If you’ve been following our site or magazine for a while now, you’ve probably heard us discuss the importance of cordage in survival situations. Paracord or other strong and lightweight cordage is especially useful for creating survival shelters. You just need a tarp or rain fly, a few lengths of cord, and some sturdy trees or other objects to serve as anchor points.
With a large tarp, some paracord, and a little knowledge, you can have a survival shelter up in no time.
Well… actually, there’s one more element you need: knot-tying knowledge. Without this, you won’t be able to apply tension to your ridgeline or secure your anchor hitches, and you’ll probably end up with a droopy shelter that blows away with the first gust of wind.
The key to learning knots is clear instruction and frequent practice, so the following video from MCQBushcraft is a great resource. In this 17-minute video, host Michael McQuilton demonstrates eight essential knots, as well as some variations and additional tips. Whether you’re a knot-tying expert or just starting to learn, you’ll be able to learn something from his video.