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Extra resources for Backpacker Magazine’s Outdoor Knots: The Knots You Need to Know
1. The climber’s variation of this loop starts with a simple figure-8 in the rope. indd 23 23 8/30/10 2:38 PM 2. The working end then goes to the harness, or around an anchor, and back into the knot. 3. Retrace the first knot with the rope. 4. To finish the knot, snug the strand pairs. indd 24 8/30/10 2:38 PM Slip Knot The humble slip knot is remarkably versatile. It can be used as a quick-release, a simple noose, a basic pulley, or as a stopper in the end of a rope. Depending on your need, the slip knot can be tied with either the working end or the end forming the loop.
Then make a bight and pass it through the loop. indd 25 25 8/30/10 2:38 PM 3. Tighten by pulling up on each end and adjust the loop as necessary. indd 26 8/30/10 2:38 PM Bowline Seamen have used the bowline for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and it is still considered a primary skill in the sailing world. For decades, climbers used the bowline as the principal knot for tying into a rope, though the figure-8 loop is now preferred by many. Sharp-eyed readers might notice that the bowline and the sheet bend are the exact same knot form, though they are tied and loaded differently.
When snugged up, you will have two loops of equal length. If necessary, you can easily adjust them to give you one long and one short loop. indd 37 37 8/30/10 2:38 PM Butterfly The figure-8 loop is an excellent choice when the direction of pull is directly opposite the loop. Yet when the loop is in the middle of the rope and the strands are pulled apart, it can lock up permanently, and untying becomes a fantasy. For these situations, we use the butterfly knot. The butterfly is an underappreciated knot that most people and books teach the hard way.