Essential Knots You Should Know While Hammock Camping

Do you know how to tie a rope knot? What rope knots do you currently have in your repertoire? Having some knots down in your mental toolkit of hammocking can take you a long way in providing safety and security while hammock camping. But in case you’ve come to learn a thing or two about knots, here’s an article detailing essential knots you should know while hammock camping.


The Simple Yet Effective “Hammock Knot”

Hammock Knot with Carabiner

This knot is easy to tie and can bear a heavy load (such as a human body). You’ll need a carabiner for this knot.

  1. Hold the carabiner with your left hand. Thread the rope over the top end of the carabiner, and through the center carabiner top-to-bottom.  
  2. Grab the working end of the rope (the side you’re using to tie the knot) with your right hand and pull it out to the right at a roughly 90° angel.
  3. Then, bring the working end of the rope back over the top of the carabiner, from right to left. Make sure that the working end is crossing over both, the top of the carabiner & the rope itself. Do NOT pull it tight, yet.
  4. Now for the tricky-ish part. Take the working end of the rope behind the upper-left side of the carabiner, and loop it back thru the center of the carabiner. Then push a loop of rope up through the loop you just made. The working end of the rope should now be hanging straight down.
  5. Finally, pull the knot tight.

This is a sound, trustworthy knot that’s bound to keep hold under copious amounts of weight. To give you an idea of its strength, we imagine that the webbing would break long before the knot. Also, it’s very easy to undo!


The Even Easier to Untie “Taut Line Hitch”

Taut Line Hitch

The taut-line hitch is a popular knot for hammock camping since it’s so easy to take apart. Here’s how to tie this fairly easy knot.

  1. Bring the tail of the rope around the backside of the tree (or any other support structure) you’re tying it to. Loop around the support and wrap the working end of the rope under & around the standing part (taut end of the rope that’s idle). You now have a defined working end and a standing end. 
  2. Use the working end and wrap it around the standing part of the rope a 2nd time. This 2nd loop should be closer to the tree/support than the first loop.
  3. Then make a 3rd and final loop around the standing rope—this final loop should be on the outside (further from the tree) of the first 2 loops you made.
  4. Pass the working end through the 3rd loop you just made. 
  5. Now PULL to tighten the knot. Hold the standing section of rope to make it nice and taut.
  6. You can now slide the knot up and down the standing section of rope to adjust tension.

Many who set out to learn how to tie a rope knot inevitably come across this one. It allows you to adjust the length of your hammock and works strongly!


The "Wrapped" or "Gathering" Knot 

The wrapped knot is the knot of choice when an O-ring, rather than a closed-loop, is used in your hammock set-up. Here’s the best way to go about getting this knot tight and secure. The written directions for this knot are a little harder to understand/visualize, so we've embedded a video to help you follow along.

  1. Perform a basic knot to secure a length of rope to one side of the ring. 
  2. As the rope hangs vertically, move your hand down a few inches and make a vertical fold in the rope. Bring the working end of the rope back up to the ring, leaving a bit of extra rope that should point straight up.
  3. Firmly wrap the working end of the rope around the hanging/standing portion of the rope. Continue wrapping the working end of the rope down the standing line, towards the fold you made in Step 2. 
  4. When the wrapped area is about 2 inches long, push the working end of the rope through the front of the loop that you made in Step 2.
  5. To tighten; pull the remaining end of the rope downward, and/or pull upward on the extra bit of rope, above the wrapped area, that's pointing straight up (Step 2).
  6. Finally, you can just tie a basic knot on the upward end of the rope to secure the hammock to the tree.

These essential knots will come easy after some practice. We highly recommend that you look up some video tutorials to help you learn new knots. After a while, you’ll easily be able to tie these by memory. This is good news considering these three knots are the perfect companions for hammock camping adventures (and for impressing your fellow hammock camping friends!).

May 27, 2020 — Ryan W

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