Quick Skills #3: 5 Simple Knots for Survival Part 3




About: Hi I'm Alex and I love to make stuff! I mainly work with different metals but I also love to explore new (to me) materials and dabble in woodworking, jewelry, knife making, design and many more.

Hi Instructables Community,

thanks a lot for the great reception of the first two parts of this series in the past two weeks. To finish this mini series I have compiled another five simple knots that you might find useful in a survival situation.

Thanks to all those of you who wrote me constructive feedback in the comments and via PM. I have tried to incorporate most of your suggestions for this Instructable and have made changes to the previous two Instructables accordingly. The "Info box" for each box was expanded to show references for the ABoK (Ashley's Book of Knots) where applicable as well as alternative names. Feel free to check on the first and second part for said changes.

Below are the shortcuts to the knots in the video (Clicking should open a new window):

0:14 - Double Fisherman's Bend

1:33 - Prusik Knot

2:48 - Zeppelin Bend

3:41 - Constrictor Knot

4:25 - Noose with Double Overhand Stopper

The main goal of this mini series was to motivate people to start learning new skills. If you are interested in learning knots I strongly suggest you also attend professional courses or at least look for additional resources of information. I recommend you visit the following websites (Some of which I used for my research): Animated Knots By Grog, Notable Knot Index and Knots 3D

If you like this Instructable please vote, fav, share, subscribe & comment. You can also check my YouTube, Facebook, Blog, Instagram and Twitter for current and upcoming projects.

Take care, stay safe

Cheers Alex

Step 1: Double Fisherman's Bend

ABoK Reference:#294
Video Shortcut:Click here
Alternative names:Grapevine Knot, Double Englishman's Knot, Double English Knot
Main Purpose:This knot is used to join two lengths of rope and is used widely to create a Prusik loop. This is done by using both ends of the same rope to create the Fisherman's Bend. It is also possible to create an adjustable necklace with this knot.
Strengths:Relatively simple to tie yet reliable and compact.
Weaknesses:It will almost certainly jam so tightly that it will become almost impossible to undo.
Remarks:With an additional loop on both sides you will create a Triple Fisherman's Knot which is even more secure. This is recommended for load bearing applications (See the last pic for a sample)

Step 2: Prusik Knot

ABoK Reference:#1763
Video Shortcut:Click here
Alternative names:Triple Sliding Hitch
Main Purpose:It allows to ascend a rope and is used in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik".
Strengths:Strong attachment to the rope without damaging it.
Due to its symmetrical design it works in both directions.
Weaknesses:Won't work well (or at all) on wet & slippy ropes since it requires friction to function.
Remarks:The Prusik knot is often used with a Prusik loop which is a loop created by a double (or triple) fisherman's bend on a piece of rope. Alternatively commercial products are available.

Step 3: Zeppelin Bend

ABoK Reference:Not described by Ashley
Video Shortcut:Click here
Alternative names:Rosendahl Bend
Main Purpose:General purpose bend to join two ropes. Regarded by some as the best way to connect two ropes.
Strengths:Secure, easily tied and jam-resistant
Weaknesses:Tying interlocking overhand knots can be confusing to beginners and thus lead to mistakes. To reduce this risk imagine that the starting shapes of the ropes form a "b" (Left hand) and a "q" (right hand).
Remarks:Similar to Ashley's bend and Alpine Butterfly bend.

Step 4: Constrictor Knot

ABoK Reference:#176; #1188
Video Shortcut:Click here
Alternative names:Gunner's Knot, Whip Knot, Timber Knot, Timmerknut
Main Purpose:Temporary or semi-permanent whipping (keeping an ropes ends together)
Securely closes a sack or bag.
Can be used as improvised hose clamps or cable ties.
Strengths:Extremely secure
Weaknesses:Due to its strong bite it can damage objects or items it has been tied around.
Very difficult to untie once pulled tight.
Functions best on fully convex objects and might fail on a flat surface.
Remarks:If you have to cut the knot try to cut from the binding strand (outer layer) to protect the rope/item below the knot from damage.
This knot is usually tied in twine or small diameter line (I have used a larger diameter rope for illustrative purposes).
For the twisting method of tying this knot check this link.

Step 5: Noose

ABoK Reference:#43, #1114
Video Shortcut:Click here
Alternative names:Running (Slip) Knot, Slip Knot, Slipped Overhand
Part of the Arbor knot
Main Purpose:Can be used as a snare to catch small game.
Can be used as a hitch.
Strengths:Very simple and quick to tie
Weaknesses:When used without a stopper knot on the working end the knot will slip.
Remarks:This knot is not to be confused to the Hangman's Knot.
In this example I've added a Double Overhand Knot as a stopper knot to prevent the working end from slipping through the overhand knot (You can use other stopper knots as well).
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    9 Discussions


    Question 7 months ago on Introduction

    Do you have any idea how to tie the flip rope that ties you to palm tree? I know they have a thing that the rope goes thru that grabs when your not squeezing it but there is a way to tie the ropey your harness that works the same way. Any info would be awesome and much appreciated thx, Jp

    Alex 2Qwhaterdaodds

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi whaterdaodds, I'm not sure I understand your question. The first knot is the double fisherman's bend.

    Cheers Alex


    3 years ago

    Agreed with krummrey, great series! The way you've done it is great, like how you pause after each step, and the background choice helped create a good contrast! Nice work on a frustrating subject.

    1 reply
    Alex 2QCLSflyer

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi CLSflyer, thanks a lot for your feedback it is really appreciated.

    Cheers Alex


    3 years ago

    Hi, great series! I was wondering if the Zeppelin Bend would be the knot to tie a net with. Or how would it go about if I wanted to build a net to climb on for children.

    1 reply
    Alex 2Qkrummrey

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi krummrey, thanks for reading and commenting. I would recommend to use the carricks bend for that purpose.

    Cheers Alex