Carry Any Bottle With a JUG KNOT Handle




Tie a JUG KNOT around a water bottle, soda bottle, or aluminum bottle to make a secure carrying strap.

Re-purpose any container into a reusable water bottle by adding a convenient carrying strap. This Instructable will demonstrate how to tie a JUG knot which like its name suggests, is meant to properly secure around the neck of a container.

With some cord and the knowledge of this knot, you will be able add a handle, lanyard, or carabiner loop to any of your favorite beverages to carry them on the go.

It works perfectly for those disposable water bottles, and who knows, once you add some colorful cord to the plain old clear water bottle you just might be inclined to refill it and use it again.
(Check out pictures 4&5 below)

In addition to plastic beverage bottles like pop, water and sports drinks, you can turn those rugged aluminum beer bottles into a backpacking canteen.

Those of you familiar with my previous aluminum bottle Instructables:
will recognize the water canteen shown below as a re-purposed aluminum beer bottle. Here, I have added a painted surface treatment to turn it into a proper looking water bottle. More on that in steps 13, 14, 15.

Step 1: Getting Started

Cord size is important. Select a small medium weight cord like the one shown here. It is a general purpose camp cord sold at most sporting goods stores. (shoelaces might also work)

Do not use a heavy cord or rope because the larger diameter will not tuck under the relatively small lip at the top of the bottleneck and the bottle will fall out.

Also, the smaller cord cinches tight on itself and will not loosen accidentally.

Step 2: Form a Bight

The next steps show how to tie a 'JUG KNOT'. It is the basic step for adding a carrying strap. It is also the anchor point for any additional fancy bottle trussing you may want to add.


Form a "Bight" in the center of a length of cord. Bight is a knot term for a loop or bend in the rope. In this case the main Bight in this knot is highlighted with a white mark. I makes it easier to follow its path in these steps.

The running ends of the cord should be equal length.

Step 3: Pull the Bight Down

PULL the Bight DOWN forming two Loops.

Step 4: Cross the Loops

CROSS the right Loop OVER the left Loop.

Step 5: Pass the Bight Under the 1st Loop

Take the main Bight and pass it UNDER the left Loop.

Step 6: Weave the Bight

WEAVE the Bight OVER the portion of the right Loop and UNDER the portion of the left Loop.

Step 7: Extend the Bight

Extend the Bight OVER the outer portion of the right Loop.

Step 8: Flip the Right Loop Behind

Additional colored identification points have been added to the loops to follow their travel in these next two steps.

The right Loop *Yellow marker" is FLIPPED BEHIND the knot and ends up on the far left side of the knot.

Step 9: Flip the 2nd Loop in Front

Raise the green marker (located on what was formerly the left loop) and pull it down and to the right; FLIPPING IT IN FRONT of the knot .

Note the blue portion of the this loop will pass around the outside of the yellow portion of the first loop.

Step 10: Remove Slack

Note where the blue, green & yellow markers end up.

Start to remove the slack in the loops by pulling the original main Bight (white marker top right) and the two free standing ends at the bottom.

the bottle neck will pass through the very center of the knot.

Step 11: Tighten the Knot

After removing the slack insert the bottle neck and finish tightening.

The knot should look like this before slipping it over the bottle.

Step 12: Secure on Bottle Neck

This is the finished knot shown on the neck of various containers.

The loop end and the two free standing ends can be tied together to create a carrying handle. (last picture below)

Step 13: Aluminum Bottle Water Bottle

The next few steps show the features of an aluminum beer bottle re-purposed as a water bottle canteen. It is one of many containers that can be reused as a camp water bottle.

The bottle was lightly sanded, masked and then pained with a "hammered finished" paint to create an interesting surface texture.

Step 14: Tethered Cork Stopper

Use a wine bottle man made Cork as a stopper for your aluminum water bottle.
Note: Use a cork that was removed from the wine bottle without the corkscrew penetrating through the bottom end of the cork. (A hole all the way through the cork will cause it to leak.) Use the unpierced end of the cork inside the water bottle.

Drill a hole through the sides of the Cork. Thread the cord through the hole to the center of the cord. Use the cork as the main Bight. and tie the Jug knot as shown in the beginning steps.

Now the cork is tethered to the bottle and will not get lost or fall on the ground.

A Carabiner clip passes through the other cord end to attache the water bottle to you belt or pack.

Step 15: Trussed for Transport

This is another hanging method for carrying your aluminum bottle water canteen. A Jug knot is tied conventionally around the neck.

