For thousands of years, humans have used some form of string, and in that time, we have always required knots to manipulate that string. Over the millennia, humans have found thousands of various knots to control both string (twine, rope, etc.) and the various loads it secured. In the modern age, many have forgotten this important skill, and as a result, few can tie more than one or two important (and worthwhile) knots properly.
In case of survival (non-maritime), a knot becomes critical to you and your life. In most cases, knowledge of six basic knots can be the difference between life-and-death; these being the Bowline, the Albright, the In-Line Loop, the Clove Hitch and the Trucker’s Hitch. While many may argue this list, consider in survival that you need a way to hoist gear, lower gear, secure gear, make taught ridge lines (for tent-tarps) and solid anchor knots that won’t slip. If you use any carabiners at all, then in-line loops are great for adding them to fixed points on your rope. Unless you are lucky enough to know someone with a love of knots or a salty old seafarer; chances are that you probably have no resource convenient to you that can actually teach you how to tie these knots.
Well, never fear. All that is required is a small coil of ¼” rope or even paracord, and some time to practice. With rope and knot-tying, practice does make perfect. It may look simple, and you may ace ‘copying’ the instruction on the first try; but trust me when I say that without consistent practice, and tying the same knot a few dozen times, you will most-likely not remember how to tie the right knot at the right time, when it really counts. Don’t cut yourself short, practice-practice-practice. As for how to tie the knots, an excellent website exists with this as it’s primary focus (and they have software for you that can aid in your continued practice and memory, too). With that, here are some internet links to ‘Animated Knots’ and the great instructional videos for each given knot offered.
How to Tie an Albright Knot
How to Tie a Bowline Knot
How to Tie a Bowline Knot (2nd Video)
How to Tie the Prusik Knot
How to Tie a Dropper Loop Knot
How to Tie the Highwayman’s Hitch Knot
How to Tie the Trucker’s Hitch Knot
How to Tie the Lanyard Knot
How to Tie the Handcuff Knot
How to Tie a Cow Hitch Knot
How to Tie an Eye Splice
How to Tie the Clove Hitch Knot (rope end)
How to Tie a Chain Splice
How to Tie a 2-rope Short Splice
How to Hang a Child’s Swing
How to Back-Splice a Rope End
How to Tie a Diagonal Lashing
How to Coil Rope (attached)
How to Tie a Nail Knot
How to Tie the Double Fisherman’s Knot
How to Tie a Distel Hitch Knot
How to Make an Eye in Braided Rope
Special thanks to http://www.animatedknots.com for making such great videos!