5 Best Paracord Knots Everyone Should Know

Person tying a paracord knot

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Why Should You Know How to Tie Paracord Knots?

Paracord knots aren't just for the Boy Scouts; they can help you conquer the land you've set out to explore. Knowing how to tie the right paracord knot at the right time is crucial for making your outdoor adventures a success. Or, even more importantly, it might even save a life. Every adventurer knows that once you find the perfect campsite, you'll have the task of setting up camp – it's essential to have a few easy paracord knot-tying skills memorized to help get the job done. Paracord and micro paracord are some of the most versatile and efficient pieces of gear you can have in your backpack. They can help construct a shelter, negotiate with rugged terrain for comfortable camping, protect your food from the opportunistic wildlife around your site and even be used in first-aid situations. A length of paracord on its own can only be so versatile. But, if you know how to tie it, it can mean the difference between an exciting weekend of adventure and a complete failure. Whether you're looking to learn some basic survival/camping skills or just need to brush up, we're going over five of the best paracord knots everyone should know. Before you go on your next excursion in the wilderness, read this step-by-step guide.

Tying Knots With Paracord: Some Background Information

Before you can start practicing tying knots with paracord, you should know more about some of the terms we'll be using throughout this article. You might not be aware that paracord knots have different parts with specific names. There are even names for the way you'll be folding the paracord. For example, the piece of the paracord you hold in your hand is the running end, while the other section is known as the standing end. When your paracord's running end is folded along the standing end, it's called a bight. It's also good to know that when the running end crosses the standing end, your paracord is in a loop.

It's also beneficial to know that not all knots are the same. In our guide to paracord knots that everyone should know, we'll be focusing on a few different knot families:

  • Stoppers: These paracord knots can prevent the end of the paracord from slipping through a hole.
  • Loops: This family of paracord knots secures a part of the paracord to an object.
  • Hitches: These are paracord knots used to secure a piece of the paracord to an object by cinching it around said object.
  • Bends: Bend paracord knots are used to join two ends of paracord to one another. The ends can be from the same piece or two different paracords.
A Square Paracord Knot

1. The Square Paracord Knot

One of the best paracord knots for beginners to learn is the square knot. It can also be one of the easiest to screw up. It's common for people to attempt to tie a square paracord knot but instead end up with a granny knot – which is not only different, it's also pretty useless. Square paracord knots are commonly used in emergencies to tie cravats or join two micro paracord pieces together to extend the length of a shelter. Here's how you tie a square paracord knot:

  1. Hold the running ends of the same paracord or two different lengths of paracord in each hand and cross them by placing the cord in your left hand in your right hand and vice versa.
  2. Repeat this step and cross the running ends again.
  3. Pull the running ends away from one another.

You'll know you've made this paracord knot for beginners correctly when you see that both the running ends are parallel to their standing ends.

2. The Slip Paracord Knot

Another easy paracord knot to know is the slip knot. You can use it to temporarily secure items while climbing or hoisting up something. It's also great if you want to flex your hunting skills and catch some small-time game with a snare trap. A slip paracord knot will tighten around an object when pulled from the running end and will immediately untie when pulled from the standing end. This is one of the best paracord knots to use with micro cord, as the thin, light design helps keep knots small. To tie a slip paracord knot, all you have to do is:

  1. Keep the running end in your left hand and form a loop with the paracord.
  2. Reach through the loop with your right hand, and pull the standing end through to form a loop.
  3. Pull the loop to tighten your slip paracord knot.

3. The Overhand Paracord Knot on a Bight

The overhand paracord knot with a bight is another one of the best paracord knots for beginners to learn. It doesn't have to be tied at the end of the cord, so it offers an advantage in many different situations. In addition, you can clip it directly to a carabiner and quickly connect it to other objects. One of the best uses we've seen out of this knot is a bear-proof food bag system when out in the forest. Here's how you tie this valuable knot:

  1. Start by creating a bight by folding the running end along the standing end. This is now one big running end.
  2. Use the running end bight to make a loop and pass the running end through the backside.
  3. Pull until the knot is taut.
paracord knot on a horse

4. The Bowline Paracord Knot

The bowline is one of the best paracord knots for camping and one of the more popular types for adventurers to know. It's important to note that it can be confusing to understand if you don't use an anchor point to help when you're learning this knot. In addition, you should always face the object you want to tie the bowline paracord knot to – if you don't, you could end up tying it to yourself by accident. Tying knots with paracord is a hands-on learning experience and should be done in the exact context in which you'll use the skill. As a paracord knot for beginners, you can use it to hang hammocks or bear bags, tie it around yourself in self-rescue situations and hoist heavy loads. To tie a bowline paracord knot, you must:

  1. Face an anchor point (like a small tree) and pass the running end of the cord around the anchor point from right to left.
  2. Make a loop on the standing end, which should be on the right side of the anchor point. Your loop should be pointing towards the running on the left of the anchor point. The standing end should be on the bottom of the loop.
  3. While holding the loop in your right hand, pull the running end upward through the loop.
  4. Feed the running end along the left side of the standing end, then go under the standing loop and return the running end inside the loop with a downward motion.
  5. Pull the standing end and the running end away from one another, and you'll see the paracord knot take shape.

The bowline paracord knot is so popular because it can create a secure loop around an object which can be put under a lot of tension.

5. The Trucker's Hitch Paracord Knot

The trucker's hitch paracord knot functions the same as a pulley, giving the puller the capability to pull three times their weight. Many adventurers consider this an essential paracord knot for beginners to learn due to its many uses. It can effectively create tension on micro paracord for setting up shelters or securing canoes to the top of vehicles. To tie a trucker's hitch:

  1. Start by making a slip knot or bowline in one end of your rope to be your upper pulley.
  2. Wind the running end of the micro paracord around a fixed object (the canoe rack, tree branch, etc.) and bring the line up through the back of the prepared loop.
  3. To finish the trucker's hitch, tie a slip knot around the standing end of the cord.
  4. For an easy release, leave a loop. To make this a fixed knot, pull the running end all the way through.

Shop Atwood Rope for Paracord & Micro Paracord Supplies

If you've enjoyed learning our picks for the best paracord knots everyone should know, head on over to our site and check out the supplies you can buy to start putting your tying skills to the test. At Atwood Rope MFG, we've perfected our paracord products to be strong, durable and long-lasting to give you the confidence to be protected on any outdoor adventure. Combined with your new paracord knot-tying skills, our products can provide you the opportunity to experience camping, climbing and repelling in a whole new way. Plus, with our durable and reliable construction, you'll be giving yourself a whole new level of safety that you can depend on. And, if you have any questions about our products, you can contact us at any time. Our team of paracord experts is always standing by to assist you. View our entire selection of 550 paracord, micro paracord and much more at Atwood Rope today.

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