knot, once used to halt a rope that was used with a pulley system from pulling through. This is bulkier than a regular Overhand knot or a Figure of 8 knot, so it may be beneficial in some instances.

To tie this knot, I first made a loop in the rope.


Then, I twisted the rope three times.


I then took the working end of the rope and passed it through the loop, from under to over.


And finally, I pulled the working end and the standing part to tighten the knot. After that, I dressed the knot until it was fully tightened.



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Crossing Knot

If you've got to cross ropes and would like to keep them in position, this knot is a great one to use. You'll see bakers take advantage of this knot when tying up boxes full of cookies. It's also valuable when roping off areas on which you don't want others to trespass. And finally, if you'll notice, this knot is the same as the beginning part of the Anchor hitch and it's essentially the same thing as the Munter hitch, both my favorites.

Tying this knot is simple. To start, I made a bend with the orange rope over the white rope.


Then, I took the working end and brought it over the standing part of the orange rope and then under the white rope. And that's it. Done.



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Prusik & Double Prusik Knot

These are must-know knots for both tree and rock climbing. You won't be doing either of these activities without intimate knowledge of sliding knots such as these. Luckily, you can purchase separate prusiks that are pre-sewn to use exclusively as sliding knots. I use one all the time while climbing trees. The benefit of using a prusik over a Blake's hitch is that the prusik slides and locks in both directions. Just be sure to use high friction/high wear ropes when using this knot.

Tying this knot is simple. You'll be using a climbing rope as your primary and then you'll tie your prusik onto that, using the Prusik knot. For this example, I first began by making a bend in my prusik rope (loop) and then wrapping that bend around the large rope. I also fed the working ends through the bend.


Then, I repeated the step above.


To finish the Single Prusik knot, I would simply pull the working ends to snug the thinner rope around the thicker one. To tie a Double Prusik knot, I would give the thicker rope one additional wrap with the thinner one and then pull the ends to tighten things up.



If I wanted even more security, I could always continue wrapping, but that's most likely not necessary.


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Bachmann Knot

This is another handy sliding/locking knot that's used for climbing. The difference between the Bachmann knot and the Prusik knot is that this one requires a carabiner and it's only uni-directional, meaning, it only locks when sliding in one direction (down). The Prusik is omni-directional, meaning, it locks while sliding in both directions. Both are excellent knots to consider, so think about your needs and then choose one.

I do want to mention on thing before I begin with the instructions. Typically, you would use a prusik loop or a prusik rope with eyes along with a climbing rope. In the photos below, you'll see a prusik with a cotton braided rope. I used the braided rope because it's the thickest one I have. It's not a climbing rope by any means.

To tie this knot, I first made a bight in my prusik loop.


Then, I attached that bight to my carabiner.


I gave the prusik loop a wrap around the climbing rope and clicked that wrap into the carabiner.


To finish up, I continued with the wraps. You can wrap the prusik loop around your carabiner as many times as you can fit. In my case, I did three wraps.


That's it. When you're ready, attach the prusik loop to your other carabiner and harness to put weight on it and to lock it in place.


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Klemheist Knot

This is just another version of a sliding locking knot. I believe this one, just like the last one, is uni-directional, meaning it's only useful in one direction.

To tie this knot, I first made a bight in my prusik loop (black rope). Then, I slid it under my climbing rope (white cotton rope - not really a climbing rope).


Then, I began wrapping the black rope around the white rope. I made four wraps in all. This knot is fine with anywhere from three to five wraps.



When I was finished with the wraps, I took the standing part of the black rope and fed it through the loop in the end I was just wrapping.


Then, I pulled on the standing part to add some weight. And that's the Klemheist knot.



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Mariner's Knot

This knot isn't used on the open sea. The name is thought to be derived from the man who invented the knot. This is one rescuers use when attempting to relieve the weight from a climber who has fallen. It's used in conjunction with either the Prusik knot or the Klemheist knot.

To tie this knot, I first made a bight in my rope and then made two wraps around the carabiner.


Then, with the working end of the rope, I made a pass over the standing part.


After that, I made a wrap around the standing part with the working end.


