One set of skills that often gets overlooked in outdoor and survival situations is knot tying. While it doesn’t have the same flare as starting a bow-drill friction fire, and may not be as barstool-quotable as some more extreme water purification methods, it’s definitely a useful way to spend your time mastering.
When you’re out camping, trying to get a tarp set up, hanging a clothesline, or in a survival situation trying to get something secured to a tree or a truck knot-tying is an absolute must-have in your skillset. Today I’ll tell you about my favorite knot and show you how to tie it.
One of the most-used types of knots when out in the woods are tarp knots. I find myself using variations on tarp knots all the time when out hunting, bushcrafting, and backpacking, mostly because every night you’re having to hang something from a tree or you’re tying a line to hang your rain tarp (thus tarp knot).
My favorite type of tarp knot is called an Evenk Hitch or Siberian Hitch. It’s traditionally used by the Nenets people of Northern Russia to tie things (or animals) to trees, and it’s so excellent because of how easy it is to tie while mostly using one hand and with big bulky winter gloves on. Where I’m from in Northern Minnesota it’s a must-have with our frigid northern winters.
It is a kind of figure-8 slipped noose which means that the bights are formed by simply wrapping around your hand and twisting. It’s so simple to learn that you’ll most likely have to re-learn it a few times because you learn it so quickly that you forget it just as fast. However, with some practice it’ll be one of your go-to knots and hopefully one that you use as often as I do.
This knot is also great, not just because it’s easy to tie but also because it’s so easy to untie! Simply pull the end of the rope or cord next to your knot and it comes undone as quickly and simply as it went together, like magic!
Here’s a video from Bushcraft pro Paul Kirtley showing the ins and outs of the Evenk Hitch:
Join me next time for more knots and general survival skills and topics!