There are thousands of knots out there. But, we’re not going to talk about those. Do you know why? Because this article is about the EASY knots so you don’t have to spend hours practicing and figuring out dozens of knots.
Let’s get to it. First, let’s talk about why you might need a knot so you can find out what type of knot you need.
I’ll make sure and focus on giving you the EASIEST knot you can tie in each of these categories.
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Remember, the easiest knot is not usually the BEST knot, but they will often do for most situations.
What Do You Need a Knot For?
- Tying a rope around an object so the object doesn’t move: You can use a binding knot, check out this section of this article.
- Tying two ropes together: You need a bend, check out this section of this article.
- Tying a loop that doesn’t shrink or grow when it’s tightened: You need a fixed loop. Check out this section of this article.
- Tying a loop that shrinks as it tightens: You need a constricting loop! Check out this section of this article.
- Attaching a rope to an object: You need a hitch! Check out this section of the article.
Tying a Rope Around an Object So The Object Doesn’t Move
Tying your shoes, tying a bundle of pillows, blankets, poles, or wood–all of these benefits from a binding knot.
The easiest knot that accomplishes all of these is the square knot.
How To Tie The Square Knot
If you’d prefer picture instructions rather than a video, check out our in-depth article on the square knot. If you want to see what the square knot is good for (and what it isn’t) we also have this article on that topic.
Here are examples of the square knot in action so you can get an idea of what it can be used for:
Tying Two Ropes Together
Do you have two ropes and you want to tie them together to make a longer rope? Well, a “bend” is what you need. A bend is a special knot for tying two ropes together.
The easiest bend is to use the sheet bend.
psst… you can actually use the square knot as a bend, but the sheet bend can be doubled and can be made more secure than the square knot. You can use the square knot for non-critical situations.
How To Tie The Sheet Bend:
If you would rather see picture instructions of the sheet bend, check out our article, here.
The sheet bend can be used to lengthen two ropes, or if you want to tie a rope to the middle of a rope it works great. the sheet bend can be doubled to strengthen it (it’s not super secure, otherwise).
Tying a Loop That Doesn’t Shrink Or Grow When Tightened
A fixed loop is incredibly useful. If you just want to make a loop that stays put, then you’re in the right place.
The easiest loop to tie is likely the bowline. This loop can be tied with one hand.
How To Tie the Bowline
The bowline can be used in so many situations, including but not limited to: Making a loop as an anchor point for a carabiner, or a loop so you can feed the line through to make a girth hitch.
Tying a Loop That Shrinks As It Tightens
(Always be very careful with any loop that constricts). A loop that constricts when it tightens can be used to cinch something in place.
The easiest loop that shrinks as it tightens is the slip knot.
How To Tie the Slip Knot
Left Overhand Crossing Turn
A counterclockwise loop with the working end sitting on top of the standing part.
Step 1. Make a Left Overhand Crossing Turn (see the glossary for more knot terms)
Step 2. Pull the standing part through the top of the crossing turn to make a loop.
Step 3. Pull the loop through and pull the working end at the same time to tighten.
Attaching a Rope To An Object
Do you need to tie your rope to something? Well, then you need a Hitch!
The easiest hitch (that actually can hold) is the clove hitch.
How To Tie The Clove Hitch
The clove hitch is actually a great start to other knots and can be strengthened if necessary. You can tie it off with a half hitch to secure it a bit more.