Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness

Knowing how to tie some basic knots could be the difference between life and death in an emergency. Below, we’ve listed some of the best knots for emergency preparedness. Today, you'll learn how to do the bowline, Prusick loop, double fisherman’s knot, square knot and figure eight knot.

The bowline is great for emergency situations because it doesn’t slip or jam. It’s very easy to make and can be used in a lot of situations to pull without tightening.

Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness - Bowline Knot

Video Instruction Here
1. Take the right end of the rope and curl it over itself to make a small loop.
2. Insert the right end of the rope through the initial loop making a larger loop.
3. Continue around the back of the rope just before the first small loop.
4. After going around the back of the rope, pass the end into the small loop again.
5. Tighten the knot.

Prusick Loop
The Prusick loop (or knot) has been used for decades in mountaineering as a knot that won’t slip when you need it to stay and will move when you need to shift. The knot is based on friction and relies on the presence of a load or pressure to stay. So, if you tug on the line, it will stay put, if you loosen it, it will release and move.

Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness -Prusick Loop

Video Instruction Here
1. You will need to lengths of rope, one will be the anchor while the other will be used for the knot/loop
2. Lay the anchor rope on a flat surface.
3. Tie both ends of the other rope to make a loop.
4. Place the loop underneath the anchor line
5. Pull one side of the loop over and underneath the anchor line – do this three times
6. On the last turn, tighten the knot around and through the other end of the loop.

Double Fisherman’s Knot
This knot is great for joining different lines together to make one longer rope. It can be great for extended two smaller ropes or simply securing one rope to another.

Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness -Double Fisherman Knot

Video Instruction Here
1. Place two ropes parallel on another.
2. Using one rope, make a loop by passing it over the second rope then under both ropes. Do this twice ( that’s why it’s called double fisherman’s knot)
3. From underneath the two ropes insert it into the loop you just made.
4. Do the same with the other rope
5. Pull both ropes to tighten the knot.

Square Knot
This is one of the most widely used knots. It was originally used to secure sails to ships but is now used to to secure two ropes together. If you’re lifting heavy items, this might not be the best knot to use because it can come apart rather easily. But if you need a simple knot to tie two ends together without worrying about them staying tight, this is a great knot.

Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness -Squareknot

1. Take one end in each hand.
2. Cross over the right end and wrap it around the left end. Now the right end is not on the left side.
3 Take the end on the left side and cross it over and wrap it around the end on the right.
4. Tighten the knot.

Figure Eight Knot
A figure eight knot is a great way to add a loop to the end of any rope. It is probably one of the best knots for binding under strain.

Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness -Figure Eight Knot

Video Instructions Here
1, Form a single figure eight in the end of the rope and feed the tail through your harness. Some harnesses require that you feed the rope through certain straps.
2. Rethread the figure eight, following the same path as the first. Pull the knot tight. Make sure you have enough tail, as the knot will slip a bit when loaded. Check the knot by counting “two”, “two” & “two”, for the three visible doubled strands. Ensure they each are lying flat and not crossing over themselves.

So what knots would you recommend?
Comment below to tell us what knots you find the most handy. Which ones have you learned and used? Comment below to tell us more!

17 thoughts on “Best Knots for Emergency Preparedness”

  • Ben

    A sheet bend is a great knot for tying ropes of different sizes together. I find it works better than a square knot when tying ropes of the same size together.

  • Wyzyrd

    Double Chain Sennit

    I apologize for not being able to find a video link or a good pic.

    The "supposedly-best" way to store rope or cord for quick deployment without kinks and knots- what you see looped over the bodies of mountain climbers in pictures.

    1) Unkink your line
    2) double it up into a loop
    3) tie a plain ol' slipknot in the center
    4) slip the bight thru the loop, tighten enough to make another loop (not too tight), repeat - you are basically "crocheting"
    5) pass both ends a couple times thru last loop once or twice to fasten it so it doesn't untie.

    takes up less space than a hank (which always fouls anyway)and quicker than a Cobra/"Survival bracelet" braid.

    To deploy rope/cord, undo the end overhand knot (you didn't tie it too tight, did you?) and just pull. The doubled line pays out like magic. One more yank undoes the slipknot, and you're in business.

  • Jim Boggess

    A clove hitch and sheet bend and the double sheet bend. The sheet bend and double sheet bend are excellent to join two ropes of different diameters. I use the clove hitch to tie my boat and also to tie my horse.

  • lauren

    I think the one handed bowline is incredibly important to know especially in rescue situations

  • Hardcharger

    I'd also recommend learning to tie the "taughtline hitch". This knot is used to adjust the length of a rope and is especially useful to erect a tent or tarp.

    The sheetbend is alo extremely useful for tying two ropes together that are not of the same size. The square knot is used for ropes of the same size.

    I would also recommend the clove hitch as well as the three basic lashed (shear, tripod, square and diagonal). These knots are used to construct various items.

    A good BoyScout manual will give you all of these as well as other nots that are useful

  • Nicholas Williams
    Nicholas Williams March 25, 2013 at 1:13 am

    The 'Trucker's Knot' might be an additional and simple knot your customers might like to see and it is extremely useful for tying down a load.

  • R David Paine III
    R David Paine III March 25, 2013 at 2:08 am

    An easy way to remember how to tie a square knot is by remembering this phrase: "Right over left, left over right"

  • Roger

    Taut line hitch. One of the Boy Scout knots. Useful for tent lines, tying down a load in the back of a pickup. That and two half hitch. Best knots are functional and easily untied as well.

  • Desert Dog

    I was taught a "sheet bend" for tying two lines together (and it works on dissimilar sized lines as well). Can't believe the clove hitch wasn't listed.

  • William Sickinger
    William Sickinger March 25, 2013 at 4:00 am

    You left out the Clove Hitch, Two Half Hitches, and the Ttautline Hitch.

    Clove Hitch goes on a post and if necessary can be made much more secure with Two Half Hitches.

    Two Half Hitches can be used to secure other knots and are useful for attaching a line to a grommet in a tarp.

    Tautline Hitch is similar to the Two Half Hitches and holds tight when under tension but can be easily slid up or down a line to tighten or loosen it.

    Bill S.

  • Steve

    If you need a loop(s) at 90 degrees along a rope line the butterfly is a great knot. Simple to tie, elegant in appearance, and perhaps the best for doing what it does.

  • Shawn

    For the figure eight.

    Make a loop in the end of the rope, THEN use the looped end to tie it.
    You can do it in half the time.

  • George Henson
    George Henson April 2, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Use to be a scout but have forgotten most of these. The bowline is one I still have in my mental registry though. One handed as well as two handed. Thanks for the refresher.4

  • paher

    hello.very good

  • Jim Clark

    Come on everybody - give the author a break - yes these are all good but with only so much room the list must be limited - this article should be sufficient to inspire anyone with the least interest to contine their own research. Great article with accurate info for the beginner and concise illustrations.

  • Chuck

    Shawn is correct, same end result and much easier.

  • Beano

    Be careful with a bowline. According to mountaineers they do not consider it "mission critical" and they have modified the bowline know but I forgot what they call it.

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