onsdag 6 september 2017

Some (better) alternatives to the common outdoor knots

There are some very commonly used knots out there. Some which almost everyone uses but which are not really the most efficient when we are out in the wild. The most common problem is untying them. When you set up and take down camp everyday for many weeks all these small things gets tiresome.

So here follows some knots to replace the most common ones. I don't know the name of all of them unfortunately.

Before I start. Here are some terms I use which is good to know. Explanation taken from wikipedia.


A bight is any curved section, slack part, or loop between the ends of a rope, string, or yarn.

Standing end

The standing end is the longer end of the rope not involved in the knot, often shown as unfinished. It is often (but not always) the end of the rope under load after the knot is complete.

Standing part

Section of line between knot and the standing end (seen above).

Working end

The active end of a line used in making the knot. May also be called the 'running end', 'live end', or 'tag end'.

Working part

Section of line between knot and the working end.

The Sami knot

Replaces: Sheet bend and sometimes square knot.
I found this one in a poorly translated book, if someone knows another name of it, please let me know.
This knot is extremely simple. It's great for joining lines, both of same and different thickness. It's less prone to slip than the sheet bend and square knot and it has a quick release end which works amazingly well. Try it and I promise you'll love it.
Great for extending tarp lines or pretty much any situation when you need to join two ends.

Make a bight on one end (the thicker one if using different lines)

Go over and then under the bight with the other end as in the picture.

Using the same line, grab the middle (between the end and the knot) and pull it through the bight. But don't pull the end through.

Tighten it by pushing everything towards the top of the bight.

Finish it up by pulling the parts to tighten it. The right end on the picture is used to release it.

Angler's loop

Replaces: Bowline knot
Angler's loop is a fixed loop which is quick and easy to tie. Here I show two methods. The first one if you are not tying around anything and the other one when you are. I've added a small quick-release on this one too which I've not seen others use.

Put the line as shown. The lower (big) loop is the fixed final loop we get in the end.

Take the middle of the loose end and make a bight over the intersection.

Take the big loop over the bight you just made and put it through the small loop.
Tighten everything up. You now have a quick release. Though it won't release the whole knot.

Here is how you make the angler's loop around an object.

Make an overhand knot on the standing part then move the working end around the object and back.

Put the line through the overhand knot from above. Then cross the standing part.

Make a bight on the working part and move it from the left through the two loops in the overhand knot.

Ferrimond Friction Hitch

Replaces: Tautline hitch
This one is my new favorite! I used to use the taut line hitch a lot, for like everything. But it takes a while to make and it takes a while to undo. This one is faster to make and it releases in an instant.
This is used for tarps and tents and has the fantastic ability to be easy to adjust the tension with.
This one was too hard to explain with photos so take a look here:

Quick release hitch

Replaces: Timber hitch
Timber hitch is another one of those knots which are easy to tie and easy to untie, but really could be a bit faster, especially with a long end.
Honestly I don't know the name of this one. I've read quick release hitch sometimes and sometime I heard something about Siberian hitch or something which I forgot.
This one does about the same thing, it's easier to release and it can even be tied and released with gloves.

Put the line around the tree or anything else. Make sure you have the working part away from yourself.

Loop the working end around your hand. First over then back under and over again.

Bring the loop around the standing part and grab the working part.

Pull it through, but not the end of the line.

Tighten it up and slip it against the tree. Pull the quick release to untie.

Tripod lashing

Replaces: Traditional tripod lashing
This is another one I don't know the name of, it's from the same poorly translated book as the Sami knot. So let me know if you know, I'm sure it has a name.
There is nothing that annoys me more than to undo someones tripod made with triple 8s around the poles and lots of fraps. That kind is extremely effective but not very efficient. It uses a lot of line and it takes a long time to make and undo. Not ideal if you make a new tripod at each camp. But very good for one you keep standing the year around.
This one is easy to make and undo, really tight and with only half the line used in a traditional lashing.
Put the poles as in the picture, two side by side and one crossed over.
Set the line under them like in the picture. Measure the distance of one end of the line so it's a good length for the pot loop if you hang the pot from the same line.
Move the ends through the opposite bight. What you have now are actually two opposite Munter hitches.
Move the two hitches next to each other and tighten them by pulling to the sides, not up.

Now cross the lines over to the opposite side, tighten it a bit at this stage. Then continue under the poles and back. Pull hard at one end at a time to tighten it more.
Finnish it off by tying a square knot while keeping the tension. Here I've coiled the excess line so it won't hang in the fire.