Six Survival Tricks that Only Require a Rope


To a survivalist, every yard of paracord is like a hundred dollar bill. That’s because they understand the value of a piece of rope during an emergency situation. Ropes can be used for a wide range of tasks when survival is the goal, and here are a few tricks that every individual should learn in case something goes horribly wrong one day.

  1. Figure-eight on bight knot

    If you need a rope that can handle a lot of weight, this simple technique is exactly what you want. The figure-eight on bight knot is one of the strongest and sturdiest knots out there. All you have to do is create the figure-eight pattern, then pull the loop through the top hole until everything’s tightened. The loop end is meant to be attached to a hook, carabiner, or pulley system for added hoisting force.

  2. Figure-eight follow-through knot

    If you find yourself in a situation where you need a longer rope, you can use this technique to tie two ropes together. After creating a figure-eight on one far side of the rope, pull the end of the rope through the bight of another rope, and trace the first figure-eight with that end. You should see three pairs of strands when done properly. This knot could be used to reach a hiker or climber who’s been injured after falling down a high rock face.

  3. Bowline knot

    This trick is often used by rock climbers and emergency personnel who must strap themselves in to be lowered down somewhere. The knot creates a loop that won’t continue to be tightened with force so that it can support weight without injuring the person wearing it. After creating a simple loop, pull the end around the back and through. Continue pulling the working end down and around the standing end, then thread it back up through the original loop and tighten. Adjust to form the desired primary loop size, then pull the leftover rope around the string to create a simple knot that retains that exact form.

  4. Two half-hitches

    If you ever need to secure yourself, somebody, or something to a tree, this knot is what you’d want. First, wrap the rope around the tree, then slip the working end through that initial loop to form the first half-hitch. Then, wrap around the standing end again, but pull through the new hole created to form the second half-hitch.

  5. Mule knot

    First form a bight, then pull the working end around it. Thread it through the newly created loop, then tighten it down to section off the original bight. This technique is used for securing a rope-based transportation system that can transfer people or objects between two different locations.

  6. Sheet bend knot

    Used to attach two ropes of unequal thickness together, this basic knot can come in very handy when length is a must. First, create a bight with the thicker rope. Then, thread the thinner one through the bight, wrap it around both ends of the thicker rope, then pull it back up through the hole created by both thin and thick ropes.

There are few items more useful during a survival situation than some type of rope such as a shock cord or paracord. Even if you don’t plan on using one for your next mountain climb, camping trip, or drive to the grocery store, it would be a good idea to have one with you just in case. You never know what could happen, so it’s always best to be prepared for the worst.

Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.

One thought on “Six Survival Tricks that Only Require a Rope

  • April 5, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Years ago I wasnt shabby at knots I need to practice up again!


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