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Mechanical tie down straps are handy but are not as flexible or adaptable as a length of paracord. The trick with rope or cord as a tie down is to construct a series of knots that are secure but are still easy untie. I find the classic trucker's hitch a bit difficult so have put together my own version of the classic that I find to be quick, easy and secure. The two basic knots that will be used are the half hitch and the alpine butterfly. These are both easy to tie and untie and with some small practice can be done with very little light and in poor conditions.

Step 1: Cut Cord

The paracord can be cut to what ever length is convenient for your need. Paracord is a parallel core braided rope so it has a nylon sheath around 7 individual inner lines. This construction is flexible, durable and very strong. The easiest means to cut and seal the end of the cord is with a flame. Take care as the burning nylon fumes are noxious and the burnt end will remain hot for some time.

Step 2: Fixed End

The first knot I use is a pair of half hitches. Tie the first half hitch normal and the second right behind it and slipped.

Step 3: Tie Pulley

The second knot used is the alpine butterfly. This is a climber's knot that can be tied quickly and can take strain in either direction. The knot can also be untied easily after taking strain. 1) Take three turns around your fingers 2) Take the loop closest to your elbow and move it to to the outside (closest to your finger tips) 3) Repeat this step a second time with the new loop closest to your elbow 4) Pull the loop closest to your finger tips under the loops and work the knot into shape.

Step 4: Loop and Secure

Wrap the cord around the second binding point and back through the pulley. Pull the cord tight and secure against the pulley with a slipped half hitch. The following video shows tying and untying in real time.


Thanks for the instructable. I always had a hard time with the "truckers hitch". I will definitely be using this knot in the future. Thanks again.
Thanks for the comment :)
<p>My father taught me something very similar with a bowline and a slipped half hitch - I still use it to secure over-full folders in the office with a lenght of twine. One of the most useful knot I ever learned. Thanks for the instructable!</p>
Thank you. I appreciate your comments :)
Move along, nothing to see here. It's a tracker's hitch
I think I understand your point.<br><br>But for aficionados;) of knots, the butterfly trick is a good technique for the application; always looking for better knots.<br><br>For some it's just a hobby to impress friends. Some knots are so simple they seem genius. Some are so complicated to suit a purpose that if I manage to create one, I'll completely forget how to do it then spend more time finding the instructions to do it again.<br><br>I find it interesting, thinking of history, that there was some disgusted sailor, wagoner or logger slumped over the rope at wits end because his knots wouldn't hold or had made a mistake and then couldn't get it apart. Cutting a rope because of this seems like a waste of it.<br><br>You might know this already. I'll offer a friendly challenge to brainstorm for another mod. It would be great; then I would have another knot to learn.<br><br>Thanks for the reply,<br><br>Cheers<br><br>P.S. I still can't find a decent diagram to make a Sheep's Head. Any suggestions?
Never heard of a tracker's hitch. Maybe you meant a trucker's hitch. You can learn more about the trucker's hitch and many of its variants, including this one, if you follow this link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trucker%27s_hitch<br><br>
Cool.
<p>The alpine butterfly is a great mod to what IS called a &quot;truckers hitch&quot; or &quot;knot.&quot;</p><p>A trackers hitch is nothing but a rusty stationwagon.</p>
Misspelled it. I still don't see the point of this article though.
<p>Trucker's hitch is hard to tie? You must have learned a different hitch than I did.</p><p>I like the integration of the alpine butterfly. That's a really strong knot and a good one to learn. When tying things down to my car, I prefer rope to ratchet straps because hitches like these are faster than straps and just as strong. </p>
<p>I think that is called &quot;The Trucker's Hitch&quot; but I'm not sure, awesome Instructable!!</p>
<p>Thaks, correct, the &quot;original&quot; is called a trucker's or wagoneer's hitch.</p>
<p>Excellent tips! Especially the alpine butterfly, that's a new one to me. Logged that away mentally for future use. Thanks!</p>
<p>Thanks, yes the alpine is really easy to tie and untie even after you put alot of tension on the line.</p>

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