The running ends of the knot however are pulled down towards the bottom of the bottle. A Barrel Knot is tied about 3/4 the way down the side of the bottle. A square knot is tied on the bottom of the knot to keep the two running ends tight against the sides of the bottle.

I like the look of the accent colored cord running down the sides of the bottle and the fact that the bottle hangs from the belt upside down. It adds to its uniqueness.

The last picture shows another truss variation.

Step 16: Advanced

Below is a bottle with some additional trussing. You can be creative as you want. It all starts with a re-purposed container and the Jug Knot (and enough cord).

3 People Made This Project!


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71 Discussions


2 years ago

Try this simple technique. Much more easier to understand and learn

BSA Troop 45 (Oxford, MS) uses the enclosed two methods to secure a water bottle for hiking. Both methods use 6 feet of 1/8 inch diameter rope. (The length of 6 feet keeps the rope very usable and serviable. Also for knot tying practice the rope needs to be at least 6 feet, any length less makes it harder to understand to knots use).

1) Ancient Egyptian Jug Knot- A bead has been added for decoration (after the knot is made and still in a loose condition, with one of the loose ends, thread the bead and slide it in position- up around between and down to the enclosed loop) . The carring strap may be adjusted by the double fishermans knot (or inside figure eight).

2) Bottle Sling- This is a teaching tool for knot tying and learning each knots use.

Yours In scouting,

Steve Mauldin


5 years ago on Introduction

can you please do a tutorial on trussing like that bottom picture i have several bottles that don't have a lip at the top


6 years ago on Introduction

I had the same reaction as bmelton1, to be honest, this is the first paracord instructable I've ever tried, and it came out perfect. Now I've got a water bottle to attach to my camp/survival pack.


7 years ago on Introduction

I commend you on the clear, easy-to-follow, precise instructions. The idea of marking the bights made this a very simple knot to tie. If there were any ratings that went above 5, no matter how much, I would give them to you. Keep up the great work. To sum up what I've written, EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!


9 years ago on Introduction

I grew up calling this knot the Anga-gah-sec-agnute (sp?)...not sure if my Grandfather made the name up or it was the scandinavian name. He also said that the vikings would use this to tie a line to their "spirits" and other beverages, then throw them overboard to keep them cold. Anyone ever hear this or was I the victim of childhood gullibility? I currently use it on my key chain.

4 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I haven't heard of this, but, if Vikings kept their water/spirits in glass or ceramic bottles it would be VERY possible that they did this. I'm not sure if it would work using some sort of container made from an animal bladder. I do this (this being hang my water bottle over board) when I'm out on an expedition kayaking trip. I lead 5 day kayaking trips along the North Carolina outer banks. To keep it cool I'll often use a carabiner to lash it to my deck rigging and drag it with me. The sound isn't that much cooler than the air, but if I store my water in my cockpit with me, it still gets warmer than the water in the sound. On the deck of the kayak it'll get as hot as bath water. Out on the ocean, where the Vikings would have been sailing, the ocean water would be pretty cold even on hot days and would keep tasty beverages pretty cool.


Oft times, in days of yore, containers made of animal bladders were covered with a natural waterproofing material such as insect shellac or some sort of tree sap or gum. This kept bottles from leaking. It didn't keep them from aquiering,(sp), an off taste. The coating also made them hard and they could be hung with out distorting.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

was he a sailor, because this knot was most common on sail boats and sailors make words like that up.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I don't know the name but I have heard this story too, when I learned how to make almost the same knot... this is easier then the way I was tough so I'm using this one now.


7 years ago on Introduction

I actually laughed when I started tightening mine. Not because it was funny but in disbelief that I did it right!


7 years ago on Introduction

I've been to about a half-dozen other sources and is this is the first one that explained the knot in a clear, easy-to-follow fashion. Most sources fail around the point where you begin crossing loops over, but you did an excellent job of explaining those steps. Kudos to you; keep up the good work.


7 years ago on Introduction

I liked the color coded tape to help explain. Kudos.


8 years ago on Introduction

Thank you so much. Your directions are VERY clear and easy to follow. I really enjoyed learning how to tie this knot.


8 years ago on Introduction

I must commend you on this instructable on what now seems such a simple not to tie, NEVER have i seen such clear and easy to understand instructions on any knot before.


8 years ago on Introduction

I love the cork stopper. How did you cut a hole in the synthetic cork so that it looks so nice and clean? I was thinking about drilling a hole but that seems like it would look ragged. Also, where did you find a cork that was plain white? All the synthetic corks I see from wine bottles have something printed on them like grapes or something.