Seven survival knots every outdoorsperson should know

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A basic knowledge of knots may prove invaluable and may be your most useful survival tool. You may need to construct a shelter, tie up a food bag to keep it away from animals, or secure your boots!

Free Manuals: Military Manuals & Books About Knot-Tying

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Here are some free downloads of various books on knots and military manuals that you may find useful. You may want to consider downloading them to an older laptop and sticking it in a Faraday Bag. This will let you keep them handy, even in a worst-case scenario, without the expense of printing them.


Essential Fishing Knots

Pioneering Knots and Lashings


Knots, Splices, Attachments and Ladders

Knots, Splices and Rope Work


Free military manuals

Arctic SubArctic SurvivalB-GL-323-003-FP-001

Basic Food Preparation

Canadian Military Field Craft

Marine Land Navigation

Mountain Operations FM3976

Pressure Points Military Hand to Hand Combat Guide

TC 31 – Special Forces Caching Techniques 

Terrain Analysis

Topographic Operations

US Army fm31 70 Basic Cold Weather Manual

US Army Combatives hand to hand combat FM-325-150

US Army Field Manual FM 3-19.15, Civil Disturbance Operations 

US Army Map Reading and Land Navigation

Army stp21-1 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level 1

US Army stp21-24 Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Skills Level-2-3-and-4

US Marine Corps Hand to Hand Combat

US Marine Corp Pistol Markmanship


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How to Tie a Siberian Hitch (Video)

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Krik of Black Owl Outdoors shows you how to tie a Siberian Hitch used to hang a ridge-line, which is a great quick release hitch perfect to use to secure a ridge-line for a tarp while you’re camping, backpacking, or just picnicking in the outdoors.

He goes step by step and slowly shows you how easy it is to accomplish. It may take a couple of tries but once you get it, it quickly becomes a favorite knot to be used.

There are many other types of knots out there that can be used. Several are mentioned in his comment section. I urge you to try different different ones until you find one that satisfies you. The Know How of Knot Tying shows great animation videos to teach you multiple knots.


How to Tie a Siberian Hitch

Video By Black Owl Outdoors
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Number of speakers: 1 (Krik)
Duration: 3 min 59 sec

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Top 5 Crucial Knots For Off Grid Survival

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Top 5 Crucial Knots For Off Grid Survival Knot tying might not cross your mind when you’re thinking about skills you would need to survive in the wilderness, but knowing  how to tie different knots could save your life. Knots are used in building, setting traps and snares, setting up a fishing line, and climbing. …

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How To Tie Over 300 Knots – The Ultimate Knot Reference Site

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How To Tie Over 300 Knots – The Ultimate Knot Reference Site There is a large variety of knots, each with properties that make it suitable for a range of tasks. Some knots are used to attach the rope to other objects such as another rope, cleat, ring, or stake. Some knots are used to …

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Knots: Reef Knot (AKA Square Knot)

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The Reef Knot is probably the best known knot. It is easy to tie and is useful for low strain ties. However, most people know the reek knot as the square knot. The knot is popular among sailors, climbers, and gift wrappers for its convenience and ease of tying. One of the simplest knots available, the square knot nevertheless proves plenty strong for most casual applications. What I like best about it is, that if you grab one rope ends that are not under strain, and pull it back toward the knot, a properly tied square knot will untie itself.

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7 Essential Knots You Need To Know

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How many knots do you know (other than the shoelace knot)? Probably not many. But believe it or not, knots can be very useful. They can be used for boating, construction, and various DIY projects. This video covers seven essential knots that will allow you to use cordage […]

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A- Frame Poncho Shelter (Video & Transcript)

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Video By T Jack Survival
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Transcription provided by American Preppers Network

Number of speakers: 2 (Tyler & Kirsten)
Duration: 17 min 39 sec

A-Frame Poncho Shelter

Tyler: Hey this is Tyler with T Jack survival. We are here at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School with Kirsten and she is going to show us how to build a field expedient A frame shelter so stay tuned.

