“Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda
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.
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.
Figure 8 with Multiple Loops – AKA Karash Double Loop
Figure 8 Hitch – Attaching a Rope to an Object
Fig 8 Bend – Used for Tying Two Ropes Together
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.