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You're Knot Tying

Knowing how to tie the correct knot at the right time on the first try is an essential skill if you want to be useful and look cool while doing it. There is a solid handful of truly great knots and then there are about a million more. Don’t get carried away. 

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Objective

Slow is smooth, Smooth is fast

Learn what a "bight" is

Tie a Sheet Bend

Tie a Figure 8

What you need

Patience

2 or 3 lengths of rope

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.

― Abraham Lincoln

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The Great Knots

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The great knots are elegant in their simplicity. A good rule of thumb for kids is: if it takes longer than 15 seconds, it’s not going to be helpful when they need it. The grownup version is: if it takes longer than you can hold your breath, it won’t save your life. If you’re showing off with complexity, you’re better suited to be a birthday party clown than a sailor of the seven seas.

Knots are fantastic puzzles for children because lying on the opposite side of a rat’s nest of physics is a lesson in logic, focus, and discipline. The end product makes sense. They are challenging and fun and reward repetition. Unless you’re a barrel chested freedom fighter, this will likely be the first time you get to tell your kid, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”

Tie into a harness, secure a tent, fix a broken shoelace. Knots are the outdoorsman’s risk management toolkit. With the proper training, the piece of rope can be like a Swiss Army knife that you can take on a plane.

mael-balland-1156932-unsplash

The Great Knots

The great knots are elegant in their simplicity. A good rule of thumb for kids is: if it takes longer than 15 seconds, it’s not going to be helpful when they need it. The grownup version is: if it takes longer than you can hold your breath, it won’t save your life. If you’re showing off with complexity, you’re better suited to be a birthday party clown than a sailor of the seven seas.

Knots are fantastic puzzles for children because lying on the opposite side of a rat’s nest of physics is a lesson in logic, focus, and discipline. The end product makes sense. They are challenging and fun and reward repetition. Unless you’re a barrel chested freedom fighter, this will likely be the first time you get to tell your kid, “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”

Tie into a harness, secure a tent, fix a broken shoelace. Knots are the outdoorsman’s risk management toolkit. With the proper training, the piece of rope can be like a Swiss Army knife that you can take on a plane.

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The Sheet Bend

Our first knot is the sheet bend. If you need to tie two pieces of rope together, look no further.  This knot is superior to the square knot because it allows for ropes with different diameters and can handle a greater load.

  1. Make a bight (fold the rope back like it did a u-turn and hold the two pieces next to each other like opposite lanes of a road) with the thicker rope.
  2. Coming from the direction of the bight, pass the thin rope through the thick rope bight.
  3. Wrap the thin rope around the bight and tuck it in under itself.
  4. Hold the thick end and pull the thin rope to tighten.

The Sheet Bend

manuel-sardo-515223-unsplash

Our first knot is the sheet bend. If you need to tie two pieces of rope together, look no further.  This knot is superior to the square knot because it allows for ropes with different diameters and can handle a greater load.

  1. Make a bight (fold the rope back like it did a u-turn and hold the two pieces next to each other like opposite lanes of a road) with the thicker rope.
  2. Coming from the direction of the bight, pass the thin rope through the thick rope bight.
  3. Wrap the thin rope around the bight and tuck it in under itself.
  4. Hold the thick end and pull the thin rope to tighten.

The Figure Eight

Our second (and personal favorite) is the Figure 8 knot. First of all, it looks like an 8. Secondly, the follow through portion is oddly satisfying. This knot is essential for climbing but can be put to use in a variety of other scenarios. It’s also easy to untie so the repeatability factor is huge.

  1. Take an arms worth of rope and make a bight.
  2. Take the shorter end and pass it around the longer end and up through the loop.
  3. Pull both sides to adjust the knot.
  4. The finished knot resembles and “8”
  5. Take the short end and double it back and trace it through the knot.
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The Figure Eight

knot-913362

Our second (and personal favorite) is the Figure 8 knot. First of all, it looks like an 8. Secondly, the follow through portion is oddly satisfying. This knot is essential for climbing but can be put to use in a variety of other scenarios. It’s also easy to untie so the repeatability factor is huge.

  1. Take an arms worth of rope and make a bight.
  2. Take the shorter end and pass it around the longer end and up through the loop.
  3. Pull both sides to adjust the knot.
  4. The finished knot resembles and “8”
  5. Take the short end and double it back and trace it through the knot.

Need some additional help?

Check out this awesome video from our friends over at REI and Boy's Life:

Go build your Strong. Happy. Family.

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