I was never a Boy Scout and to be honest, wasn't really into camping until I started bike touring. If you dropped me in the middle of the woods with a knife and three matches, I probably wouldn't be able to start a proper fire to save my life. But hey, I'm learning. I think the great genius of man is that we can constantly re-invent ourselves.
I grew up with the typical urban childhood (for my generation). We feared the Night Stalker, said No to Drugs, played Nintendo and didn't really learn a lot of practical stuff in school. By practical, I mean if humanity as we knew it broke down tomorrow would we be able to survive.
So, I'm bent on teaching myself some skills that will come in handy around 2012 :) One of them is how to tie a knot. I picked this book up recently at REI.
Rope and knots are pretty fascinating. They are an old and one of the simplest forms of technology. Different ropes have their different properties, different knots can be used to fasten things, or act as a pulley. I don't think the knots will be used directly on the bicycle, but they will come in handy while camping.
I even found a website that shows some animated knots and no doubt, there are YouTube videos about knot tying.
So far, I've got the hang of the bowline, clove hitch around a post and the trucker's hitch. Can anyone else recommend a good one?