5 Essential Knots You Must Learn

 5 Essential Knots You Must Learn

There are many knots that I believe to be essential to learn for survival and each has its own use. Below you will find 5 essential knots you must learn. Once you have mastered these start expanding your knowledge with other knots.

Why learn different knots? Simply put, the correct knot in a survival situation could literally save your life.

Reef Knot (Square Knot)

Learn to make a reef knot

The Reef knot is a simple but useful knot to learn. It can be used to both ends of a single line together to secure something but should NEVER be used to connect two seperate lines as some suggest.

“Right over left, left over right, makes a knot both tidy and tight”

Due to the fact that the Reef knot lies flat it is great for tying bandages for first aid. To tie the Reef knot, follow the steps below:

  1. Place the right end over the left and then back under the left.
  2. Place the left end over the right and then back under the right. At this point the two loops should slide on each other.
  3. Tighten the knot by pulling both strands on each side of the knot.


How to tie a Bowline knot

Another easy but useful knot for creating a fixed loop at the end of a rope is the Bowline. This knot can be used in an emergency to hoist a person to safety, since the loop can slipped over a victim’s torso, under the armpits, and it will not tighten around the victim’s chest and prevent breathing.

“Up through the rabbit hole, round the big tree; down through the rabbit hole and off goes he”

Learn to tie the bowline knot by following the steps in the image below:

Bowline knot tying

Figure 8

Learn to tie the figure 8 knot

The figure 8 knot is both strong and simple which is why it makes my list of essential knots to learn. This is what is known as a stopper knot as it will stop the knot from slipping through a hole. Follow the steps below to make your own figure 8 knot:

  1. Pass the tail over itself to form a loop.
  2. Continue under and around the standing end.
  3. Complete the knot by passing the tail down through the loop.

Sheet Bend

Learn to tie the sheet bend

The Sheet Bend can be used to join two lines of different thicknesses. You’ll want the ends of each line to be facing the same direction for maximum security.

How to tie a sheet bend knot

Taut Line Hitch

Learn to tie the taut line hitch

The taut-line hitch is an adjustable loop knot for use on lines under tension. It is useful when the length of a line will need to be periodically adjusted in order to maintain tension.

It can be used for many tasks from securing tent lines whilst camping to tying down aircraft an securing loads on vehicles.

  1. Make a turn around a post or other object several feet from the free end.
  2. Coil the free end twice around the standing line working back toward the post.
  3. Make one additional coil around the standing line on the outside of the coils just made.
  4. Tighten the knot and slide it on the standing line to adjust tension.

Taut Line Hitch instructions


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