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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

All Tied Up In Knots

I've been brushing up on my knots.  I was snooping around the Internet and found this post titled, "Essential Knots for Survival."  It's a post on some knots needed for making a lean-to in a bamboo forest(?).

Don't scoff!

No, I don't see myself in a field of bamboo anytime soon, but the knots this guy demonstrates are pretty damned impressive.  My only problem is, I don't see a regular use for them.  If you don't use them regularly, you're not going to practice them.  If you don't practice them, you'll forget how to make them!

I think his demonstration video on the Pipe Hitch (securing the rope to the bamboo stalks) is excellent, but would be seldom used.  The Pile Hitch, on the other hand is simple to use and secure.  I can see using it to secure a ridgepole for a shelter.

I did a post a number of years back on knots ("Knotty Problems").  In it, I discussed and provided links on how to make and use the five knots I use - and practice - the most:  Square knot, Bowline, Trucker's Hitch, Trilene Knot and Surgeon's Loop.

I've got an update for it.  I rarely use the Bowline any more.  If I need a secure loop, I use the Surgeon's Loop.  Brain-dead easy to make, and it never fails.

I've also added a knot:  the Tautline Hitch.  I have no idea how I left it off the original list, as I use it a lot.

Photo credit:
In the original article, I noted that I almost exclusively used to learn and perfect knots.  I now use at least as much, if not more.

Accept The Challenge

It's amazing how often knots are needed.  A run to the dumps needs a secured load.  Pitch a tent, and you need to ensure it won't come down on your head.  Fishing, fishing and more fishing.

I have a monthly alert on my calendar that says, "Practice knots."  It's a handy reminder to take a quick run through the knots I want to stay proficient with, but haven't used in a while.  I spend perhaps a half hour going through them.

Like most skills, knot tying is a perishable one.  Practice makes proficient!

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