Chapter 10

Common Survival Knots

Being able to tie a good knot is so often useful in survival situations. They can help us better secure a shelter, keep things off the ground, cross rivers, and even create make-shift clotheslines.

In this chapter, we’ll learn the most common knots from the bowline knot to the double half hitch and the weaver’s knot (or double sheet bend).

How To Tie Knots

Bowline Knot

The bowline knot is one of the most versatile – a fixed knot that will prevent slipping.

Bowline Knot

You can tie it with one hand, making it convenient in some survival situations. It’s handy for tying things up when you want them to hang. It could be useful for making shelters or keeping bags of food off the ground, too.

  • Take your rope and make a loop. Pass the end part of the rope (on top of the loop) through the loop from underneath, leaving a big loop and a small loop.
  • Take this same end and pass it under and over the other piece of rope.
  • Pass the end through the small loop again.
  • Pull the ends to secure the knot, holding the one you have been moving against the big loop.

Double half hitch

The double half hitch knot is an adjustable knot that you use in conjunction with a standing support, for example, a pole or a tree. It is easy to tie and secure as long as there is tension.


  • Wrap the rope around the tree to create a bight. A bight is a squashed loop.
  • Pass the rope’s end under the other piece of rope, and then through the loop you created, and tighten towards the tree by pulling.
  • Create a further loop and tighten.

Weaver’s knot/Double sheet bend

This knot is for when you have short lengths of rope, and you need something longer. Unlike some other knots, it’s also easy to undo, making it more reusable and allowing you versatility in the wild.

Doublesheet Bend

  • If you have two ropes of different thicknesses, take the thicker one and make a bight at the end, with the end of the rope away from you.
  • Take the thinner piece of rope. Poke it up through the middle of the bight.
  • Pass it over the side farthest away from you, under the bottom of the bight, and poke it back through the thin rope you have passed over the bight.
  • Repeat step 3 to make it a double.
  • Pull the ends to tighten the knot.

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Common Survival Knots

Once you’re capable of tying expert knots, move on to the rule of threes

The rule of threes is a tactic to help you consider the most important things to prioritize when you pack.

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