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Useful Knots - Part 2
Well, once again over a month has slipped past before I got around to another entry..sorry. Aside from being an unbelievably busy July, I was also busy taking care of things in advance of going to this wolf tracking class in Idaho for the past week. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in not only wolves and tracking, but ecology and naturalist studies in general. Dave Moskowitz and Marcus Reynerson are really amazing instructors and the whole experience was just amazing.

But to continue with this short series on a few knots that can be used for a very common need, here is part 2 of my "useful knots." Last entry I showed a quick-release anchor knot and a middle-of-the-rope loop that is easy to take out even after lots of pressure has been put against the knot itself.

This entry, I’m going to put them together into a trucker’s hitch. This allows you to very quickly string up a very firm supporting rope for a tarp (such as a center line that you can use as the apex of a tarp tent), or a way to secure a load onto a pickup or crate. The trucker’s hitch has many, many uses, and once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. Short of using bungee cords or come-along type hardware, the trucker’s hitch is one of the the best ways to apply and hold tension on a rope.

In short, a “trucker’s hitch” is basically just a way of creating tension back on the rope when you need to depend on that tension. More often than not, you need lots of tension on a rope, and this is a way to quickly and easily create that, as well as create it in a way that you can take it down very quickly using quick releases.

Start with the quick-release anchor knot as the first anchor
anchor knots
To create a trucker's hitch, first start with the quick release anchor knot (shown in my last blog entry) on one of the standing anchor points.

Next, create a loop, also using (if you wish) the middle-of-the-line loop knot I showed in my last blog entry. The location of this loop is important. It has to be close enough to the (non-anchored) end of the rope for the end of the rope to loop around the second anchor and back through this loop. However, if it's too close, then you won't be leaving yourself enough room to pull the line tight.

Create a loop in the line at a good location
trucker hitch knot
Make sure the loop is far enough from the end to allow for tension-pull

tension pull knots
Now run the free end of the rope around that second anchor point and back through the loop you made. This gives you leverage to be able to tighten the line up much tighter than if you just pulled between the two points without a loop.

Run the free end through the loop and pull to get tension

rope knots
Finally, once you have the line as taught as you want it, you can tie off the free end (that is now pulling against the loop) with double half-hitches. If you want these to be quick-release, there are a few variations, but the simplest to remember is just to make a bight in the rope and put that bight into the double half-hitch, to create an easy, fast, quick-release on this end too.

Make a bight and pass it through the double-half-hitch, for a quick release

double half hitch knots
Finish off with a double half hitch, both with a bight for quick-release

loop knot
This is the trucker’s hitch, and the 3 knots that are involved in making it happen. I hope it passed on some useful information.