Features How To

3 KNOTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

BECAUSE RATCHET STRAPS ARE FOR HIPSTERS

When you’re camping in remote locations, or even when you prefer to head away for an easy weekender, sooner or later you’re going to need to know how to tie a knot or three. Here are our top three knots that we’ve found incredibly useful in a few different situations over the years.

For images, video and the full Unsealed 4X4 experience, read this in our online magazine.

 

BOWLINE HITCH

This knot has a variety of uses and is invaluable for whenever you need to make a secure loop at the end of a rope. Found a decent log for firewood but left the chainsaw back at camp? Run one of these bad boys around it and drag it back behind your 4X4 (provided you’re not causing undue track damage of course). Need to hang your camp light inside your tent and the cheap plastic hook just snapped? We’ve got you covered.

Step 1: Make a loop in your line a little way back from the end (depending how big you want to make your overall loop).

Step 2: Pass the tag end up through the loop and behind the line.

Step 3: Pass the tag end back in front of the line and back down through the loop.

Step 4: Pull tight and shamwow – one bowline hitch!

 

TAUT-LINE HITCH

Most guy ropes these days come with those plastic tensioning toggles that work great. The only problem is some of them tend to go brittle with time and leave you with a guy rope that’s as rigid as a piece of cooked spaghetti. The taut-line hitch is excellent for fixing that problem right up. Or imagine you’ve just got your swag set up at your favourite beach camp and the dark clouds start rolling in. You can easily set up a nifty fly sheet with a tarp, a rope running between two bullbars (or a couple of trees), and a taut-line hitch.

Step 1: Pass line through your anchor point and double it back, forming a double line roughly 15-20cm long.

Step 2: Wrap tag end around line two or three times.

Step 3: Make a half-hitch on line outside of loop and pull tight.

Step 4: Slide knot up and down line as required. The knot should stay tight once it’s under tension.

 

TRUCKIES’ HITCH

The most useful knot you’ll ever know. Hands down, no ifs, no buts, no maybes. The truckies’ hitch is an essential part of any camper’s skillset. It’s the go-to knot for securing a load, keeping tension on the rope no matter what; and it can even work as a makeshift pulley if you unexpectedly need to lift something heavy. As a side note, there’s a million ways to tie the slippery hitch used in the second part of
the knot-tying process (see video).

If you’ve got a method that you
think trumps either of the ones shown,
tell me about it below!

Step 1: Secure one end of your rope, then pass it over whatever it is that you need to tie down. With the rope still loose, make two loops in the rope and double the rope underneath over your hand as shown.

Step 2: Feed the doubled-up rope up through both loops.

Step 3: Pull the top loop and the newly-formed lower loop tight. This lower loop is what you’ll feed your tag end of line through. This knot has now formed your slippery hitch – pulling on the rope on either side of it will see it come quickly undone.

Step 4: Pass the tag end around your second securing point and feed it back through the lower loop on your slippery hitch. Pull it tight!

Step 5: Run a quick couple of half-hitches around the ropes at the base of the loop.

Step 6: Job done!

 

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