Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dedkad

What's all this obsession over knots?

Recommended Posts

You really only need to know a few knots for camping and backpacking: Square, double half-hitch, taut-line, overhand, etc. The ones I use the most are the ones I remember. I keep a field manual with me for the ones I use rarely. The same with scouts - If they go camping frequently, they will get it through practice. If they are parlor scouts, they will forget.

 

Self-reliance in the outdoors is a major mark of a Scout and knowing knots are essential to that end.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I backpack regularly, with and without Scouts along. Over the past 3 years, I have tied my shoes and once used a timber hitch. My tents don't need knots, my gear doesn't need knots, and my truck is an SUV so everything goes inside it. If I have to top strap, I use straps.

 

That said, I teach knots, have competitions, and my unit does pretty well at Camporee. But the only way I get the boys to really embrace the knots is our annual "we left the tents at home, oops!" campout. The boys have to build their own shelters, and start pulling out their handbooks to remember a few knots at times.

 

Same issue with fire starting. There are very few places we camp where open fires are allowed. Fuel gathering is prohibited. So backcountry cooking is done with small stoves.

 

I like knowing the classics, but sometimes you have to make the program reward the mastery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had someone looking closely at my civil war pup tent the other day and it peaked my curiosity so I asked him what was so interesting. There were 3 dozen other tents there that looked exactly the same as mine. He said he was admiring all the different knots I had used and then asked if I was a scout as a boy. I said I have been a scout for 50+ years. He smiled and said, "I thought so." and went his way.

 

There are certain icons of scouting, the necker, the knots, helping old ladies, one match fire starting, and first aid. They all speak for themselves and are easily recognized by the general public.

 

Stosh

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll argue the other side just because I like to argue...:).

 

While I agree knots are an important skill and have some long tradition in scouts, they are a bit of an anachronism. We don't teach kids today how to type on typewriters because they'll never use one. Kids don't use the card catalog in the library because there's a computer. Kids don't carry quarters in the pockets anymore because they have a cell phone for emergency calls. Kids are starting to leave text books behind in favor of e-books. Kids don't care about map and compass because they have GPS and phones. Kids don't retain knots because there are bungy cords and Velcro and webbing with friction buckles and/or come-alongs to take the place of rope for many tasks. Kids just don't see the value in knots. And they won't until the cute girl needs to move and they can tie-down something in the back of their pick-up.

 

Some of the knots the scouts teach, like the bowline, seem to be falling out of favor. We're sponsored by a fire department which teaches their members to use a figure 8 w/follow-through or a figure 8 on a byte to put a loop in the end of a rope. That's also the knot the scouts learn at the local climbing gym to put the belay rope on their harness. The logic offered by the FD is the figure 8 is easier to tie correctly, creates less load-bearing reduction on the line when tied, and is easier to untie (I do question the last point). When one of the "big" knots is questioned by other professionals as less than appropriate, it puts a huge dent in the rest of the knots program.

 

Finally, I'd argue that some folks do get obsessed with the means (knots) over the ends (character). Ultimately, we can plot character and competence on a two-dimensional chart to measure any scout. Sure, we'd like for all the scouts to be in the upper-right (high-competence/high-character) quadrant. However, I think we can be equally successful when scouts end up in the low-competence/high-character quadrant simply because the character part is the ultimate goal here. I'd certainly take a scout in either high-character quadrant over a low-character/high-competence scout any day. Even the Army is questioning where they are on the character vs. competence grid (http://www.stripes.com/news/army/chandler-emphasizes-character-commitment-in-talks-with-troops-1.242931)

 

Now, queue the responses about how I'm a wood badge loving management type. I can take it. :).

 

I suppose from a management perspective though, if my goal is to develop character, the two are equivalent. If a scouts is a high/high kid and never camps again, isn't that the same outcome as a low/high kid with the same character development? idk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll argue the other side just because I like to argue...:).

 

While I agree knots are an important skill and have some long tradition in scouts, they are a bit of an anachronism. We don't teach kids today how to type on typewriters because they'll never use one. Kids don't use the card catalog in the library because there's a computer. Kids don't carry quarters in the pockets anymore because they have a cell phone for emergency calls. Kids are starting to leave text books behind in favor of e-books. Kids don't care about map and compass because they have GPS and phones. Kids don't retain knots because there are bungy cords and Velcro and webbing with friction buckles and/or come-alongs to take the place of rope for many tasks. Kids just don't see the value in knots. And they won't until the cute girl needs to move and they can tie-down something in the back of their pick-up.

