Whether you’re rigging up a hammock, securing a snare line, or tying your boat down at the shore, it’s extremely important to know how to tie a knot that won’t slip or give way under tension. The bowline knot fits this task perfectly, and it’s a strong contender for the most important knot to know in survival scenarios. There’s a good reason the bowline has been called the king of all knots—it’s even said to date back as far as ancient Egypt.

The bowline is essentially a way to attach a free end of rope or cord to a solid object. The process for tying a bowline has been simplified as “into the hole, around the tree, then back out the hole again” and is demonstrated well in this video from HowCast:

If you try this method a few times, and remember the saying “into the hole, around the tree, then back out the hole again” you’ll have the technique down in no time. Tie the bowline around a post or tree, then give it a hard yank—if you’ve tied the knot correctly, it will tighten instead of slipping. This is extremely useful for setting up a hammock, stringing up a bear bag, or a number of other tasks.


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