In one of our more recent articles on setting up an urban rappel, we went over two methods for tying off a static rope for single-line rappelling. Today, we’d like to go over the Barrel Knot and how it’s tied.

The other knot we mentioned in that urban rappelling article is a Bowline, which we’ve gone over before on our Knot of the Week series. The Barrel Knot is preferable to the Bowline, for the simple reason of it being a friction knot (or slip knot), meaning that as it’s loaded, it will self-tighten around the stationary object it’s tied off to. An important note here is that while tying this for rappelling purposes, you should always use a large diameter tree or object that you’ve deemed sturdy enough to rappel from. Small trees have no place in a proper rappelling setup.

Tying a Bowline for single-line rappelling is acceptable as well, but with a Bowline being a fixed loop, it will move around much more than a Barrel Knot and again is why the latter is preferred.

(Strength: 4/Secure: 5/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 3)

*Please refer to our Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.*

The Barrel Knot is somewhat similar to the Double Fisherman’s Bend and shares much in common with a hangman’s noose, although that uses a different tying method. The Barrel Knot is also great for tying off a rescue line to a stationary object before throwing it or lowering it down to the someone being rescued.

- Single-Line Rappelling
- Affixing a Stationary Rescue Line

- Start by wrapping the line around your stationary object with the working end off to your left (this instruction set can be accomplished from starting the other direction as well.)
- Pass the working end up and over the standing part of your line, where your extended thumb rests.
- Wrap over your thumb, up and around the standing line with four passes. Ensure your thumb stays in one place.
- With the excess working end, feed it into the void created as you remove your thumb.
- Grasp the barrel knot in your left hand and pull the working end with your right as you tighten the knot against the object you’re tying off to.
- Once secure, tie a safety knot with the remaining length of your working end. Ensure this is close to the start of the barrel knot as well.
- The safety knot can be an overhand knot, but a Fisherman’s Knot is preferred and is what’s shown in the photo.
- For more on a Fisherman’s Knot, refer to our KOTW article on the Double Fisherman’s Knot. A single Fisherman’s is just one side tied.

*View the gallery below and follow along with the steps above!*

In our newest Knot of the Week, we’ll be taking a look at a way to add a leash to the lid from your Liberty Bottle so it doesn’t grow legs and walk away.

One thing that I felt was missing from the US made ITS Liberty Bottles that we sell in our store, was a way to lanyard in the lid so it didn’t get lost. As I started taking Liberty Bottles with me while hiking and climbing, I quickly missed the ability to drink one-handed after removing the lid; which can be done with Nalgenes.

With a couple of easy knots and some Type 1 Paracord or the guts from standard Type III Paracord, you’ll be able to create your own Liberty Bottle Leash in no time!

(Strength: 5/Security: 5/Stability: 4/Difficulty: 3)

*Please refer to our Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.*

We’ll be using the Double Fisherman’s Knot and the Bowline for this Liberty Bottle Leash. Both are knots we’ve already gone over in our Knot of the Week series and while we show them being tied in the photos and video below, for a detailed look at each knot’s tying instructions, please refer to the following articles on the Bowline and Double Fisherman’s Knot.

- Start with a 24″ section of Type 1 Paracord, or a strand from the guts of Type III Paracord and follow along with the video or photos below.
- For detailed instructions on tying either the Bowline or Double Fisherman’s Knot, please refer to our articles for more info.

*Click here to view the photos on Flickr.*

We’re kicking off our 2010 Knot of the Week series today with the Lanyard Knot.

The Lanyard Knot, also known as a Diamond Knot, is an excellent decorative knot that can be used for a multitude of applications.

Primarily we like this knot for its ability to create a fixed loop in a single strand of rope. This comes in very handy when making a Solomon Bar keychain like we’ve demonstrated in the past.

It can also be used for key rings, knife lanyards and anything that needs some kind of a pull. In fact, sailors used this knot to hold a knife around their necks, which is why you may see this knot referred to as a knife lanyard knot.

