Top Ten Camping Knots

You may camp with a guy/gal who is always running around camp, setting up all kinds of lines and tarps and stuff. While you're still taking your tent out of its bag, they've already made a covered area for firewood, set up a clothesline, and are working on what looks to be an elaborate woven hat. It'll probably look dumb on them, but that's not the point. If you're at all jealous of their skills, here are some basic camping knots that you should learn so you can hold your own out there at the campsite.

Technically a hitch knot. Use it to hang random things.

10. Prusik knot

Although technically a hitch, the Prusik knot can have some unique camping usages. Sure, you could use it as an ascender for rock climbing or mountaineering, but you can also use its sliding ability to hang random things on a line, or to tension a new line to an existing line. Not really an integral camping knot, but can be a fun one to use.

You know because little arms.

9. T-Rex knot

Shaped like a T-Rex, the T-Rex knot is useful when you want to make a T-Rex out of cord. It has little to no uses beyond that.

Use a sheet bend cord to combine two cords when extra length is needed.

8. Sheet bend

The sheet bend joins two cords together. It is useful for those times when none of your cordage is quite long enough to reach something, so you need to add a little bit more on. You can salvage all your cord remnants and make some sort of Frankenstein cord, assembled from the remains of lines you've had to cut.

It's knot there.

7. Phantom knot

This is the perfect knot if you don't want any knots on your line. Start by grabbing the cord in both hands, then set it back down. Done and done.

Tye this around a pole. Or your siblings arm for fun.

6. Clove hitch

The clove hitch is one of the go-to knots for tying a cord onto an object, especially cylindrical objects like trees. It has some drawbacks, but is incredibly handy in a lot of situations, like tying off a bear bag line, tying one end of a tarp line (the other end should be knot #2 on this list) or parking your horse at the saloon.

Just a big mess of string.

5. Big Tangled Mess knot

The big tangled mess knot usually happens accidentally. If you're looking to make one, just cram a bunch of cord into your pack and then go hiking. It's especially easy to "tie" when using a long cord, like the one you packed for bear bagging.

Where's the arrow-line knot?

4. Bowline knot

The bowline knot forms a quick and easy fixed loop which has the benefit of also being easy to untie. Perfect for tent stake loops, or the tie-in loop of your bear bag line. I gave it a better ranking than the clove hitch, because it can also be tied around an object, so it can function as one end of a tarp line, clothesline, etc.

Tye this around...nothing.

3. Phantom bend

The phantom bend is a lot like the phantom knot, but it is useful for when you have two separate lines, and want to keep them separate. Start with two separate lines, then you're done.

A slippery hitched knot.

2. Taut-line hitch

The taut-line hitch is an adjustable loop that you can tie around a tree or stake or whatever. You can then slide the knot along the line to tighten the line, which makes it great for setting up tarps or clotheslines.

Mmm. I love garlic.

1. Garlic knot

Arguably the most delicious knot on this list, the garlic knot is typically made from pizza dough scraps tied in an overhand knot and generously brushed with oil, cheese and garlic. You can make them over a campfire inside of some tin foil.