Words and pictures by Jess Fogarty.
In last month’s issue, we published a feature about ropes, so a follow-up article on knots seemed very appropriate. Sure, some off-roaders know their figure of eight from their single hitch, but many of us are guilty of tying one granny knot on top of another until we’ve got a giant bird’s nest of a thing which takes ages and much patience to undo.
Knowing how to tie a well-formed knot is important for a couple of reasons. A bad knot could come loose unexpectedly; plus, it can actually weaken your rope. A good knot is your best friend. It’s one which ties easily, holds fast, and then unties easily when no longer needed. We’ve chosen the following knots on the basis of their suitability for off-road work.
One of the most basic knots, and one you need to know to be able to tie other knots. It’s also used to support other knots, or put a stopper on the end of the rope. The single half hitch is simple to use and remember, but only holds as long as there’s tension on the rope.
Trucker’s / Haymaker’s / Harvester’s / Lorry hitch
A trucker’s hitch is used to tighten rope. This allows you to get the rope as taut as possible; particularly useful when securing loads or tarpaulins. It is a tricky one to tie and remember, but make the effort: you won’t regret it.