Mastering three simple knots

Whether it be for camping, securing objects or a fun hobby, knot tying is a special skill to have

Discovery Place

Whether camping, carrying and securing objects, or simply keeping your hands busy, tying knots can be very fun. Today we are going to learn a few basic knots that you can expand on as you master them.

When you are camping, knot tying can be one of the most important skills to have. One of the most common uses for knot tying when you are in the woods is to secure your food at night in a bear bag. It holds the food off the ground and away from animals. Knots can also be important to secure your belongings and your shelter.

The knots that we will be going over today are the square knot, slip knot, and the half hitch. The slip knot is typically used to temporarily secure objects and create snares if needed. The square knot is used to secure two objects together, it is also where most people start when they are tying their shoes. Finally, the half hitch is not typically used on its own but when used with other knots it can secure moorings and can be used in general to tie and secure most objects.

Knots, as difficult or simple as they may seem, can actually have a lot of science going on in the background. Just a few of the forces that act on knots are friction and tension. Friction is the force of two objects moving against each other.

This comes into effect as the area of the knot is pulled and tightens in order to hold the knot in place. Except for a few exceptions, knots are meant to be tied and stay tied under stress, unless the knot is intentionally untied. In a similar way, tension is the act of tightening. The tension of the rope works together with friction to keep the knot tied. The main way that knots get tightened is through forces acting against the location where the knot is tied.

Today we will be learning how to tie a few basic knots that may be helpful when you are camping or in your regular life.

Here is what we will need for this activity:

  • Rope or string
  • Something to tie onto.

Steps Needed:

Slip Knot

  • Take both ends of your rope, one in each hand
  • Put the right end over the left length of rope and make an x
  • Move the right end under the loop in the rope to your right hand again.
  • Hold onto the large loop in the rope with your left hand and put the right end through the small loop and pull tight.
  • The knot should be able to slide back and forth along the length of the rope to make the loop tighter or looser

Square Knot

  • Take an end of the rope in both hands
  • Cross the right end of the rope over the left rope and wrap once under and back over.
  • Take the new ends in each hand and repeat the process.
  • Pull to tighten

Two half hitches

  • Wrap your rope around a support
  • Pass the right end of the rope under the left rope, over, and back into the loop that you have.
  • Repeat, passing the end through the new loop you create. Pull to tighten.

Now that you have gotten the hang of a few knots I encourage you to explore other knots and see how you may be able to use them in your day-to-day life.

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