Knots, Knots, and More Knots!

Checking knots and harness attachments at the ropes course
Checking knots and harness attachments at the ropes course

Confident and competent rope work is an essential skill at camp. Whether sailing, camping out, at the ropes course, or just making your unit dope, there are a variety of knots that are useful at camp. There are hundreds of useful knots, but the list below covers almost all of the ones you need to know at camp, so grab a piece of rope and give it a shot!

Bowline: The bowline (pronounced “boh-lin”, like a bow on a gift box plus the name Lynn) is a super versatile knot. With a little practice, it’s quick to tie and easy to untie. Extremely useful for sailing and camping.

Clove Hitch: A useful knot for quickly and securely tying the end (or middle, if you know how to do it) of a rope to just about anything. Useful all over camp.

Figure-8: The mother knot for a whole family of knots. It has limited (but still important) uses by itself, but the other knots in the family are critical on the ropes course. Master this one first and then check out the figure 8 follow-through, 8-on-a-bight, and the Super-8.

Taughtline hitch: A knot for adjusting the tension on a rope, we use this one on the tents in the units and on guy lines for tents and dining flies on campouts.

Truckers Hitch: Probably the most complicated knot you should learn for camp, it’s actually a series of knots. Used for getting tons of tension on a rope, like when making a clothesline or putting up a dining fly. There are many ways to it.

Sheet Bend: A much more secure way than a square knot to join two ends of rope, but still super simple to tie.

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About Kyle B

Kyle is the Teen Program Coordinator at Wildwood. He comes to us from Cedar City, Utah, and holds a degree in Outdoor Education from Southern Utah University. He joined the Wildwood family in 2012 as Ropes Course Director and returned in 2017 full-time as Teen Program Coordinator. With his experience in adventure programming, challenges courses, and leadership he hopes to continue to grow Wildwood’s teen programs. In his spare time he enjoys playing music, rock climbing, watching professional soccer and cooking.