Six Survival Knots You Need to Know How to Tie


If you’re involved in anything remotely outdoorsy then knowing how to tie a few basic knots can make your life a lot easier. But in an emergency or survival situation it can also be the difference between surviving or (k)not! Whether it be knowing how to join two short lengths of rope together to tow something. Or securing an important load to the roof rack of your car, there is a knot for every occasion.

As the video says if you can’t tie a knot then don’t fall for the mistake of tying a lot!

Here are 6 survival knots that are pretty simple to learn. If you only want to learn one or two of them, just click on the relevant image and the video will start from the right place to watch how to tie that specific knot.

Six Survival Knots You Need to Know How to Tie


1. Half Hitch


Starting off simple here. You’ll already know how to tie a half hitch knot, even if you don’t know what it’s called. Via Repairs101


2. Square Knot (A.K.A. Reef Knot)


Via Repairs101. Our note: This is not one to use if you’re say lowering a person over a cliff. As the reef not is so named as it’s used to “reef” sails. That is to tie part of a sail down, but so that the sailor can release the knot by pulling it with one hand. The sail’s weight would make the collapsed knot come apart. But this is what makes the reef knot unsafe for connecting two ropes together. Even though it is commonly used for this it’s far from ideal for that purpose. 


3. Sheet Bend


This is definitely one we need to learn ourselves. The sheet bend is ideal for joining 2 pieces of rope of differing thickness together. Via Repairs101


3a. Double Sheet Bend


If you need to tow something really heavy with a lot of load on it then you go around twice with the thinner rope for a double sheet bend knot. The great thing about the sheet bend knots are how easily they still come apart when you’re done. Via Repairs101


4. Bowline


The bowline is ideal for when you need to make a loop in the end of a rope. Via Repairs101 (The name comes from the boating term for a knot to fasten a mooring line to a ring or post.)


5. Clove Hitch


The Clove Hitch is a great knot for securing say a boat or horse to a pole. Don’t try using the half hitch for this as your boat will float away or your horse will do a runner! Via Repairs101


6. BackHand Hitch


If you have a roof rack, you’ll want to learn the Backhand Hitch. It’s ideal for tying a ladder or even a kayak, stand up paddle board etc to your roof rack. Or anything that needs to be attached to a pole. It takes very high loads but will still untie very easily. Via Repairs101


So get practicing. There’s a couple of these we want to perfect ourselves.

There’s also a nifty knot tying app which is one of our recommended 10 Smartphone Apps for Emergency Preparation & Survival Use. So that’s a handy one to have on hand if you’re trying to learn a few new knots to tie. Check it out here:

10 Smartphone Apps for Emergency Preparation & Survival Use

Any other knots you’d recommend? Leave a comment below and share it with everyone!


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