5 Helpful Knots Everyone Should Know

Editor’s Note: It was brought to our attention that the Bowline Knot in our video was incomplete! A big thank you to our eagle-eye readers for catching this! *We’ve added a Bowline tutorial at the bottom of this post, to learn how to tie the correct version. 

If the only knot you know involves tying your shoes, you’re “knot” alone.

Knot tying is a skill that very few people have, even though it is an invaluable asset that could possibly save a life one day.

Luckily, our friend Kevin created this great step-by-step video that shows us in detail how to tie five of his favorite helpful knots.


All of them can be found in the Boy Scout Handbook, and Kevin recommends picking up a copy of that book.

Kevin’s knots are:

  • Bowline Knot. This one is easy to tie and untie, and it forms a secure loop that won’t jam. It’s one of the four basic maritime knots.
  • 2 Half-Hitches. Also known as a binding knot or hitch knot, it consists of an overhand knot tied around a post, followed by a half-hitch.
  • Taut-Line Hitch. This is an adjustable loop knot for use on lines under tension. It’s especially helpful when the length of a line needs to be periodically adjusted to maintain tension.
  • Figure 8. This one, which is easily untied, is a type of stopper knot. It is important for rock climbing and sailing in terms of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices.
  • Trucker’s Hitch. Used by truckers to secure heavy loads in place, it works equally well tying canoes and other objects to the tops of cars.

Hundreds of different types of knots have been created through the years to fasten one thing to another or to secure one loose item to a stationary object. And are especially useful in survival situations. You can utilize knots to help drag game along with you to your campsite or to rescue someone from a rapidly moving stream.

You can use string or rope, but also just about anything long and flexible, including ribbon and even hair.

I love some of the names of knots. My favorites include Beer Knot, Bunny Ears, Cat’s Paw, European Death Knot, Granny Knot, Knot of Isis, Monkey’s Fist and Simple Simon Under.

What are your thoughts? What other knots are important to learn not only for survival- but daily life or work?


*Bowline Knot Tutorial:


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