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How to Tie a Prusik Knot

This loop attachment slides easily when itís unweighted, but holds tight when you pull it. Itís a standard climbersí knot thatís perfect for ascending out of a jam (or up a tree).

Text: Kristy Holland
Photos: Andrew Bydlon

Need a primer on knot tying terminology? Click here.
  • You need two ropes to tie this knot: a standing line and a loop. The standing line must be at least twice the diameter of your loop. We're using an 8 mm climbing rope and a three-foot piece of 550 paracord.
  • To start, form a bight in the middle of the paracord and position it perpendicular to the standing line.
  • Widen the bight and pass the loop's knotted end around the standing rope three or four times, alternating your hands as necessary.
  • Make sure that each pass of the loop lies inside the previous pass, like a coil. After making three of four winds, tighten the knot. Ease the wound sections together by rotating with your fingers, working out the slack.
  • This is the finished knot. Note that the windings don't overlap each other at all, that's one of the things that gives this knot holding power.
  • When you weight the loop, friction prevents it from sliding. When the knot's not weighted, your loop will slide up and down the standing rope really easily. Bonus: Unless your loop is super-fine, this knot stays easy to untie.
You need two ropes to tie this knot: a standing line and a loop. The standing line must be at least twice the diameter of your loop. We're using an 8 mm climbing rope and a three-foot piece of 550 paracord.
Image 1 of 6

You need two ropes to tie this knot: a standing line and a loop. The standing line must be at least twice the diameter of your loop. We're using an 8 mm climbing rope and a three-foot piece of 550 paracord.

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