And finally, I tucked the working end through the ropes of the standing part.



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Penberthy Knot

I've seen this knot tied a few different ways, so I picked one. If you have a different method, please let me know by responding to this post. This is somewhat of an esoteric knot. I swear, sometimes I think people sit around coming up with new ways to do something just for the heck of it. I'm not sure why anyone would want to tie this knot, but here it is.

To tie this knot, I first wrapped the thicker rope five times with the orange thinner rope.


Then I made a loop with the standing part of the orange rope.


After that, I fed the working end of the orange rope through the loop in the standing part.


I went around the loop and through again.


Finally, I pulled both ends tight and this is what I ended up with.


As I was researching this knot, I did find a variation. This one below is probably correct. As I went through the loop, I missing one step. Take a look.

Penberthy knot.JPG

This is a corrected version of mine above.




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Munter Friction Hitch

If you don't own a figure 8 repelling device or if you only repel a few times here and there, the Munter Hitch is an excellent option for using your climbing rope and a carabiner to get yourself down a cliff or down a tree. This is a safe hitch that has great stopping power. The only downside of it is that it adds a lot of friction to a climbing rope, which can wear it out. There's less rope on rope friction when using a figure 8. But, if a carabiner is all you have, you may want to use this.

There are many methods for tying this knot and what I'm going to show you below isn't necessarily the best. I would personally hook into this differently if I were in a tree, but this is fine for today's demonstration.

To tie this knot, I first made a bend in my rope. Notice exactly which part goes on top and which part goes underneath.


Next, I clipped the carabiner around the standing part of the rope.


Next, I took hold of the bend and flipped it over. I brought the top part toward me and the bottom part away. I then clipped through the loop.


I pulled the ends tight and that's it.



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Double Munter Friction Hitch

If you've got a thinner climbing rope, you may want to try out the Double Munter Hitch because it'll give you more friction due to the additional rope surface area. The single version of this hitch might not give you enough stopping power. This is actually an easier version to tie than the previous one because there's no "flip" of the loop. It's merely making two loops and then clicking your carabiner onto the rope that does the trick.

To tie this knot, I first made two loops with my rope. Notice which direction the rope ends go.


I then clipped the carabiner onto the standing part of the rope.


Next, I brought the top part of the carabiner under the bottom part of the loops and clipped them into it.


I pulled both ends of the rope tight and I was finished.



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Heddon Knot

This knot is very similar to the Prusik knot as well as the Penberthy knot in that it can lock one rope to another while climbing either cliffs or trees. I actually like this knot. I've never heard of it nor have I ever seen it before, but it's simple to tie and it appears to be effective. One thing to note; it only works in one direction, so keep that in mind.

For this knot, I'll be using a prusik loop. Either the loop or a prusik with eye ends is fine. The orange rope will be the prusik loop and the white rope will be the climbing line.

To tie this knot, I first made a bight in the orange rope and placed that bight under the climbing line.


I then folded the bight downward and took the standing part of the orange rope and made a half wrap around the climbing line to cover the bight.


I continued to feed the standing part of the orange rope around the climbing rope.


Finally, I continued wrapping the standing part of the orange rope around the climbing rope and fed it through the bight.


To tighten this knot, I pulled the standing part away from the climbing line.



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Double Heddon Knot

The Double Heddon knot is the same as the Single Heddon knot, but with one additional wrap. This is an abbreviated post because I already gave away most of what you need to do directly above. Obviously, being a "double" version of a knot, it's going to be stronger. Beware though; because there's an additional wrap with this one, it's more difficult to loosen to use while climbing. So there's a trade-off.

To tie this knot, I first placed the bight in my orange prusik beneath the white climbing rope.


Then, I gave the climbing rope two wraps with the orange prusik.


After that, I fed the standing part of the prusik through the bight.


And finally, I tightened and dressed the knot.



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Square Knot

This isn't your regular Square knot. This is a more elaborate version. It's also called the Rustler's knot, Japanese Crown knot, Japanese Success knot, Chinese Cross knot, and the Chinese Good Luck knot. That's a lot of names. I'm not sure when you would want to use this knot, but it sure is fun to tie and to look at. People would most like use this for ornamental purposes, but it is quite strong as well.

