Tying an Adjustable Knot

I have been getting a few messages and comments lately asking me about the knot that I keep referring to in random posts, blog entries and YouTube videos. So, I figured I would take a few minutes today to do a video and show everyone the knot. However, I would like to say that I actually came across this knot on another YouTube video entitled “Small selection of knots used in bushcraft” by the user “maveraver,” and have been using it since. (I suggest checking out his video for a few other knot selections as well…)

So, to begin with, why do I use this knot as opposed to say, lineloc’s? Well, here are a few reasons:

  1. This knot is very easy to tie.
  2. This knot is even easier to untie.
  3. This knot just works.
  4. This knot is lighter than lineloc’s.
  5. A knot cannot “break” (unless, maybe, it is tied wrong…)

The real benefits of using this knot for me is that I can easily, and quickly, adjust the tension on my lines when using this knot, which comes in handy when setting up my shelters (especially silnylon shelters). As well, I have found that this knot works well with a wide range of different diameter cords, although, when using cords with smaller diameters (such as the LiteTrail GLine) in windy situations, or cords with slick coatings, it is helpful to throw a half-hitch or 2 after setting the tension on the cord.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy the LineLoc 3’s and am looking forward to getting my new Yama Mountain Gear Cirriform SW tent, which comes with these loaded, but when I am looking to cut weight, well, LineLoc’s are redundant, and therefore, useless weight. I will admit though, I have never been much of a fan of the smaller cord locks.

Anyway, I am sure that there are situations in which this “adjustable knot” may not be the best option, however, for everything I have been using knots for, it has been just fine. As well, I am sure that this knot has a different name, but I am not aware of what it is… so if anyone else maybe knows a more “technical” name, feel free to share…

Thanks for watching everyone, and hope this helps some!


About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
This entry was posted in Knots and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Tying an Adjustable Knot

  1. HOI says:

    I use a somewhat different adjustable knot for my tarp (also from Yama Mtn Gear) – it places the adjustment point up near the edge of the tarp allowing adjustment while being mostly protected by the tarp. The line used is 200 lb dyneema fishing line – see pic : https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=D3938B2C1BC7898C%21134 for details of knot but it is basically a sliding larkshead knot with a double half knot lock. Attachment of the line to a stake is just wrap the line around the stake about 10 times then initial adjustment of pulling the two tails of the double half knot away from the larkshead then separating the tails to move the lockinf double half knot up to the larkshead. The small mesh bag seen in the pic is used to hold the line when packing up so as to avoid tangles.


  2. Rick says:

    how long will it take to get your yuma? why did you decide on this tent?


    • Stick says:


      I just got an email notification about an hour ago that the Yama tent shipped, which means it will be in the mail tomorrow. So, it should be here by the middle of end of the week, however, I will be gone for the weekend on a hike, so I won’t have anything up about it until the next week…



  3. Steve McAllister says:

    Yes, like Scott says, three loops first is often what I use. It grips much tighter and doesn’t slip as much when getting pounded on by wind. It does make it a little harder to adjust though.
    Also, check out the prusik knot. It has lots of other good uses for backpackers and is also adjustable.


    • Stick says:


      I actually used the prusik knot on the front beak of my Hexamid (that I just sold…) It really is a great knot too!



  4. Dan says:

    That is not a taut-line hitch. It’s a slipped adjustable grip hitch (http://www.survivalworld.com/knots/adjustable-grip-hitch.html) Notice in the last step they bring the line all the way through instead of just the bight you pull through. That’s what makes it slipped.


  5. Scott C. says:

    A proper Taut Line Hitch has two wraps inside the loop and one outside. You can add a third wrap inside for extra security or if the cord is slippery (like Dyneema or Zing It). Like you mention, adding the looped half-hitch as the final hitch is nice so that the knot is “quick release”. Good video Stick.


    • Stick says:

      Thanks Scott. That is a good point about throwing a third wrap inside… I will have to give that a try sometime since I do like using this super small diameter cord…



  6. kwchannell89 says:

    That exactly way I tie my tarp to the tree, except I didn’t add a quick release. I’ll definitely be making the quick release! Thanks!


  7. Ken Thompson says:

    Lots of good info here. And there is an app available so if you have your smart phone with you you can be a knot wiz.



  8. Loneoak says:

    Have used it for yrs, works great


  9. Brian says:

    Dude! That’s a tautline hitch with quick release loop. Here you go: http://www.netknots.com/rope_knots/tautline-hitch


Leave Your Comment Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.