Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Knotledge...(excuse the bad pun)

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?

10 comments:

Matt said...

Figure eight.

Bob said...

Wow, the bowline is not the simpliest one, congratulations :-)

I agree with Matt, the figure eight is a good alternative to the bowline for upper diameter ropes.

The fisher knot is also a very good one, to create rope rings, to secure a bowline, etc.

Tavis said...

I've always wanted to learn to tie a monkey's fist, though I have no idea if it is the least bit useful.

Lyle Jantzi III said...

Take it from an Eagle Scout, the square knot is the swiss army knife of knots. It works well in the vast majority of situations and is easy to learn. Hitches are good too (half hitch, clove hitches, etc).

Knots are a good beginning, but I'd take a look at lashings too. Very useful stuff.

No Brakes Bikes said...

tripple prusset, simple and usefull.

Anonymous said...

just learn a some hitches, a truckers hitch and a bowline and you'll be fine. i'm horrible with knots and the bowline isn't hard! good luck!

redcliffs said...

new knots are always fun, but for general everyday life, the three you've got (plus a square knot and a half hitch, I guess, but they barely count) cover 99% of applications.

Anonymous said...

Hangman's Noose? ;)

Tavis said...

He can already to a hangman's noose. It's the same as the twine wrapping on a handlebar, just with bigger rope and no handlebar.

Matty said...

As an Eagle Scout, I have always liked the Sheepshank Knot.