Knowing a few basic knots can make your camping experience much more convenient and enjoyable. So get yourself a piece of rope and practice these five easy-to-learn knots as you follow the animated instructions. And in no time you’ll be ready to hit the wild!

Whether you want to better secure your tent, simply hang a washing line, or rig up a decent awning to shelter your family from the sun, you can bet your bottom dollar there’s a knot involved. This is especially true when the weather takes a turn for the worse and you need to firmly anchor your entire campsite down! And, while the old adage “the best knot for the situation is the one you know” is so true – the bottom line is when you use the right knot for the correct application it always does a much better job.

Fortunately, learning how to tie a few basic knots isn’t complicated, all it takes is a little practice. And, while these five camping knots are by no means the extent of what you need to know to become an accomplished outdoorsman or woman, they at least give you a good head start! So get yourself a piece of rope or string, take a chill moment out of your busy work week and follow the animated GIF instructions below – apart from being a fun exercise, getting them right will ensure you’re better prepared next time you head for the wild.

1. Reef (or square) knot
You’ve most probably known this one since you started school without even realising it. That’s because we all use it to tie our shoe laces, but with bows. And we all know what happens when we get it wrong – we end up with a granny knot that’s almost impossible to get undone!

This basic knot has been around for thousands of years and is perfect for practical applications like tying bundles of wood together. And, as it lies flat when tied in fabrics, it’s a great knot to use when securing bandages. However, it has to be used under tension otherwise it slips.

2. Sheet bend
If you want to join two lengths of rope with different diameters together, then the sheet bend is the only knot to use. You can use it to lengthen a guy line on your tent, or fix snapped hiking boot laces with a bit of string you have stashed in your backpack.

3. Round turn and two half hitches
The round turn and two half hitches is your go-to knot for securing a rope end to virtually any fixed object such a tree branch, column or post. When applied correctly it’s strong and doesn’t slip, but it’s also easy to untie even after being subjected to heavy loads.

4. Bowline
Another basic camping knot, the bowline, makes a secure loop that doesn’t slip or jam when under tension. So if you want a loop that doesn’t get tighter or loosen under a load, but is really easy to undo, then this is your best bet. Three uses include securely hanging items off your backpack, attaching guy lines to your tent, or rigging an emergency harness to pull someone out of a sinkhole they fell into. However, this versatile knot can be used in many different situations, all it requires is a little imagination!

5. Taut line hitch
Chances are you’ll use the taut line hitch more often than you realise. As it’s an adjustable knot, it allows you to conveniently change the tension of any rope that’s attached between two objects – so you can use it whenever it’s important to pull a line tight should it sag. Other uses include securing the guy lines on your dining fly, putting a tarp over your tent for extra protection should it rain hard and rigging a washing line.

On an interesting note, this knot is also popular with those who need to tie down aircraft or adjust boat moorings at the coast where the tide changes. And when astronauts repaired the Hubble Space Telescope, they used it to prevent themselves from spinning out of control into space. – (c) 2017 NavWorld

GIF Credits: Cool of the Wild

About The Author

Sean Woods

Originally a photographer for the Star newspaper in the bad old days, Sean Woods turned to writing after the first democratic elections in '94. The career shift paid serious dividends, culminating in him becoming associate editor for Popular Mechanics magazine with a number of technology writing awards under his belt. His interests include anything to do with boats, motorcycles and all those fancy tech gadgets that help the modern world go around.

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