 

Some of the knots the scouts teach, like the bowline, seem to be falling out of favor. We're sponsored by a fire department which teaches their members to use a figure 8 w/follow-through or a figure 8 on a byte to put a loop in the end of a rope. That's also the knot the scouts learn at the local climbing gym to put the belay rope on their harness. The logic offered by the FD is the figure 8 is easier to tie correctly, creates less load-bearing reduction on the line when tied, and is easier to untie (I do question the last point). When one of the "big" knots is questioned by other professionals as less than appropriate, it puts a huge dent in the rest of the knots program.

 

Finally, I'd argue that some folks do get obsessed with the means (knots) over the ends (character). Ultimately, we can plot character and competence on a two-dimensional chart to measure any scout. Sure, we'd like for all the scouts to be in the upper-right (high-competence/high-character) quadrant. However, I think we can be equally successful when scouts end up in the low-competence/high-character quadrant simply because the character part is the ultimate goal here. I'd certainly take a scout in either high-character quadrant over a low-character/high-competence scout any day. Even the Army is questioning where they are on the character vs. competence grid (http://www.stripes.com/news/army/chandler-emphasizes-character-commitment-in-talks-with-troops-1.242931)

 

Now, queue the responses about how I'm a wood badge loving management type. I can take it. :).

 

Thanks for reminding me about the cute girl moving thing. Been burned by that one many times. :) Need to clue my son in on that one, though he will likely fall for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had someone looking closely at my civil war pup tent the other day and it peaked my curiosity so I asked him what was so interesting. There were 3 dozen other tents there that looked exactly the same as mine. He said he was admiring all the different knots I had used and then asked if I was a scout as a boy. I said I have been a scout for 50+ years. He smiled and said, "I thought so." and went his way.

 

There are certain icons of scouting, the necker, the knots, helping old ladies, one match fire starting, and first aid. They all speak for themselves and are easily recognized by the general public.

 

Stosh

Stosh has hit that nail on the head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Safety, First Aid & Fun should be first and the Fluer de Lis is the main symbol *nods*

But everything scouting is knotted together somehow ^o^

Knowing how to tie the friendship knot is pretty cool.

 

Maybe we should introduce a Bondage Merit Madge for adults?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safety, First Aid & Fun should be first and the Fluer de Lis is the main symbol *nods*

But everything scouting is knotted together somehow ^o^

Knowing how to tie the friendship knot is pretty cool.

 

Maybe we should introduce a Bondage Merit Madge for adults?

The Scouts can just grab Fifty Shades of Grey from Mom's nightstand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Safety, First Aid & Fun should be first and the Fluer de Lis is the main symbol *nods*

But everything scouting is knotted together somehow ^o^

Knowing how to tie the friendship knot is pretty cool.

 

Maybe we should introduce a Bondage Merit Madge for adults?

I never read that book, so I cant really tell.

But I was talking about adults :-P

Go do another round of YPT KDD ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll argue the other side just because I like to argue...:).

 

While I agree knots are an important skill and have some long tradition in scouts, they are a bit of an anachronism. We don't teach kids today how to type on typewriters because they'll never use one. Kids don't use the card catalog in the library because there's a computer. Kids don't carry quarters in the pockets anymore because they have a cell phone for emergency calls. Kids are starting to leave text books behind in favor of e-books. Kids don't care about map and compass because they have GPS and phones. Kids don't retain knots because there are bungy cords and Velcro and webbing with friction buckles and/or come-alongs to take the place of rope for many tasks. Kids just don't see the value in knots. And they won't until the cute girl needs to move and they can tie-down something in the back of their pick-up.

 

Some of the knots the scouts teach, like the bowline, seem to be falling out of favor. We're sponsored by a fire department which teaches their members to use a figure 8 w/follow-through or a figure 8 on a byte to put a loop in the end of a rope. That's also the knot the scouts learn at the local climbing gym to put the belay rope on their harness. The logic offered by the FD is the figure 8 is easier to tie correctly, creates less load-bearing reduction on the line when tied, and is easier to untie (I do question the last point). When one of the "big" knots is questioned by other professionals as less than appropriate, it puts a huge dent in the rest of the knots program.

