Perhaps my favorite knot is the overhand loop. The overhand loop, frequently called a figure–eight knot, is great for a wide variety of applications. I tend to use this loop as a starting point for tying rope to trees, tarps, or the rails on the roof of my Honda. I begin by tying the loop at a working end of a rope or cord then I pull the other working end around the fixed object (tree, tarp, etc.) and pull it through the loop. I also use this loop frequently when canoeing. I tie overhand loops to both working ends of a short piece of 550 cord, then attach carabiners to both ends of the rope – one for the stern handle of the canoe and one for my dry–box. This loop is really easy to tie – so easy that after a few practice runs, you’ll be able to tie it in the dark.
To tie the overhand loop (figure–eight knot):
1. Form a bight. In this instance, the bight is at the working end of a rope, but this loop works equally well without a working end. As long as you have enough slack to create a bight, you can tie an overhand loop.
2. Wrap the working end of the bight around the standing end as indicated in the photo.
3. Pull the working end of the bight through the loop.
4. Pull the working end until the overhand loop is secure. Check for twisting or crimping as you pull.
Are you learning to tie the overhand loop or are you a seasoned pro? Either way, I’d love to hear about it. Do you use it for any specific purposes or have you found it to practical in a wide variety of situations?