Poncho Shelter: Making the RidgelineKirsten: Uhhh today we are going to make an A frame shelter from 2 ponchos and a handful of P cord. I will begin by making a ridge line. When you set up your ridge line you want to make it at least above waist in height. I will start on this tree and go ahead use a Bowlen knot. My anchor knot. Come across keeping this even in height. That’s good. I am going to add an adjustable knot here so I am gonna go ahead and do a truckers hitch actually I am gonna go ahead and do a topline hitch so ill sort of make 4 wrap around my standing end 2-3 times, come back, wrap one more time. With this I have the flexibility to tighten this thing or loosen it. To begin I want to make it really loose so open up and make it nice and saggy. I highly recommend having a military grade poncho with you when you’re out on a trip. Even one can make an A frame but two is even better if your long with the body.

Poncho Shelter: Draping Ponchos over ridgelineSo lay these out and the first thing I wanna do is match my snaps so I have my grommets at the end. Then I’ll match the snaps all the way along the spine. Alright let’s go ahead and drape this over my line. The next thing I need are 3 sticks that are not too brittle and I’m going to need them to be about yah long and I will feed them through the grommets to make this an adjustable tension with the poncho. Start on this side take a bite of my P cord and thread it through each of the grommets. And then throw my stick right on in. Again take a bite of rope feed it through both of my grommets and this is why you want to have plenty of slack when you start.

Poncho Shelter: Inserting tension sticksSo the beauty of this is I have the ability to basically roll to adjust the tension in my poncho. And that way I can center it as I wish in between these 2 trees. I’ll leave a little bit of tension, or a little bit loose right now and go ahead and tighten up my ridge line so this topline hitch.

Tyler: Can you kinda show me what that rolling is doing?

Kirsten: Yeah so I can show you when I open it up to.

Tyler: So basically the rolling process is making it slide.

Kirsten: Yeah, Yeah So for example I feel like my shelter is a little bit too far this way. So I can go ahead and use this stick to give some slack to my poncho in this direction. And them come across and do the same thing on the other remaining grommet.

Tyler: Thank God there is tension all along there. Very nice!

Kirsten: yeah! One of the most important things you want to remember when your building a shelter is that you want everything to be taught you want everything to be tight. Ya know you don’t want saggy places where rain can amass or places where wind can get in. So keeping this ridgeline nice and strong and the poncho nice and taught is a very appropriate thing to start.

Poncho Shelter: locking down the cornersThe next thing we need to do is lock down the 4 corners of the poncho. I am going to gather some larger rocks to weigh this down. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t put enough weight on these corners and then they slowly slide as the wind for example happens overnight so let me go grab some big rocks. All right. I have some more P cord and I’ll go ahead and attach to my grommet. Then you want to pull out about a 45 degree angle and it doesn’t really matter how you attach it. As I said it’s mostly about the weight Uhmm that you’re attaching so the main strip doesn’t move. So I could for example do another hitch uhmm in this case I am simply going to do a slippery half hitch with a locking hitch or something like the bow, it doesn’t really matter so long as it’s not going to slip.

Let’s say you’re out of cord and you have a bandanna on you. Do the same thing. Attach it to my corner grommet. Then I’ll go ahead and do the same thing on the other side.

Poncho Shelter: All for corners locked downNow that I have, now that I have my 4 corners pinned down with nice heavy rocks that are stable and they keep the shape of this A frame I need to take care of the hood. I don’t want any water getting inside so I went ahead and tied it up and then what I am gonna do to create even more tension. We like tension, is attach is attach another piece of p cord or whatever you have for rope could be using webbing for example which is great for this part. And then I’ll go ahead and utilize this tree. Went ahead, again I’ll go ahead and use an uhh tautline hitch. And that’s it!

One thing that is always good to do with any type of cord that you have that you get it out of the way. That you hang it or throw it over something. Protecting a resource like this is really important. So if you leave knots in it over night or weeks at a time then it becomes difficult to get out and it creates a weak point in your ropes. So it’s always good to take care of it real quickly.