 

Finally, I'd argue that some folks do get obsessed with the means (knots) over the ends (character). Ultimately, we can plot character and competence on a two-dimensional chart to measure any scout. Sure, we'd like for all the scouts to be in the upper-right (high-competence/high-character) quadrant. However, I think we can be equally successful when scouts end up in the low-competence/high-character quadrant simply because the character part is the ultimate goal here. I'd certainly take a scout in either high-character quadrant over a low-character/high-competence scout any day. Even the Army is questioning where they are on the character vs. competence grid (http://www.stripes.com/news/army/chandler-emphasizes-character-commitment-in-talks-with-troops-1.242931)

 

Now, queue the responses about how I'm a wood badge loving management type. I can take it. :).

 

I think I see where our disagreement lies. It appears you are operating under the premise that the goal of scouting is to develop character. I don't disagree with it as a goal, I do not think it is the only goal, nor even the primary one. Scout virtues as defined by the Oath and Law provide direction but do not supplant the goals of Scouting. I take my direction from the "Aim of Scouting" penned by John L. Alexander, "The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things for themselves and others. ...The method is summed up in the term Scoutcraft, and is a combination of observation, deduction, and handiness, or the ability to do things."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll argue the other side just because I like to argue...:).

 

While I agree knots are an important skill and have some long tradition in scouts, they are a bit of an anachronism. We don't teach kids today how to type on typewriters because they'll never use one. Kids don't use the card catalog in the library because there's a computer. Kids don't carry quarters in the pockets anymore because they have a cell phone for emergency calls. Kids are starting to leave text books behind in favor of e-books. Kids don't care about map and compass because they have GPS and phones. Kids don't retain knots because there are bungy cords and Velcro and webbing with friction buckles and/or come-alongs to take the place of rope for many tasks. Kids just don't see the value in knots. And they won't until the cute girl needs to move and they can tie-down something in the back of their pick-up.

 

Some of the knots the scouts teach, like the bowline, seem to be falling out of favor. We're sponsored by a fire department which teaches their members to use a figure 8 w/follow-through or a figure 8 on a byte to put a loop in the end of a rope. That's also the knot the scouts learn at the local climbing gym to put the belay rope on their harness. The logic offered by the FD is the figure 8 is easier to tie correctly, creates less load-bearing reduction on the line when tied, and is easier to untie (I do question the last point). When one of the "big" knots is questioned by other professionals as less than appropriate, it puts a huge dent in the rest of the knots program.

 

Finally, I'd argue that some folks do get obsessed with the means (knots) over the ends (character). Ultimately, we can plot character and competence on a two-dimensional chart to measure any scout. Sure, we'd like for all the scouts to be in the upper-right (high-competence/high-character) quadrant. However, I think we can be equally successful when scouts end up in the low-competence/high-character quadrant simply because the character part is the ultimate goal here. I'd certainly take a scout in either high-character quadrant over a low-character/high-competence scout any day. Even the Army is questioning where they are on the character vs. competence grid (http://www.stripes.com/news/army/chandler-emphasizes-character-commitment-in-talks-with-troops-1.242931)

 

Now, queue the responses about how I'm a wood badge loving management type. I can take it. :).

 

Your synopsis is fairly well dead on... it's the reason that I've been loosing interest in Scouting. Too much technology replacing old school skill sets. Eventually, technology will fail....and being in the back country when that happens doesn't bode well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll argue the other side just because I like to argue...:).

 

While I agree knots are an important skill and have some long tradition in scouts, they are a bit of an anachronism. We don't teach kids today how to type on typewriters because they'll never use one. Kids don't use the card catalog in the library because there's a computer. Kids don't carry quarters in the pockets anymore because they have a cell phone for emergency calls. Kids are starting to leave text books behind in favor of e-books. Kids don't care about map and compass because they have GPS and phones. Kids don't retain knots because there are bungy cords and Velcro and webbing with friction buckles and/or come-alongs to take the place of rope for many tasks. Kids just don't see the value in knots. And they won't until the cute girl needs to move and they can tie-down something in the back of their pick-up.

 

Some of the knots the scouts teach, like the bowline, seem to be falling out of favor. We're sponsored by a fire department which teaches their members to use a figure 8 w/follow-through or a figure 8 on a byte to put a loop in the end of a rope. That's also the knot the scouts learn at the local climbing gym to put the belay rope on their harness. The logic offered by the FD is the figure 8 is easier to tie correctly, creates less load-bearing reduction on the line when tied, and is easier to untie (I do question the last point). When one of the "big" knots is questioned by other professionals as less than appropriate, it puts a huge dent in the rest of the knots program.

