Knots -- Figure 8


“Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda

Brian King.

My 2 Cents

Do you use the words “Can’t” and “Knots” in the same sentence? Do knots form in your gut just at the thought of having to tie a knot? Is tying a knot in front of someone a bigger fear than public speaking? Do you only know how to tie one knot that you can never get untied? Have you lost your kids Christmas gift off the luggage rack because of a failed knot? Do you want to walk taller because you are have become knot literate?

Fear not there are only 10 basic reasons to tie knots, only 8 are needed most of the time, and there is a simple knot that millions of recreational and professional climbers trust their life with everyday, it only has 3 steps yet it is the foundation for which will meet 5 of those needs. FYI, there are actually several more knots based on the Figure 8 I will address in later posts.

The first knot I teach our students is the Figure 8 we use it as a stopper knot, loop, loop in a bite, multiple loop, hitch, and a bend. For me to consider a knot useful for a beginner to intermediate student it must be easy to tie, easy to untie, not spill when loaded, and not damage the rope. The Figure 8 satisfies all of these requirements for all 6 applications.

Figure 8 Stopper

This is the first knot I teach my students, the Figure 8 stopper knots are used to prevent the rope from sliding through the hands, another knot, and stopping the rope from fraying. The Figure 8 Stopper after dressing provides a nice appearance and is easily untied.

Dressed Fig 8

Step 1 Fig 8

Step 2 Fig 8

Compleated Fig 8

Figure 8 Loop in the End and Middle of a Rope

Loops in the end of the rope is one of the first learned by most people and one of the most used applications. This is one of the 2 loops that the Yosemite Climbing School teaches. Again after dressing provides a nice appearance and is easily untied.

Compleated Fig 8

Compleated Fig 8

Compleated Fig 8

Figure 8 with Multiple Loops – AKA Karash Double Loop

Start With a Compleated but loose Fig 8 loop

Start With a Compleated but loose Fig 8 loop

Start With a Compleated but loose Fig 8 loop

Figure 8 Hitch – Attaching a Rope to an Object

Start With a Compleated but loose Fig 8 loop

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Start With a Compleated but loose Fig 8 loop

Start With a Compleated but loose Fig 8 loop

Fig 8 Bend – Used for Tying Two Ropes Together

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1

Please Note: Disclaimer

If life or property depends on the rigging you set up do not rely on the instructions above but have a qualified mentor observe you tying a knot that is new to you. A slight change in how the knot is tied can be the difference between having the line hold dependably and having it spill unexpectedly. Use at your own risk.

Categories of Knots

Knots for Wilderness Survival, Agriculture, Industry, Sailing and Climbing

"If you believe you only need to know one knot you have the same value as a mechanic whose only tool is a pair of vice grips."
—Brian King
"I took a short vacation from an engineering job to go to Solarfest when I got there I thought it would be a much better experience if I was camping on site with the presenters, I found someone that looked as if they were in charge of the grounds people, I asked him if he needed help he told me he was fully staffed. I replied I would sweep up cigarette butts. He said you’re on. He drove off in a short time he came back I was finishing off the parking lot. He said the person that was putting up the circus tents was shorthanded. Now I had a heavy line in my hand and was told to keep it tight and she would come back to tie it off, from a distance I could see she was using a trucker’s hitch using a bell ringers loop so I tied it off the same way. She came back saw I had tied it off. She said “Cool someone that has skills.” Because of a knot by the end of the day I was driving John Schaeffe’s electric Porsche Spider working on the diesel generators."
—Brian King