As it isn't the easiest thing in the world to write out how to tie this knot, it may be more straightforward to just look at the pictures and try to tie it yourself. I will attempt to explain the instructions though.

To start off, I made bights in both ropes. Then, I interwove those ropes. Notice which part of each rope is on top and on bottom.


Next, I took the working end of the orange rope, bent it again, and placed it on top of the working end of the black rope.


Then, I bent the black rope over the working end of the orange rope and then fed the working end of the black rope through the first bend in the orange rope. This is a loose version of the Square knot.


To finish the knot, I carefully and slowly pulled all of the ends of the ropes. Eventually, they tightened into this beauty.



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Granny Knot

We've all tied this knot. It's an easy one. It's a knot they say is no good. They say it tightens so tight that it can never be untied or that it slips out and is completely worthless. I wouldn't advise using this knot, but it's helpful to know what it is. This is the knot you basically use to tie your shoes, but when doing that, you'd add two draw loops. When those loops come loose, you end up with this.

To tie this knot, I first crossed the two ends of the rope.


Then, I wrapped one around the other.


Then, I crossed the two ends again. Notice which end is on top of which.


After one more wrap, I've got a loose Granny knot.


After pulling all of the ends to tighten it, I'm done.



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Reef Knot (Square Knot)

The Reef knot is very similar to the Granny knot above, but according to the book, this one holds better. They say you shouldn't use this to attach two ropes together, only to bind something. It's an easy knot to tie. So easy, in fact, that I'm going to leave the beginning photos out of this post. It's almost identical to the knot above. When viewing the photos below, keep an eye on where the ends of the rope lies. On top and on the bottom make a difference.

When tying this knot, follow the instructions for the Granny knot above. At the point of crossing the rope ends a second time, place the right side over and the left side under, as opposed to the other way around. Then finish tightening the knot by pulling the ends.




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Thief Knot

Here's a question for you. What's the difference between the Reef knot and the Thief knot? The answer is, the working ends of the ropes are on the same side with the Reef knot, but opposite sides with the Thief knot. Neither of these knots is very good at staying tied. I just finished tying the Thief knot and when I was done, I pulled both ropes apart. The working ends twisted right out, so I wouldn't depend on this one for anything that truly matters. It's fun to tie though.

To tie this knot, I first made a bend in one end of my rope.


Then I fed the working end of the other side of the rope through the bend.


After that, I fed the same working end under and around both parts of the bend.


I continued feeding that working end up and around the standing part of the bend, and then back through it. To finish, I pulled all ends until the knot was tight.



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Grief Knot

This should be called the Good Grief knot. It's probably the worst I've ever tied. Once completed, it rolls right out when the ends of the rope are pulled. And it doesn't even take any strength to do so. It's worse than the Granny knot, Thief knot, and the Reef knot. I'm not sure why they teach this one; probably to show people what not to do.

Anyway, to tie this knot, I first made a bend in one side of my rope.


After that, I took the working end of the other side of my rope and fed it through the bend.


Then, I fed that working end around and under the working end of the bend. I continued to feed it over the standing part of the bend.


Finally, I fed the working end around and under the standing part of the bend and then through the bend again.


I pulled tight on all ends of the rope and had myself a completed Grief knot.


Looks interesting. Terrible knot.


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Pole Lashing

This is a fun knot to tie. It's really meant for a number of poles, rods, or anything else that needs to be held together. Think of tent poles or the like. This knot squeezes the individual objects together to keep them in place. For this example, I used my trusted log because I didn't have poles.

Anyway, to tie this knot, I first made two bends with my rope and then placed the log on top of them. You'd place your tent poles on the rope instead of a log. Unless, of course, you'd like to bind some logs together.


I then flipped one of the bends up and over the log and fed the same side working end through the bend.


I did the same for the other side and pulled the working ends tight, so the rope was snug.


Then, with the two working ends, I began tying a Reef knot.


When I finished tying the Reef knot, I had a completed Pole lashing.