These 4 Knots May Save Your Life

By James Barton â€¢  Updated: 11/29/18 â€¢  6 min read

When Shit Hits the Fan, you need all your skills and ingenuity to make use of whatever available item so that you can get the most out of it. A simple rope or cordage can prove a lifesaver in the direst and most life-threatening of survival situations.

Having cordage or rope is one thing; using them the correct way is another thing altogether. Only by knowing how to work with this essential item can it help you in the various areas that it is useful. You need to know how to tie the vital knots.

You can then use the appropriate knots to build shelters or repair shelters, lower people or gear, hunt for food, climb or descend mountains or elevated areas and lash among other activities.

In this piece, we aim to provide you with valuable information regarding four of the most useful knots that all preppers be familiar with. These knots can maximize your chances of making it alive and safe in survival or grid-down situation.

Over ten different knots exist and can be used in emergencies. Knowing each of them is a treasure that can prove life-saving to you and your loved ones. It would be wise to educate yourself thoroughly on this topic!

We will include helpful videos for each of the four knots to show you how to tie them.

1. Clove Hitch

A clove hitch knot is one of the simplest knots in existence. It does not take long to tie. It is easy to tie, reliable and very useful. It is best suited for securing stock to trees or hitching rails. But you can use it anytime you require a quick, sturdy, and adjustable knot.

How to tie it

Just make a loop around the structure you intend to secure with your rope or cordage. Make a second loop but this time pass the terminal of your cordage under it before you can tighten. The knot tends to become undone. You can tighten it with a square knot.

2. Taut-line Hitch

This is a small and simple knot. It has one important application – pulling tension. In other words, the knot helps you tighten grip on one object and then pull it tightly to a second object. It uses the same mechanism as a prusik knot which uses loops to grab onto cordage or rope and offer enough friction to stay in place.

Taut-line hitch is the knot to use if you want to secure a tarp shelter or tent onto another object. It is also the same knot you’ll use to secure a load on an automobile or backpack.

For instance, rig the tarp; loop the guy lines around anchors such as stakes. You can then tie taut line hitches on each of the guy lines and cinch them tight. The beauty of the knot is that you can tighten the knot up in seconds if it loosens.

How to Tie It

Make a loop in your cordage by wrapping it around the item you want to tie. Pick the proximal end of the cord and wrap it around the rope two times and then back it over the primary loop, around the line and then back through. You can then pull tight to your item. You can stop it with a square knot to prevent it from coming loose.

3. Bowline

Another invaluable knot you need to know about is the bowline. It is a simple, beautiful knot that exhibits lots of strength and is quick to make. The knot is easy to untie even after weighty loads have been applied to the cord or rope.

With enough experience, you can tie the knot with a single hand. This is great because you can the other hand is free to do another thing. It is the knot you’ll need if you wish to haul anything, even the heaviest. Learning how to tie a bowline is easier than other knots. Even better is that it will not tighten or loosen after it is tied.

How to Tie It

If you know the “rabbit hole” story, you will find it very easy to tie a bowline knot. Create a loop close to the end of the cord or rope. Using the story, the loop will represent the rabbit hole and the line the tree. The rabbit jets out of its hole cruises around the back of the tree and then gets back down into its hole.

4. Figure 8 Follow Through

Figure-eight follow knot is also called the stopper knot. If you tie it at the end of your cordage or rope, the knot will stop it from sliding any further than you desire. The knot is ideal for rock climbing because of its incredible strength and also the fact that it is a stopper knot. It is also great for rigging and hoisting applications. It is often used together with more complicated knots.

How to Tie It

Figure 8 follow through knot is incredibly easy to make. Take one end of your rope or cordage and pass it around itself. In so doing, you will create a loop. Return under the line and then through the first loop. It is as easy as that.

Additional Great Knots to Consider

As we mentioned earlier, there are at least 10 knots to tie. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Take time to learn their common uses and how to tie them. Such knowledge could save your life in a life and death situation. The knots to consider include square (reef) knots, sheet bend, the prusik knot, two half hitches knot, and the rolling hitch knot.


Tying different knots is a skill that everyone needs to learn. This way, you can be sure you will manage any situation that requires the use of a rope or cordage. You may need a combination of more than one knot to tie objects together. This underscores the need to be skilled in making all the possible knots.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.