As a paddler, I use a couple different types of knots on every paddling adventure. Whether it's half-hitch to tie the boat off on my car, a bowline for a bow line, or a daisy chain to get rid of excess tail on a strap, knots are important!
Here's my 5 favorite knots that every paddler should know!
The Bowline: The bowline knot is quick to tie, and under a load, doesn't slip, and doesn't jam. An extremely versatile knot, the bowline is used mostly as an anchor for something under tension. It is important to note that under intermittent load or no load, the bowline can work itself undone. I have used this knot multiple times in a rescue situation, where I need a bomber knot, but want to be able to get it out and use my rope again.
Fisherman's Knot: The fisherman's knot is useful in joining two pieces of rope or webbing together, as well as joining the two ends of one rope together, such as for a loop to use for a prussik. One of the strongest way to fasten two lines. **Great when needing to create a loop of webbing to be used as an anchor during a rescue**
Trucker's Hitch: A must-know for the paddler who uses bow or stern lines! The truckers hitch is a quick and easy way to secure heavy loads in place, and a get a piece of rope as tight as a guitar string! Great for tying boats on a car with a throw rope, after you realize you left your cam straps in the car at the put-in (Guilty!).
Half-Hitch: The half-hitch is the basis of many other knots, but is also used by itself to tie off the trucker's hitch. Good to know! You can never tie too many half-hitches!
The Prussik: The prussik is not technically a knot. It's a loop of cord tied around a larger rope. When tied correctly, it can serve as a make shift-ascender (aids in ascending rope), as well as an easy way to rig up a Z-drag. What's cool about the Prussik, in particular, is its "bite" ability. Once tied, when there is no tension on the prussik, it is easily slid along the main rope. However, when tension is applied, the prussik locks into place, "biting" the larger rope. This comes in handy as a quick and effective way to fasten a carabiner to a throw rope, such as when your doing a Z-drag and will need to move your carabiners as you take up rope. For the greatest "bite", try using a prussik loop that is slightly smaller in diameter than the main rope. A good video video detailing the prussik
Feel free to share your favorite knot!