Essential Knots For Bushcraft Survival And Prepping

Essential Knots For Bushcraft And Prepping

Firstly, some of the terms used in knots for bushcraft 

These are the generally used terms for the various parts, you will need to know these before you begin to tie knots.They are pretty straightforward though.

The Loop

Cinching Up​

The Bight

The Toggle

The Working End​

The Standing End

Below are some of my favourite knots that I tend to use the most.  These knots can be used as stand alone fixings, or combined with other rope to form a more effective or stronger fixing.

It is essential to practice and learn your knots for prepping and survival purposes.  So the knots I use are the very simple ones..!  Which, I think are the most effective and easiest to master quickly.​

One thing to remember though:
There are several knots for bushcraft that are the exactly same, but they have different names and would not be known to someone else as this name even though it is identical.  

This can differ from country to county, and in the UK, it can even differ from county to county.
I have even seen the same knot with a different name being used by different sports - i.e: Fishing, climbing, hiking etc.

However, below are the essential knots for bushcraft you should know, regardless of their names.

Overhand Knot

As with all knots, I have found the best material to use for practice is paracord, this gives you inexpensive, but quality cordage.

A very simple, but effective knot that can be used to tie two separate pieces of cord/rope together to make a longer piece.

It is secure and can withstand high linear force.​

It's also the ideal type of knot to use for securing smaller items:  For example, adding a lanyard to equipment that you want to attach to your belt, rucksack etc.

For a prepping and survival applications, this basic knot can be formed into a double overhand knot, (shown here) which can give a very useful loop, from which it can be added to your kit for many other securing uses.

As a very secure knot it has great uses where the forces are linear, and is well suited for climbing application as hook-on points shown here:

Clove Hitch Knot

A self tightening knot that is perfect for going over or around and object like a tree trunk or a post.

This type of knot can be undone very easily, with minimal effort.​

This knot is also ideal for securing one end of a tarp when making a shelter, when you want one fixed end that is not movable.

Timber Hitch Knot

Quite a specific knot that is easy to undo, yet very simple and secure.
Again, a good one to learn for shelter with a tarp.

A very simple knot to create as it actually isn't really a knot.!
It is just a process of twists that hold against each other.

Fishermans  Knot

This is an alternative to the reef knot, but considered stronger

It can take a lot of force in one direction if needed and is a good knot to use if climbing up or pulling/towing something along.

The knot can be improved by forming a 'double' fisherman knot show here:​

best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot

Half Hitch  Knot

A very simple, basic knot similar to the overhand knot, however, it can be added too, making it a versatile knot for all sorts of shelter making.
The half hitch in itself is not particularly strong and can also be difficult to undo.

Double Half Hitch  Knot

Doubling up with the loop will now make the half hitch a substantially stronger knot, biting into the cord and becoming very firm and secure.
Although very secure, it also makes it more difficult to undo.

Half Hitch With Bight Knot

For ease of undoing the double half hitch, you can add a simple bight to the knot, now making this a strong knot but an easy knot to fully undo without any effort.

best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot
best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot

Using Toggles With Knots

Using a toggle will greatly increase the safety of the knot and prevent it from accidentally undoing.

Normally a stick will be sufficient, so long as its not dead and crumbling.

Simply slide through the loop and cinch up to make it secure.​

Half Hitch With Bight & Toggle Knot

A toggle is a simple addition to the 'bight loop' that makes it very difficult for the bight section of the knot to come undone.

Ratchet Knot With Toggle

Good, secure method for securing around an object like a tree trunk for the fixed end to a tarp. Staring with a 'looped' overhand knot and using a toggle the knot is easily undone.

best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot
best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot

Quick Release Knot

Highly efficient and fast knot for securing around any object.
The process of this knot allows for additional tension to be put on the line and the quick release knot to secure in place.

The knot can be finished off with a toggle for extra security or even doubled up with a half hitch to lock solid in position.​

best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot

Prusik Knot

A fiction knot that allows you to slide freely into position, yet under tension will lock up and not move.

Very useful knot for tarps, snares and anywhere you need adjustment of one piece of equipment against another.​

A prusik knot can be single, double or any amount you decide for your purpose.​

With this type of knot it is possible to climb a single rope​ with a loop over each foot. It will only move when pressure is released from the knot allowing your foot to move up.

An easy knot but very handy one to ​learn for prepping.

best survival knots for preppers the fishermans knot

Click to view this video on my YouTube Channel here

Click to view this video on my YouTube Channel here

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As you can see, these type of knots for bushcraft make prepping life a lot easier when you know a few of the essential ones.

You don't need many - just the essentials.  These will get you out of trouble and ensure everything stays nice and tight when you want it to.!​

The good thing about knowing how to tie a good knot, is the fact that you can practice anywhere so long as you have a piece of cord.​
If you really get good, you can progress to working with one hand only.

Happy Prepping Folks,


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