3 Must-know Knots for Boating, Fly-fishing, and Camping

Man on motor yacht tying a knot
Man on motor yacht tying a knotWestend61 / Getty Images

Whether you’re spending the weekend camping or casting a line, you need to know some basic knot-tying iterations.



Here are three must-know connections for every outdoorsman.

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1.Fly-fishing: Blood Knot

To connect leader and tippet, place one end of a line over the other and turn the top line around the other five times. Insert the tag end between the two lines. Repeat with the other line, wrapping in the opposite direction. Set the knot pulling by each line in opposite directions.

Fly-fishing Blood Knot
Fly-fishing Blood Knot Illustrations by Todd Detwiler

2. Camping: Tautline Hitch  

To properly secure a tent, pass the guy line around a stake and make two turns of the running end around the standing end, looping back toward the stake. Bring the running end above these coils and make a third loop, passing the running line between the first and last coils. Set the knot and adjust for tension.

Camping Tautline Hitch
Camping Tautline Hitch Illustrations by Todd Detwiler

3. Boating: Pile Hitch

To tie a boat to a piling, form a loop with rope and wrap it around the piling and bring it under the standing end. Lift the loop over the top of the piling, then set the hitch by pulling on the standing end.

Boating Pile Hitch Knot
Boating Pile Hitch Knot Illustrations by Todd Detwiler

This article is part of our Summer School series, a comprehensive guide to acing the year’s best season.

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