(Strength: 3/Secure: 3/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 4)

*Please refer to our Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.*

- Decorative knot used for lanyards
- Can also be used to join two strands of rope

- Hold the rope in your hand using your pinky to stabilize
- With the working end, form an underhand loop
- The standing end becomes your new working end and wraps around the old working end and under the itself in the center of the loop.
- As you’re bringing the last coil past the top, form a bight in the working part
- Leave the knot loose and pull your pinky out from the knot, leaving a diamond pattern in the center of your knot
- Thread the standing end counter clockwise through the underside of the created diamond pattern
- Repeat this step for the working end as well
- *Now both ends should have been fed though the underside of the diamond*
- Grasp the working and standing ends and pull (you should still have a bight around your fingers)
- Slide the knot off of your fingers and continue pulling on the bight and the ends to tighten
- Clean up the knot by pulling individual strands as we demonstrated in our Monkey’s Fist video

*View the gallery or YouTube video below and follow along with the steps above!*

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Our Knot of the Week series continues this week with a fishing knot known as the Snell Knot.

Snelling a hook is a common practice in fishing to maintain an even, straight line pull on the fish.

It’s also know to increase catch rates due to the hook staying inline and not moving side to side, as with tying to the eye of the hook.

The Snell Knot also allows a leader to be tied directly into a hook, and is one of the strongest fishing knots.

You should consider adding instructions for tying this knot into your survival kit, or just practice it from time to time.

*Note* There are other methods for tying this knot, and it’s also commonly referred to as a Uni (Universal) Knot.

**Snell Knot » Bends**

(Strength: 5/Secure: 4/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 1)

- Tying a leader directly to a hook

- Start with your hook facing down
- Insert the working end of your line up through the eye of the hook
- Create a loop with the working end
- Wrap 4-5 turns around the working end and the hook
- Leave the working end outside of the loop
- Holding the working end, pull on the standing part to tighten

*View the gallery or YouTube video below and follow along with the steps above!*

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Our Knot of the Week series resumes this week with another fishing knot known as the Blood Knot.

The Blood Knot is primarily used for joining two sections of monofilament line together, but as there are many ways to joint to lengths of line together, why choose this one?

The most common of these is the Double Fisherman’s Knot, which is a considerably strong knot and holds securely. In fact it’s stronger and more secure than the Blood Knot.

So why use the Blood Knot over the Double Fisherman’s Knot? Different diameters of line.

A good example of this is Fly Fishing, where you may have to create a fly-casting leader with smaller diameter line.

One thing to point out on this knot is to moisten it before carefully tightening as we’ve instructed below. This will help to not weaken the lines.

Tightening the knot too quickly can also weaken the lines.

We’re not sure how this will hold up with Saltwater monofilament, but for freshwater it does just fine.

Don’t use this knot for anything other than fishing. the Double Fisherman’s Knot works much better for joining rope, as the Blood Knot tends to pull apart.

**Blood Knot » Bends**

(Strength: 4/Secure: 4/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 3)

- Joining small monofilament lines together
- Joining unequal diameter monofilament lines

- Start with your two lines overlapping (around 12 – 14″ of length after the overlap)
- Make at least eight wraps with each working end
- Pull apart the middle-most wraps creating an eye
- One at a time bring one working end at a time through the eye in opposite directions
- Ensure that you have opposing directions on the working ends
- Moisten the knot
- Pull the working ends apart while you’re cinching up the wrapping on each end of the knot
- Trim off the excess working ends close to the knot

*View the gallery or YouTube video below and follow along with the steps above!*

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This week’s “Knot of the Week” continues with the third of five knots taught to Navy SEAL candidates at BUD/s for their Underwater Knot Tying Test.

During the test, the students must tie each knot on a single breath hold at the bottom of a 15 foot pool.

The instructors descend with the students to the bottom of the pool to observe and check that each knot is tied correctly.

Instructors play an integral role in BUD/s training, and are constantly right there with students to not only guide them, but to ensure safety on evolutions.

We’ll have a special video presentation during the last week of the five-part series, combining all the knots and showing them tied underwater like the test.

The third knot from the test we’ll showing today, is the Becket’s Bend (also known as a Sheet Bend).

