Since the early days of mariners, man has relied on ropes with strong knots to get things done. There are a ton of different knots for different applications, but in this article I will discuss some of the best knots for backpacking and climbing. Knowing these five knots could really help you get out of a bind.
The first knot is rather simple and is known as the bowline knot. Don’t let the simplicity of this not trick you into thinking it is weak. This powerful knot has been used for centuries for men of the sea to attach their vessels to docks across the globe. This knot is useful when attaching a rope to an object such a rock or a tree.
#2 The Clove Hitch
The next best knot for backpacking is known as the Clove Hitch. This is another easy knot, but unlike the bowline it is known to act erratic in high stress situations or when the rope is wet. If holding over 1,000 pounds the clove hitch has the potential to slip. It is recommended to be used with climber weight or below. It is perfect for hanging your pack at camp.
#3 Flat Overhand
The Flat Overhand knot is great for joining to separate sections of rope together, although some may argue that this knot is prone to failure. It will be less likely to fail if you inspect the knot and ensure that you have long tails, upwards of 10″, on the end of the knot. Make sure you use this knot only for temporary joining of rope and try and stick to only working with body weight loads or lighter.
#4 The Figure 8 Follow Through
When you are climbing, this knot is the most commonly used method to attach a rope to your harness. It is easily recognizable from its curving parallel lines that create a symmetry unlike no other knot. It is really easy to teach and learn. Pay extra attention when dressing this knot to ensure the full strength capabilities are met. Extremely secure, this knot is a great choice to use in your arsenal of tricks when climbing.
#5 The Double Bowline with a Yosemite Finish
One of the strongest knots on this list, and one of the most difficult to learn, then double bowline with a Yosemite finish is a perfect knot for attaching a climber to a rope. When tied correctly this knot is extremely strong and predictable, always failing right after your initial two loops. To a beginner it made be difficult to examine this knot and be able to tell if has been tied correctly. A total of five steps makes this knot take a little longer to accomplish, but the strength makes it well worth it for group climbing.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
Sir Rannulph Fiennes
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