Basic Camp Knots
by Jason Cote
I love sleeping outside and really enjoy creating tarp shelters in all seasons. My preferred time to escape to the wood is when the bugs are gone and sweating doesn’t happen sitting still, i.e. Fall and Winter.
The 3 knots I used in the video – ½ Hitch, Slip Knot, Truckers Hitch – are my go-to knots for most of my camping needs, especially in cold weather. They are quick to tie and untie even when wearing gloves or they froze overnight.
I use the Half Hitch as the base for my slip knots because it will bind to a tree and allow me to focus less on holding the line in place while I secure it with the Slip Knot.
The Slip Knot I use is basically a half hitch that doesn’t bring the tail end all the way through. This is as secure as a double half hitch but comes apart very easily, even if frozen.
The Truckers Hitch, as it was introduced to me, is a fantastic knot for applying tension to a line and still being able to undo it quickly and easily, even after an ice storm. I like to secure this knot with a slip knot to add to the ease of disassembly.
I used a knot similar to the Trucker’s Hitch for the longest time that was created by tying an overhand knot on a bight (a bend in the line), then passing the tail end of the line through the loop and cranking on it until the desired tension was achieved. The downside of this is that the Overhand on a bight would tighten under tension and be near impossible to undo. The loop was too often left in the line or cut out, thus creating 2 shorter pieces. One day a “friend” said to me “Let me show you a better way to do that”. I was rankled at first, I mean I’d been doing it my way for years and it “worked” fine, but I have come to love and rely on the Truckers Hitch (and that “friend” later became my wife).