(Strength: 2/Secure: 2/Stability: 2/Difficulty: 2)

There’s a method to our madness in showing the Square Knot before the Becket’s Bend last week, as the two are tied similarly.

Much like the Square Knot, the Becket’s Bend is used to splice together two lines of Det Cord (Detonation Cord) when working with Demolitions.

The Becket’s is more secure than the Square Knot in certain applications. To add additional strength to the knot, a second turn can be added with the working end when tying.

As with the Square Knot, a six-inch tail must be left in both ends after tying. This prevents moisture from entering the Det Cord through the exposed ends.

- In demolition to splice Det Cord
- Joining two ropes of unequal diameter

- Form a bight in the standing end, ensuring that the bitter end is hanging down
- Insert the working end through the backside of the bight
- Pass the working end around the back of the bight
- Tuck the working end behind the working part of the line
- Tighten by pulling the bight, the working part and the working end of the line

*View the gallery or YouTube video below and follow along with the steps above!*

This weeks “Knot of the Week” continues with the second of five knots taught to Navy SEAL candidates at BUD/s for their Underwater Knot Tying Test.

Students start from the shallow end of the pool, and when called swim out to a waiting instructor. The student announces themselves and which of the five knots they’ll be tying.

Once give the nod by the instructor, the student then requests permission to descend to the bottom of the 15 foot pool with a downturned thumb.

The signal is returned by the instructor and the student begins his descent without splashing the surface of the water.

When the student reaches the trunk line he will tie the knot and signal the instructor with an OK. The instructor will check the knot to make sure it’s tied correctly and return the OK.

The student then gives an upturned thumb signal to ascend. Once he sees it returned by the instructor, can begin his ascent.

We’ll have a special video presentation during the last week of the five-part series, combining all the knots and showing them tied underwater like the test.

The second knot we’ll show from the test is the Square Knot.

(Strength: 2/Secure: 2/Stability: 1/Difficulty: 1)

Yes, the Square Knot is a somewhat simple knot, but the primary purpose of teaching this knot at BUD/s is for demolition.

When working with Det Cord (Detonation Cord), lines need to be spliced together. The simplest way to do this is with a Square Knot.

It’s debatable whether or not to backup the ends or not when dealing with Det Cord. It burns from one end to the other when ignited and is basically just cord with a PETN core that burns at a calculated rate.

When the Det Cord burn reaches the backed up portion of the Square Knot it will start burning not only towards the center of the knot, but also take off in the direction of the tail. This is why some don’t backup the knot.

At least a six-inch tail must be left after tying the Square Knot to prevent moisture from entering the Det Cord through the exposed end.

During the BUD/s Underwater Knot Tying Test, it’s not required to backup the knot.

- In demolition to splice Det Cord
- One of the most common knots in surgery
- Used in first aid to tie bandages, as it lies flat
- Tie boot laces to prevent boots getting pulled off by mud

- Pass the right end over the left end and back under the left
- Pass the left end over the right end and back under the right
- Check the knot (the two loops should slide on each other, if not you have a granny knot)
- Tighten by pulling both strands on each side of the knot
- Backup the square knot by making an overhand knot using the working end of each side of your knot
- **The video below shows an alternate way of tying the Square Knot that will help with next week’s knot**

*View the gallery or YouTube video below and follow along with the steps above!*

When we left off with the Rope Coil on our Knot of the Week climbing mini-series last week, we mentioned... View Article

]]>When we left off with the Rope Coil on our Knot of the Week climbing mini-series last week, we mentioned that this week we’d review the Prusik Knot. We got to thinking that the basis of a Prusik requires a Double Fisherman’s Knot, and rather than overload the Prusik Knot post, we decided to split it up.

The Double Fisherman’s Knot is another great climbing knot to have in your toolbox. It’s primary use would be to join two lengths of rope together, but can also be used as a equipment loop/sling like the Prusik.

There are two ways we know of to tie the Double Fisherman’s Knot, and we decided to demonstrate the more complicated way. The other method for tying the Double Fisherman’s Knot is readily available out there.

