Friday, December 21, 2012

Knots and the ascetic life

I need to teach myself how to tie different knots and their uses. File this goal under the ascetic independent man's life.

The only knot I know is the basic lasso knot with the loop that slides shut when pulled, which every young boy knows. In the Army, I was taught how to tie different knots for tasks such as setting up a two-man tent, making a swiss seat for rappelling, and making a one-rope bridge, but I didn't understand the knots, memorized the steps by rote, then promptly forgot how to tie all of them. Shameful ... and had I stayed in, dangerous.

Recently, with my mindset taking an MGTOW turn, I've been watching old Les Stroud (Survivorman) and Ray Mears (Bushcraft) episodes. (Mears's program is more instructional, though both shows are designed to expose viewers to the survival world rather than teach survival techniques. Mears has a few instructional videos on his youtube channel.) Among the baseline survival skills, knot-tying is one of the most versatile and useful. Indeed, in my soldiering days, we normally were missing set-up parts for our crappy equipment and held them together in the field with 550 cord and 100-mile-hour tape. A skilled soldier with a multi-tool, spool of 550 cord, and roll of 100-mile-hour tape can work minor miracles in the field. It was also as a soldier I learned that Boy Scout skills, such as knot-tying, which I didn't learn growing up but many other soldiers had, matched basic soldiering skills.

Here are several instructional on-line knot-tying sites:'s 7 Basic Knots Every Man Should Know. Youtube videos.
Animated Knots by Grog. Animated.
Boys' Life (Official Publication of the Boy Scouts of America) Learn to tie knots. Animated.
The Six Boy Scout Knots. PDF.
Knots & Their Uses. PDF slides. Pictures and animated.
DoD's Knots, Bends, and Hitches (1973). Training film.
Boy Scout Knots. Animated.
The Eight Basic Boy Scouts Knots. Pictures.
Ropers Knots Page. Extensive links page, but links need to be updated.

That's enough to begin, I think.

See Knot tying progress and updates.


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