 

Finally, I'd argue that some folks do get obsessed with the means (knots) over the ends (character). Ultimately, we can plot character and competence on a two-dimensional chart to measure any scout. Sure, we'd like for all the scouts to be in the upper-right (high-competence/high-character) quadrant. However, I think we can be equally successful when scouts end up in the low-competence/high-character quadrant simply because the character part is the ultimate goal here. I'd certainly take a scout in either high-character quadrant over a low-character/high-competence scout any day. Even the Army is questioning where they are on the character vs. competence grid (http://www.stripes.com/news/army/chandler-emphasizes-character-commitment-in-talks-with-troops-1.242931)

 

Now, queue the responses about how I'm a wood badge loving management type. I can take it. :).

 

Actually, being in the back country would seem to be preferable to being in the city when civilization fails. At least you won't have to be immediately concerned over your neighbors trying to kill you for your food and gasoline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Used a timber hitch last year' date=' interestingly for its designed purpose. We needed to move some logs for a lean-to we were fixing and the timber hitch was the perfect choice to tie on to the human mule powered line. I have never used the sheepshank. Even its designed purpose is "dumb" IMO.[/quote']

 

Sheepshank isn't one of the 6 scout knots. The sheet bend is, and it's great for joining two lines of different thicknesses (or the same thickness for that matter).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll argue the other side just because I like to argue...:).

 

While I agree knots are an important skill and have some long tradition in scouts, they are a bit of an anachronism. We don't teach kids today how to type on typewriters because they'll never use one. Kids don't use the card catalog in the library because there's a computer. Kids don't carry quarters in the pockets anymore because they have a cell phone for emergency calls. Kids are starting to leave text books behind in favor of e-books. Kids don't care about map and compass because they have GPS and phones. Kids don't retain knots because there are bungy cords and Velcro and webbing with friction buckles and/or come-alongs to take the place of rope for many tasks. Kids just don't see the value in knots. And they won't until the cute girl needs to move and they can tie-down something in the back of their pick-up.

 

Some of the knots the scouts teach, like the bowline, seem to be falling out of favor. We're sponsored by a fire department which teaches their members to use a figure 8 w/follow-through or a figure 8 on a byte to put a loop in the end of a rope. That's also the knot the scouts learn at the local climbing gym to put the belay rope on their harness. The logic offered by the FD is the figure 8 is easier to tie correctly, creates less load-bearing reduction on the line when tied, and is easier to untie (I do question the last point). When one of the "big" knots is questioned by other professionals as less than appropriate, it puts a huge dent in the rest of the knots program.

 

Finally, I'd argue that some folks do get obsessed with the means (knots) over the ends (character). Ultimately, we can plot character and competence on a two-dimensional chart to measure any scout. Sure, we'd like for all the scouts to be in the upper-right (high-competence/high-character) quadrant. However, I think we can be equally successful when scouts end up in the low-competence/high-character quadrant simply because the character part is the ultimate goal here. I'd certainly take a scout in either high-character quadrant over a low-character/high-competence scout any day. Even the Army is questioning where they are on the character vs. competence grid (http://www.stripes.com/news/army/chandler-emphasizes-character-commitment-in-talks-with-troops-1.242931)

 

Now, queue the responses about how I'm a wood badge loving management type. I can take it. :).

 

I use the bowline for the use it's name implies. It's the knot I use to tie a line to the bow (and stern) of a boat.

 

That said, for the cute girl packing the stuff on top of her car, I teach my sons the trucker's hitch (my favorite usage of half-hitches). I teach the other scouts it as well, but don't get quite as much repetition in as I can with my own sons.

 

To DC: IMHO, the goal of Boy scouts is to create better men. Character, competence in the outdoors, leadership, the ability to fend for themselves are all parts of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Used a timber hitch last year' date=' interestingly for its designed purpose. We needed to move some logs for a lean-to we were fixing and the timber hitch was the perfect choice to tie on to the human mule powered line. I have never used the sheepshank. Even its designed purpose is "dumb" IMO.[/quote']

 

Sheepshank isn't one of the 6 scout knots. The sheet bend is, and it's great for joining two lines of different thicknesses (or the same thickness for that matter).

The Sheet Bend is not required anymore is it? It's in the manual, but not required as far as I can tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×