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December 08, 2011
Survival Skills: More Knots That Work - 1
by Tim MacWelch
We seem to have struck a nerve with our blog post on knots last week. Knots are a critical part of outdoor living, sailing, rescue work and of course, survival. Knot tying can also be a lot of fun. We received comments from many outdoorsmen and even a firefighter mentioning their favorite and most used knots. So we decided to look at a few more helpful knots, focusing this time on “bends.”
More Useful Knots
The Ashley Bend
The Ashley Bend comes from a family of knots based on interlocking overhand knots. It’s a reliable knot that is not prone to slipping, but it can be tough to untie after it has been cinched down tight.
To tie the Ashley Bend, tie an overhand knot in the end of two different ropes, in a way that the overhands are linked. Then pass the ends through the middle of the knot and tighten.
The Double Sheet Bend
The Double Sheet Bend is the industrial strength version of the Sheet Bend. With the Double Sheet Bend, you still bend the “sheet” into a “j” shape (like a fishhook) and then pass the other rope through the fish hook from behind. But now you’ll wrap around the entire fishhook twice and then tuck the end of the smaller line under both wraps around the fishhook.
The Zeppelin Bend
The Zeppelin Bend is a trusty bend that can be untied even after being heavily loaded; although not while still under a significant load. This knot may have been used to moor airships, hence the name.
To tie the Zeppelin, form two interlocked overhands and pass each end around itself, going over for the top bight and under for the bottom bight. Then thread both ends past each other through the middle and pull tight.
Others To Try
Once you master these three, check out these bend cousins: The Carrick Bend, The Alpine Butterfly Bend, and The Hunter’s Bend.
Tell us in the comments if your rope and knots ever saved you or somebody else, and which knot you used for the job.