The bowline knot is called the ‘king of knots’ for its multiple applications. You should definitely make the bowline an essential part of your skill set.
Craig Caudill of the Nature Reliance School discusses a few of the uses for the bowline knot. The bowline is one of the first knots you learn as a Boy Scout, and is also known as the “life saving knot” for its use in rescuing people with ropes or heavy line.
It is a knot that can be tied around your body to enable you to be lifted out of a bad situation without constricting you. It is also easy to tie and just as easy to untie, making it perfect for quick knot tying applications.
Of special interest in this video is Caudill’s example of tying the bowline knot with one hand. This could be an extremely useful skill in the right circumstance. This is one you will want to practice tying several times until you get the hang of it.
Caudill maintains that the bowline is especially useful when camping for hanging hammocks and tarps, as its easy adjustability and easy to untie nature make it an excellent knot choice.
The bowline knot can also be used in making a lasso by feeding the long end back through the loop made by the bowline. This can then be tossed to someone to put around their body or slip their foot into so that they can be pulled to safety.
You can also make a constrictor loop through the bowline and attach it to a trailer hitch in order to pull something. The great thing about the bowline in this case is that regardless of the pressure put on the knot, you will still be able to easily untie it when finished.
One of the more unusual uses for the bowline knot, according to Caudill, is in helping a cow give birth. You slip the long end through the bowline to make a lasso, slip the whole thing around a calf inside of the mother cow’s womb and pull. The fact that the loop will easily ‘give’ or release once you let go is a safeguard to prevent you from asphyxiating the calf.
Commentators also wrote in with their own applications for the bowline. A few folks commented that the bowline is an excellent knot for seafaring or marine applications as well.
Practice the bowline knot and confidently add it to your skill set.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith on his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.