Knot Course for Beginners

If you’re trying to learn a few basic knots for the outdoors, I made this beginners knot course specifically for you. Walk through the videos one at a time. In about half an hour, you’ll have all the knots to be confident with rope in outdoors.

Clove Hitch: 

A clove hitch is two half-hitches tied around an object. It is a quick release knot and is particularly useful when the length of the running end needs to be adjusted. It does hold tight when one strand is weighted.  It’s often used in climbing situations because it can be tied with one hand and untied easily. 

Be aware that it’s not a great knot to tie around square posts as it is prone to some slippage. 


The bowline is one of the first knots people learn, often with the phrase “Rabbit comes out of the hole, goes around the tree and back down the hole.”

It’s useful in creating a loop at the end of a rope and is pretty easy to untie. 

Trucker’s Hitch

The trucker’s hitch is useful in tying down loads and getting the rope really tight. This is because of the way the initial loop acts a bit like a pulley and allows you to pull the whole thing tight. Essentially you tie a slip knot halfway up the rope. The remaining rope is tied around an anchor point, threaded back through the slip knot and pulled tight. This provides mechanical advantage for pulling it tight – much like a pulley system. Any knot, such as two half hitches, can then be used to secure it. 

Taut Line

The taut-line hitch is an adjustable loop knot that can be used for lines under tension. It comes in handy when the line needs to be adjusted to maintain tension.

Some possible uses include tying down a tent tarp line or tent stake. Care should be given though not to tie this knot around you as it could easily constrict tightly. 

Alpine Butterfly

This is a type of mid-line knot. This is a great knot for mountaineering situations where you want to tie someone into the middle of the rope. That’s because it will take loading in three directions. It’s also easy to untie after a load has been removed from it.

Double Figure 8 Knot

This is the essential climbing knot so I’m including it here. It’s a great stopper knot if tied as a single knot. One figure eight is often tied, then looped around a climbing harness and threaded back on itself to make the double figure 8.

This knot will not come undone and is the industry standard for tying yourself into a rope that you want to trust your life on. 

Chain Sinnet

Cleat Knots

What’s next?

Now that you have these knots, you might want to start learning some specialty knots depending on your sport.

About The Author
Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson

Rob has worked as a biologist and wildlife educator since 2001 with the goal of reconnecting people with nature. While in grad school in Hawaii he studied ecology and as a side job he spent years working part time leading nature tours – teaching about the wildlife, the land, and the natural history that made the islands so unique. These were the first sparks that would lead to what is now StoneAgeMan.