Here are 4 quick knots any moto-camper and rider should know.
1 - The Truckers Hitch
Starting with a universal knot that everyone should know. It is of course useful to truckers, but it’s also useful to anyone who needs to holds things down, with a little extra force a la tie-down straps.
The knot adds a loop to act as a pulley giving you additional leverage to really tighten up before locking it in with some easily removed slipped-hitch. The knot gives a 2:1 advantage letting you really compress or tighten loads. The result is held in place with two simple slip-hitch knots (barely knots, see video). I like REI’s explanation video, but I don’t use it for tent-fly’s myself, I prefer a knot I can re-adjust as needed – keep reading!
2 - The Bowline
Another simply universal knot for anyone, or anyone who ties ropes to things…
The bowline’s advantage is two-fold. 1) it creates a loop that wont shrink or tighten. 2) it does not bind under load (easy untie)
I use bowline’s everywhere. Starting end of my tie-downs, connecting to tarps, connecting to tent-fly’s, etc.
3 - The Midshipman’s hitch
Say that 5 times fast.
Easier to tie than to say, this knot is perfect for guy-lines, and ridge-line setups – adding adjustable tension to a line. This is my personal choice for things like tent flys that I usually adjust and tweak as I setup. It is a knot you definitely need to “dress it before you stress it” but when well executed holds tight under surprising load.
4 - Klemheist (w/ loop)
Klemheist is another friction knot commonly used in rappelling. I don’t do any repelling, but I found it’s a great substitute for #3 when I want to fasten to an existing line. One example is hanging a ridgeline for a tarp. The rope will be suspended taught, I throw a tarp over and use the klemheist loops to fasten middle eyelets onto the ridge and keep ends tight.
Put it all together
Here’s how I use all these knots together hanging the cover tarp for our gear.