Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dedkad

What's all this obsession over knots?

Recommended Posts

We just got some new patrol gear for our Troop. One of the items in each patrol box is now a dining fly. The first thing the SM did was cut off the "friction" ties on the guy-lines to the fly tarp... "It'll force the lads to use the taught-line hitch for its intended purpose". We are toying with the idea of ripping through one of the eyelets on each tarp as well to force the use of the sheet bend, but can't quite bring ourselves to break brand new gear.

 

I don't think knots are the end-all be-all of scouting, but kind of like first aid, if you don't use it you tend to loose it.... so look for ways to MAKE the boys use their knots in everyday camping situations. Also, if your tying a taught-line hitch in the basement of a church for a requirement, versus doing it to keep a trap up over your head to protect you from rain / heat.... I bet you pay attention and remember it better if / when your comfort demends upon it.

 

Lastly, I consider the truckers hitch to be one of the most important / useful if not the most useful knot you can know. Its certainly more important that the sheep-shank. Every time I'm behind a truckload of crap on a CA freeway on my motorcycle, I say a little prayer that the person that tied the load was a scout worth his salt. (I try to get out from behind the truck as fast as possible, as I assume most DIY movers were not scouts / scouters) :)

 

Dean

When we got new dining flies, I did the same thing--I removed all of the doobers (my name for the mechanical tautline hitch replacements), so the boys had to use TL hitches.

 

I was pleasantly surprised at the camporee last weekend, when the boys in my troop knew all the 6 knots in the knot relay. They lost the competition (speed), but I was happy that they knew all the knots.

 

Finally, I agree with you totally about the trucker's hitch. I canoe/kayak/windsurf and I use a modified truckers hitch to tie the bow and stern of the watercraft down. By modified truckers hitch, I mean I use an overhand loop for the knot in the body of the rope, which is semi-permanent, as I am usually tying the same watercraft on the same vehicle. I also use slipped half-hitches, because I can double up the line, and don't have as much leftover line then. The painters of my watercraft are at least as long as the watercraft are, so I have some extra line that needs to be dealt with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On the subject of knots, which one do you prefer when tying a hammock to a tree?
first of all, I use climbing webbing, at least 1in thick, as it causes less damage to the tree. I use a timber hitch on one end, but then secure the hitch with a bowline to the standing end of the line to prevent movement / slippage... I make sure this end is wrapped at least twice around the tree trunk to help distribute weight and not cause bark damage. I do the same for the other end, but use a TL hitch so that I can adjust the hieght of the hammock. Once I have the right height, I tie a modified truckers hitch around the webbing going to the tree trunk. This will stop any slipping of the TL hitch. Both are pretty easy to undo. Only time I've had trouble is when it rained and my boy was jumping into the hammock, that caused the hitches to seize up a little bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask the general public what Boy Scouts do or excell at. First Aid, Knots, Camping, helping old ladies across the street. Tying knots is a requirement of the first four ranks, not an elective merit badge. The square knot is the second most used symbol of scouting. It is an easily demonstrable skill in a interior setting unlike say following a compass heading.

 

To me knot tying is a fundamental skill that transcends camping and outdoors. It is a skill that is used throughout your lifetime. Please offer a single demonstrable skill that more better examplifies something Boy Scouts know and use that non-Boy Scouts probably don't know.

It's kind of funny that you pick the one knot that was removed from the 8 basic BSA knots as your example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask the general public what Boy Scouts do or excell at. First Aid, Knots, Camping, helping old ladies across the street. Tying knots is a requirement of the first four ranks, not an elective merit badge. The square knot is the second most used symbol of scouting. It is an easily demonstrable skill in a interior setting unlike say following a compass heading.

 

To me knot tying is a fundamental skill that transcends camping and outdoors. It is a skill that is used throughout your lifetime. Please offer a single demonstrable skill that more better examplifies something Boy Scouts know and use that non-Boy Scouts probably don't know.

Tenderfoot requirement must use the EDGE method to teach someone else how to tie a Square Knot.

 

Granted there is no requirement specifically stating you must be able to tie the Square Knot, only be able to teach it to someone else. Presumably in order to teach someone how to tie the knot, you would have to be able to tie the knot yourself.

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?

Last night, the SPL was teaching the troop some First Aid techniques (he had just gone to a Wilderness First Aid Class and is hopped up to share). The SM noted that sometimes knots/lashings are a necessary part of first aid, for example if you have to splint a broken leg and then build a litter/stretcher to carry the victim.

 

We are currently on a knot renewal program for our First Class and up boys. We are requiring they tie the knot of the day before coming into the Scout Hut. Last week was the square knot, this week was the sheet bend. I'm accepting the challenge as as ASM myself. I'm tying the knots with my eyes closed.

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  

×