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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

SLIDESHOW SERIES: Learn How to Tie Knots

Learn how to tie the potentially life-saving bowline knot and more with these step-by-step photo tutorials.

by: Steve Howe

This is the third step in tying a bowline knot.
This is the third step in tying a bowline knot.



Bowline Knot
The classic climber's waist loop knot for going ultralight, and the strongest single-line knot you can tie in cord.



Half Hitch as a Bowline Backtie
A half hitch is an overhand knot tied around departing cord. It's the simplest way to secure a bowline waist loop for critical uses like climbing.


Overhand Knot
The simplest knot you can put in any rope, it's also useful to create a loop with minimal footage.



Figure 8 Knot
This easier-to-untie version of the overhand knot is useful for more than just tying into a climbing harness.



Clove Hitch, Mid-Rope
A quick knot for anchoring to something secure. It's easily adjustable for tension on either end.



Clove Hitch, Single Line
A readily adjustable rope-end knot for trees and large objects, but tougher to visualize than its mid-rope version.



Quick Release Overhand Knot
A handy knot that's instantly undone for tie-and-go uses. It's also a key component of the trucker's hitch.



Quick Release Trucker's Hitch
The best knot out there for tightening and releasing cords that will be heavily loaded.



Tautline Hitch
This is the normal hitch for tightening tent guylines without using hardware.



Prusik Knot
This sliding loop is a climbers' staple (and can help you climb trees.



Sledge Knot
Use this knot to tie logs together when making a raft.



Glossary: Learn knot-tying terminology.






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READERS COMMENTS

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Anonymous
May 27, 2014

It would be nice if the actual procedure was shown, rather than just the first slide indefinitely.

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meanolddog
Aug 19, 2011

The Boy Scouts still have the best knot tying book I have ever read. You sometimes can find it on eBay for about $1.50 or so...and they provide instruction on knots you would use in the woods on a regular basis..

The Thin Man
Aug 12, 2011

I try using something more suitable the situation when it comes to knot tying. If I fail at my attempts (I usually do), I then just fall back on my old rule of thumb, "if you can't tie a knot... tie a lot!".

Wayne
Sep 03, 2010

The only knots that I was ever good at was the ones that I got in my shoe laces! But this should help considerably. Thanks from all of us who need the help.

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