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Learn to tie knots

Working knots, as opposed to decorative knots, are a valuable skill to learn particularly when working in potentially dangerous conditions.

There are 4 main types of knots and we’re going to show you how to make one of each type. If you don’t have a rope to hand, how about trying with a shoelace?

However working out how to create the knot is just the first step, it’s important to keep practising so you can create them without thinking if you want to rely on them.

Figure of Eight – a stopper knot

You’d tie this knot on the end of a rope or string to stop it slipping.

1. Make a loop in the end of the string by passing the end back over itself.
    Figure of eight knot, step 1

    2. Bring the end under the string and you’ll see you’ve made a figure of eight shape.

    Figure of eight knot, step 2

    3. Thread the end of the string down through the first loop that you made.

    Figure of eight, step 3

    4. Pull the end of the string to tighten the knot.

     

    Figure of eight knot, step 4


    Bowline – a loop knot

    The bowline (pronounced ‘bo-lin’) knot allows you to create a loop at the end of the rope which can be a fixed size or tightened around an object.

    1. Make a loop in the string slightly away from the end.

    Bowline knot, step 1


    2. Pass the end of the string through the loop and pull part way through.

    Bowline knot, step 2


    3. Pass the end of the string back under the string.

    Bowline knot, step 3


    4. Push the end of the string down through the first loop you made.

    Bowline knot, step 4


    5. Pull the end of the string to tighten the knot and you will see the loop you’ve made.

    Bowline knot, step 5

       

      Reef – a bend knot

      This knot is used to tie two ends of ropes of a similar size together. Remembering the phrase ‘left over right and under, then right over left and under’ may help.

      1. Cross the left rope over the right one.

      Reef knot, step 1


      2. Bring the left rope under the other one.

      Reef knot, step 2


      3. Take the two ends of the rope and now cross the other rope over the first.

      Reef knot, step 3


      4. Bring the second rope under the first (into the centre of the knot).

      Reef knot, step 4


      5. Pull both ends to tighten the knot.

      Reef knot, step 5


        Clove hitch – a hitch knot

        Hitches are knots which fasten a rope to another object. The clove hitch isn’t especially secure and may be used in conjunction with other knots.

        1. Pass the bulk of the rope around the back of the object.

        Clove hitch, step 1


        2. Take the end of the rope and cross it over the rope at the front of the object making a cross.

        Clove hitch, step 2


        3. Take the end of the rope behind the object and back to the front.

        Clove hitch, step 3


        4. Push the end of the rope under itself on the right-hand side of the cross you made at the front.

        Clove hitch, step 4


        5. Pull the end and the bulk of the rope in opposite directions  to tighten.

        Clove hitch, step 5