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Camping is a mixture of survival and adventure, so you need some basic skills to get you through. Learning camping knots is an important part of those skills that will come in handy, so we’ve found 9 of the most common. With these essential camping knots you’ll be able to get through any tricky situation, so take some time to learn them before your next trip outdoors.
#9: Backpacker’s Hitch
The trick for this one is in the name, and it’s a great one to use for hiking and camping. This one can secure a rope around a tree which means you can use to tie tarps, tents, showers, clotheslines, and gear bags up.
With a single piece of rope, start with the loose end and make three wraps over the other the pole or tree you’re using. Tuck the loose end underneath the last loop and fasten further. To untie, you can simply remove the loose end from underneath and unwrap it.
#8: Square Knot
Sometimes, the best camping knots are the simplest. That’s exactly what the square knot offers – simplicity. This is used to tie two pieces of rope together, like tying something to your pack or tying down a pocket blanket or tarp.
Grab the ends of both pieces of rope, take the left one under the right two times, then right over left and under once more. Take the left part of the rope, tie it over the right and then wrap completely around. Grab the right side of the rope, place it over the left, and then wrap underneath to finish.
#7: Overhand On A Bight
The name might sound a little tricky but the method sure isn’t. if you’re in need of a knot that’s secure but also adjustable, the overhand on a bight is ideal. You can tie it and untie it just as easily and it’s perfect for beginners. Common uses include tying down tent stakes or anything else that requires an adjustable loop.
To create an overhand on a bight, take the end of the rope and make a large loop with it, tying the end securely to create the adjustable bight.
#6: Girth Hitch
There are many names for the girth hitch, including lark’s head knot or the cow hitch, and it’s one of the best knots to know for camping. These are incredibly strong and is used to make loops more secure around everything from loops in your pack to large trees. They work for all girths, despite the name, and are extremely versatile.
Start with the middle of the rope and wrap it around the tree. With the loop you just made, pull the ends through it. You’ve successfully made a girth hitch.
#5: Surgeon’s Knot
Although it sounds like it’d be more useful for a surgeon, these knives are actually better used for camping or tying your boot laces together securely. What makes it so strong is that it won’t slide around which usually happens when you tie two pieces of rope together.
Take your first rope, grab the left end and wrap it around the right side two times. Now grab the new right side you’ve created and wrap it once around the left side. This is the simplicity of the surgeon’s knot.
#4: Bowline Knot
If you need a secure knot where the loop won’t move, the bowline knot is the way to go. This is a style of rescue knot and one that is extremely valuable for a camper or hiker to know. They can secure your canoe or help you tie off a bear bag, making them extremely versatile.
To make a bowline knot, create a standard loop in the rope. Grab the loose end of the rope, put it through the middle of the loop, wrap it all the way around, and then pull it back down through the loop.
#3: Sheet Bend
Have you ever been out camping and needed a long rope for something, only to find you just have two smaller ones? The sheet band can come to the rescue here as it’s adept at tying two pieces of ropes together securely.
Take two ropes, grab one in one hand and make a bight with the larger one. Push the small rope end up through the bight and then wrap it around the back of the bigger one. Pull through the loop you’ve just made.
#2: Taut Line Hitch
This is a knot that will get a lot of use in the great outdoors and is created to help secure things down. The end result will give you an adjustable length and can secure things like tent stakes, bear bags, clotheslines, or just keep your gear tied down.
To make a taut line hitch, find your tree and grab the loose end of the rope. Tie it completely around the tree and then wrap the end of it around the rope two times inside the loop you just created.
#1: Miller’s Bend
This knot will keep a bag securely closed but also give you the option to open and close it repeatedly without losing that security. The Miller’s bend can be loosened easily and then tightened back again which makes it perfect for camping bags.
Grab the end of the rope and wrap it around the bag where you want it to open and close. Make an X in the front of the bag with the rope. Wrap the rope around the bag again in the same direction and then tuck the end of it through the X.