Three Knots Every Woodsman Should Know (Part 1 of 5)

Roll of Paracord

If you’ve read even a few of the posts here on SmoothingIt.com, you probably already know that I’m obsessed with 550 cord (parachute cord with 550 pounds of tensile strength), consisting of a woven outer shell and typically seven inner strands (you can even read my post about its usefulness here.)  I use it for everything.  I use 550 cord to tie tarps over my campsites when it rains.  I use 550 cord to tie my dry box (and sometimes my children) onto my canoe.  I use it to tie clotheslines, dummy cords, and for anything and everything else I can think of when outdoors.  It goes without saying – I recommend that every woodsman, dad, homeowner, man, woman, and child purchase as much 550 cord as their budgets allow.

Regardless of whether you’re 550 cord–crazy like me or if you just need to tie a rope over a mattress on the top of your car, there are a few knots that you absolutely need to know.

There are literally thousands of different knots, ranging in difficulty from the bow you tie in your shoelaces to complex ornamental patterns.  Many of these knots are better–suited to specific circumstances than the ones I mention in the following posts, but these three will get you started in the right direction.  I recommend that you learn a wide variety of knots and use them for their specific purposes.  (I think a blog dedicated to knot–tying that published a new knot per week would be a neat idea.)  I’m not trying to make you a knot–tying expert.   For that matter, I’m far from an expert.  I’m just a guy who knows a few knots and likes to tie them into 550 cord when I’m out playing in the forest or on the river.

For the top three knots every woodsman should know, I consider ease–of–tying and usefulness the two most important factors.  If I can’t tie a knot quickly, often in the dark, I don’t need it.  Furthermore, if a knot isn’t useful in a wide variety of applications, it doesn’t meet my criteria of utmost importance.

If you’re interested in learning these three knots, be sure to “follow” SmoothingIt.com or visit back soon.  Over the next few days I’ll be publishing each of the three knots with annotated pictures of how to tie them and when and where they are useful.

Do you have any recommendations of necessary knots a woodsman should know?  I have my own top three picks, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!

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5 thoughts on “Three Knots Every Woodsman Should Know (Part 1 of 5)

  1. I’m looking forward to this series – I’m a terrible with knots, at least anything recognizable. Mine always get the job done, but they’re all a bit of a PlaidCamper specialty knot each time, and often hard to replicate – you’d shake your head…

    • Awesome! I hope you find the next few posts useful. As mentioned, this is just a primer on knot–tying and won’t make you an expert, but I’ve found that I can do nearly anything I need with these knots and a little ingenuity.

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