Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Knots in Rope

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Survival Knots: Rope and Knot Terminology

Survival Knots: Rope and Knot Terminology from Ventura County S&R

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Knots in Rope from AnimatedKnots

In survival, there are many knots that people should know about, so I have decided to start a few blogs about some basic survival knots.  This one is about figure 8 style knots.  It is also called the “figure 8 family.”  Figure 8s are prevelant in the climbing community, which makes it a great basic knot to know.  If people are placing their lives on the line with these knots, it would stand to reason that it is still a great reliable utilitarian knot as well.

I want to give you a basic understanding of terminology that I may use here.

Survival Knots: Rope and Knot Terminology

Survival Knots: Rope and Knot Terminology from Ventura County S&R

The knots that come to mind are:

  1. The basic figure 8
  2. Figure 8 on a bight
  3. Figure 8 follow-through
  4. Figure 8 bend
  5. Directional figure 8

So let’s start with… 

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Knots in Rope from AnimatedKnots

The Basic Figure 8:

  1. Take the tail and pass above the standing end of the rope and create a loop
  2. Pass the tail behind the standing end, so it should look like and 8 now.
  3. Bring the tail end back above the loop and pass it through from front to back.  Now pull both ends!

This is a BASIC figure 8 knot and is the basis for the whole family.  It is also typically used and an indicator that you are nearing the end of a rope, which would be very important, if you were climbing with this rope!  The advantage here is how easily it can usually be untied after it has been loaded.

 

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Bight Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Directional Knots in Rope from John Wilbers

Figure 8 on the Bight is almost the exact same as the figure 8, but is done with a bight.  A bight is just when you double the rope back on itself.  With the bight that you made, you will just to a figure 8 knot, and it will make a loop at the end.  If you have an anchor point with a carabiner, you can use this knot in the middle of your rope to clip your carabiner onto.

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Follow Through Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Follow Through Knots in Rope from AnimatedKnots

 

 

Figure 8 Follow-Through as a final product looks just like the figure 8 on the bight, but it is tied differently because it is tied around an object.  This works well if it is not possible to tie an 8 on the bight and place the device in the loop afterwards.

  1. Tie a very loose figure 8.
  2. Pass the tail end into a loop around the object to be tied to.
  3. Then just follow, in reverse, with the tail, the entire figure 8 knot you just made.
  4. Then exit out of the standing end of the knot.

 

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Bend Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Bend Knots in Rope

Figure 8 Bend is also known as the Flemish Bend.  It is a safe method of joining two ropes together for obvious reasons.

  1. Tie a loose figure 8, just like you would with the figure 8 follow-through.
  2. Then take the tail end of the second rope and enter the knot at the tail end of the first rope.
  3. Follow the entire figure 8 knot you tied, in reverse, with the second rope
  4. Exit out of the standing end of the rope.

Although it is not technically necessary, if you are using this to extend a rope to hold yourself, I would recommend that you probably want to finish it off with a Double Overhand Stopper Knot on each tail end of the ropes (you can wait for me to get to that in a blog post, or google it now.)  This is an extremely versatile knot.

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Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Directional Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Directional Knots in Rope from AnimatedKnots

Directional Figure 8  can be tied in the middle of a rope, but I will explain like it is at the end of the rope so I can use the ease of terminology to explain it.  It is designed that it can be loaded in one direction.  After loading, it is tough to untie.  If you load it in the direction not intended it will basically turn into a noose and slip.  Most knot guys use the Alpine butterfly loop instead if they want to be able to load it in any direction.  I plan to get to this knot in a later post.  There are so many knots to know, I don’t think I will ever get to all of them.

  1. Make a large loop in the rope with the tail end over the standing end.
  2. Pass the loop behind the standing end.
  3. Then pass it back around over the standing end.
  4. Then pass it through the bottom loop from back to front, and exiting at the tail end of the knot.
Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 Double Knots in Rope

Survival Knots: How to Tie Figure 8 on Double Knots in Rope from AnimatedKnots

The Figure 8 Double Loop is a little different.  If you have weight being placed on the loop of, let’s say, the 8 on the bight, but you want the weight distributed between 2 different loops for strength, durability, and redundancy, this is a good knot to choose.

  1. Make a long bight
  2. Perform steps 1 and 2 of the figure 8 knot with the bight.
  3. Create another loop with the bight
  4. Pass that loop down and through the bottom loop, from back to front and pull.
  5. Take the loop left on the standing end, bring it down behind the knot, around the bottom, above the knot up to the top.

This is a knot that you want to master before using (Well, like all of these!)  It is good to practice these during your every day utilitarian needs, so when the knot really does matter, you have experience and trust in it.

Many of the photos that I used on this post are from AnimatedKnots
.  If you want more information, you can visit there.

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Ken
Ken
Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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