Kirsten inside the poncho shelterThere we go. Uhhm and then I would go ahead and pull out the hood on the other side as well. So when we look inside of this shelter its cozy. What’s nice about this one is I can sit up in it. I have plenty of room. This shelter size is good for about 3 people. Uhmm 2 people if you guys don’t want to be quite so cozy but body heat from other people is a great way to stay warm at night, especially if you don’t have a sleeping bag or blanket with you. Uhmm if it were really cold outside I would want this ridgeline to be a bit lower. Heat rises so anything I give off I would want to come back and remain in the air space around me. With something like this it’s a little bit more air flow. It’s a little bit more comfortable and I don’t feel claustrophobic and all but uhmm the higher the ridgeline the less heat you are able to retain.

Kirsten showing the location of the poncho shelterThis spot set me up very well. I was able to utilize trees for the ridgeline and for the far side I was able to utilize another tree to hook up my hood and create tension. This side I don’t have anything nearby but I still wanna be able to pull this hood up. So one thing that is really easy to do, is go ahead and tie your P cord onto your hood, grab a stick or a branch, something like this and then I can attach the P cord to this branch most likely using something like a clove hitch and then with the remainder of the cord attach it to the ground in one or two points and utilize big heavy rocks once again. So if you’re without big heavy trees go ahead and grab some braches or sticks and still be able to make this entire thing which is convenient.

Tyler: uhh cactus

Kirsten: yeah                                                    

Tyler: Ohh OhhSo Kirsten has been awesome to show us this 2 poncho uhh shelter so there is a couple questions I want to ask for you guys to have the opportunity to gain some knowledge. Uhmm so what do we do to help fortify this shelter against wind and rain.

Tyler and Kirsten discussing the poncho shelterKirsten: mmhmm. Well with the way its set up right now it’s actually fairly good. One thing that I would change is to make sure the poncho made it all the way to the ground. This one is uhh about 6 inches to high perhaps. Making sure that nothing actually comes in. Another thing one could do is dig out a trench right here so that if there is any precipitation it collects and gathers around your tent. That said, you would definitely want to choose your campsite with that in mind before you built this in the first place. So if you’re on a hill or a place where water seems like it runs, I certainly wouldn’t set my tent up there.

Tyler: don’t put it in the bottom of the during flash flood season. So another question to ask to is when I go camping a lot of the insulation or heat loss is due to a lack of insulation of the ground. So how do we fix that problem?

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Kirsten: Yes. The ground definitely robs you of your heat. So when we look around this area in particular what I see now is a bunch of pine needles. Air is great for helping basically retard the flow of heat. Heat always wants to transfer, right? Anything that is colder heat always wants to move towards it and equalize the temperatures and such. So if you can create insulation by using things like pine needles and dry grasses, uhhm leaves. And create a lot a lot underneath you any heat that you created which the ground is still gonna want to steal will be slowed down to work through all those air pockets right?

Tyler: So about how much thickness of brush and bows should I have underneath?

Kirsten: Definitely depends on the temperature, when it’s probably 40 degrees farenheight or below I’m thinking about at least a couple of feet underneath me. One thing people often forget about insulation what the ground does rob you of heat so does the wind and the weather above. You can use this type of material on top of you is like a down comforter as well. So I would probably have a couple feet under me and maybe a couple feet on top of me. In colder temperatures. When its warmer outside simply have a layer like this coming out underneath the trees is going to be a lot better than just a sandy wash area for example.

Tyler: Alright, that has been a simple how to make a shelter video and discussion on insulation and if you wanna get some solid education on how to do this, learn about the knots and find out how to do this and go out and do it. Where can we do that at?

Kirsten: Do this at the Boulder Outdoor Survival School in South Central Utah.

Tyler: I’ve left some links at the bottom of this in the comments section. And its and as always please subscribe to my channel, comment, share and if you have any questions leave them down in the comment section. Thanks for watching T-Jack Survival! I don’t sit my butt on the cactus that’d be great.


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