The tread that binds
One of the most important items in the woods is cord or rope. With it you can hang up your tarp, construct shelters, and make traps, snares, bowstrings and a lot of other chores.
The easiest is to take the cord with you in your pack. I usually have at least 15 metres of paracord and a roll of nylon cord with me.
But depending on the sort of trip you are out on, you must decide what type of cord or rope you will bring along.
I don`t climb mountains, but if you plan to do it you obviously pack ropes suitable for the task.
When out in a canoe I pack 30 meters of 8mm nylon rope.
This is on top of the 6 meter painters I already have attached to it.
I have yet to use it (I`ve only had the canoe a short while), but it will come in handy if I have to line the canoe.
However if you are in a situation without any cord, don’t despair, there are suitable natural material for making cord and to use as lashings
Be sure to keep Your rope dry and clean. That way it last longer.
There are several Methods for coiling cord to keep it tangle free, but my favourite is the "DONUT".
The donut stores easily, is tangle free and it is easy to get the lenght you need without hassle.
Some knots that I use
I don’t use a lot of different knots as I find no need for it.
In my opinion it is better to see what knots that could be useful (your own experience) and learn these well instead of trying to remember a lot of fancy knots you don’t use anyway.
A good knot for joining two ropes of same thickness, or making a loop (tying together a blanket roll).
This knot is however not suited for joining ropes when climbing.
It is not strong enough.
The knot was earlier used for tying the “råseil” (square sail) to the “råstokk” (the yard).
A quickly tied knot that makes a loop that will not tighten under strain.
Use whenever a fixed loop is needed.
The knot could easily be untied.
I use this knot for attaching guy lines to my tarp and tent, or to make loops for tent pegs.
The prussic knot is a friction knot.
A loop is fastened to another rope forming a loop that runs freely when not under stress and jams when putting weight on it.
The rope forming the loop must be of smaller diameter than the main rope.
It is a knot mostly used by climbers, but I use it to tighten up my tarp, having a prussik knot on each side fastened to the Ridge line.
Use more wrappings than I’ve done on the picture above though.
Taut line hitch:
This is a knot I use securing my tarp to a tree.
I use a half hich in one end and the taut line in the other.
The knot is adjustable and makes it very easy to get the right tension to the Ridge line.
It could also be used on a tents guy line, for the tent pegs, instead of just the bow line I use, making it adjustable.
Slipped halter hitch:
I use it to secure the tarps Ridge line to a tree.
Another variant of this is the Evenk knot, made popular by Ray Mears.
This is the "only" knot I use when Fishing.
I use it to splice Fishing line, attatch hooks, swivels and lures.
You actually don`t need other knots than this when Fishing.
Picture is shamelessly stolen from the web as I didn`t have a good one myself.
Arbor knot (or Canadian jam knot):
One of my least used knots.
The only reason I mention it is the popularity it has in the bushcraft communion.
I used it earlier to tie Fishing line to the fishing reel spool.
But after discovering the web I`ve discovered other uses for it, as in building of primiteve shelters (lashing).
If you really want to know more about knots I reccomend buying one of the countless books written about the subject, or searching the web; I recommend Animatedknots highly.
It is one of the best web sites knots conserned.
If you have a teflon mind, and couldn`t remember knots if your life was at stake, you could make yourself some “knot cards”
I got the idea from seeing knot reference card for sale on the web.
You need a PC, printer and a laminating machine though.
Fetch knot tying info from the web (or copy from a book), scale it down/up (make them fit your pockets), print them out on a paper and cut out each knot description with a scissor.
Glue two knots together and send them trough the laminating machine (small laminating pouches).
The corners of the cards could be pierced with a leather hole punch and tread on a key ring or chain.