(Strength: 5/Security: 5/Stability: 4/Difficulty: 3)

*Please refer to our Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.*

- Join two lengths of rope together
- Making an climbing equipment loop

- Begin with two working ends overlaying each other in opposite directions
- Start with the topmost working end and take it around the backside of the standing line
- Cross the working end over the standing end
- Take the working end around the standing line and itself
- *At this point the line should somewhat resemble a Figure-Eight Knot*
- Ensure that the working end now goes into the bottom loop of the knot
- *While the working end will move into the bottom loop it will eventually move in the next step*
- Pull the working end back through the the backside of the bottom loop
- The working end should now be parallel with the standing line
- Repeat the same instruction for the opposite side of the rope
- Tighten the working ends of each rope
- Pull the standing ends in opposite directions to bring the knots together and secure the ropes

*View the gallery below and follow along with the steps above! *

*Check back next week as we continue our Knot of the Week series with the Prusik Knot!*

We’d like to introduce our first Knot of the Week mini-series, climbing knots. We’ll be reviewing some of the most... View Article

]]>We’d like to introduce our first Knot of the Week mini-series, climbing knots. We’ll be reviewing some of the most common and useful knots used in climbing and mountaineering for the next few weeks.

Today we start with the Tape Knot. The Tape Knot is a quick and simple knot which only slightly differs from the traditional overhand knot or water knot. A Tape Knot is tied with tubular webbing, which is sometimes referred to as tape. Tubular webbing is used in climbing to make slings, runners and anchors due to its strength, surface area and ability to lie flat.

We’ll be using the Tape Knot in our demonstration to not only show how to tie it, but also how to join opposite ends of webbing together to make a sling, runner or anchor.

(Strength: 2/Security: 3/Stability: 2/Difficulty: 2)

Make sure the initial Tape Knot is tied loosely so the opposite end of the webbing can be threaded through easily.

- Making a sling, runner or anchor
- Join two ropes
- A knot less likely to get caught when getting pulled over rocks

- Start with a simple overhand knot in the tubular webbing
- Ensure you leave at least an 8 inch tail on the working end
- Thread what was the standing end behind the working end
- Continue to trace the original knot ensuring the webbing is flat
- Ensure you wind up with equal tails at least 8 inches in length
- Backup the knot with an overhand knot on each side of the tape knot

*View the gallery below and follow along with the steps above!*

*Check back next week as we continue our Knot of the Week mini-series with the Figure Eight Knot
*

This week’s knot, the Thief Knot, is one of the most interesting knots to teach people about. The Thief Knot is said to have been tied by Sailor’s who wanted a way to see if their Sea Bag was being tampered with. The crafty Sailor would tie the Thief Knot, which closely resembles the Square Knot (Reef Knot), counting on a careless thief.

The Thief Knot is tied much like the Square Knot, but the ends of the knot are at opposite ends. The careless thief, upon seeing what knot was tied in the Sailor’s sea bag, would tie the bag back with a regular Square Knot alerting the Sailor his bag had been rummaged through.

(Strength: 1/Security: 1/Stability: 1/Difficulty: 1)

The Thief Knot, while more of a novelty knot, does have it’s purpose if you’re trying to fool thieves… I guess it’s safe to say it was the original tamper evident tape. Much like the Square Knot, **the Thief Knot should NOT be relied upon during a critical situation where lives are at risk!** Also, the Thief Knot is even more insecure than the Square Knot and will also slip if not under tension or when tied with Nylon rope.

- Indication of tampering
- Some similar Square Knot uses (Remember this is more insecure!)
- Impressing your friends at parties

The Thief Knot is not typically tied by mistake, unlike the Square Knot which can yield a Granny Knot.

Hold the two ends of the rope in opposite hands

- Form a bight (curved section of rope) with your left hand where the end points towards the top of the loop
- Pass the right end in and around the back of the bight
- Continue threading the right end back over the bight and back through it
- The right end should now be parallel with it’s starting point
- Grasp both ends of the right and left sides and pull to tighten
- Check the knot to ensure that you have the working ends of the knot pointing in opposite directions

*View the gallery below and follow along with the steps above!*

*Check back next week as we continue our “Knot of the Week” series with the Highwayman’s Hitch!*