Paracord is an awesome multitool, used everywhere from the wild blue yonder to the deepest caverns. But like any good tool it is only as good as the knowledge the user has about the tool. With most people out there using bungee cords & ratchet straps it seems that paracord is being used for nothing more than friendship bracelets for grown men. This is a shame because for less then the price of a few cheap bungee cords & some to short to be helpful straps You can get yourself hundreds of feet of paracord.
The key to getting the most out of the paracord is good knot work. The first thing you need to know is what makes a good knot. One is that the knot is easy & quick to tie & more impotant is that the knot is easy & quick to untie. The hitch class of knots is by far the best group of knots that the average person could know. The four most useful hitch knots are the half hitch a quick simple knot that forms the base for many other knots, the inline half hitch allowing you to get the most out of one length of paracord, the slippery hitch that gives you both on the fly control over tension on your paracord but also an adjustable loop that will not change unless you want it & the inline trucker's hitch instantly doubling the your pulling power.
To get started lets get some terminology that will be used defined.
line= the paracord
Main line= the part of the paracord doing the work for example holding down your tarp. or the long part of the paracord.
Mid line= the middle of the length of the paracord.
End line= the unused length of paracord or the short length of paracord.
Step 2: The Half Hitch
The half hitch is a simple way to secure a line to an anchor point like the tie down points in most trucks. A half hitch is a constrictor knot meaning that the harder you pull on the line the tighter the knots grip gets. Another common constrictor knot is the slip knot.
Step 1. wrap your line around your anchor point.
Step 2. wrap the end line around the main line.
Step 3. pass the end line threw the end line side of the newly formed loop.
step 4. now take the slack out of the knot.
step 5. to make sure the knot is secure tie another half hitch to the main line. This knot is called adouble half hitch.
step 6. another useful thing that can be done with the half hitch is that instead of repeating the wrap on the main line but repeating it on what you are tying to the half hitch can be used to bind something like a stack of 2x4's.
Step 3: The Mid Line Half Hitch
The mid line half hitch is for when the length of line is to long for the job at hand & you don't want to have to cut the line to size or you are using multiple anchor points with one length of line.
Step 1. double up the line at the point in the length you wish to make the knot.
Step 2. wrap the doubled up portion of line around your anchor point. The doubled up length is now now the end line.
Step 3. now tie just as you did for the regular half hitch. repeat the knot to make a double half hitch for security.
Step 4: The Slippery Hitch
The slippery hitch is a great knot for adjusting tension on the main line or for having an adjustable fixed loop. To adjust the knot simply slide the knot up or down the main line.
Step 1. wrap your line around the anchor point or just double over the line to form a loop.
Step 2. wrap the end line around the main line three times. Wrapping in the direction of the anchor point or loop.
Step 3. put together the two lines making up the loop & wrap the two lines one time with the end
Step 4. pass the end line thew the last loop formed covering the two lined of the loop.
Step 5. pull the knot tite.
step 6. to adjust the size of the loop or main line tension grab the knot & slide it up or down the main line.
Step 5: The Mid Line Trucher's Hitch
The trucker's hitch is a great way to double the pulling force on a line. There are many ways to tie this knot the problem with most of them is that at some point you are going to have to pass the end line through a loop on the main line that is acting like a pulley to double your pulling force. this is great if you are making the knot close to the end of your line but if you are using a 300' length of line & want to make the knot in the first ten feet having to pass 290' of line thew a loop is a pain. But with a few half hitches you will not have to pass the end line threw any loop on the main line.
step 1. wrap your line around the anchor point. then double over your end line laying the top of the loop over the main line.
Step 2. double up your main line & lay the loop over the loop made by the end line.
step 3. in main line above the knot twist in a loop.
step 4. put main line loop thew the loop made in step 3 & pull this loop tight over your main line loop forming a half hitch. Repeat step 3 & 4 to make a double half hitch.
step 5. To use the knot just pull down on the end line to put tension on the main line.
step 6. after you have the main line snug tie a mid line double half hitch around the two lines forming the loop at the end of the main line with the end line.
step 7. Tie a double half hitch with the end line around the end loop of the mid line half hitch of
step 6. using the same method as used in steps 3 & 4.