“A good knot on a bad rope is no better than a bad knot” (Alvin Smith)

Sooner or later trekking in the jungle will lead to a river crossing and, often during the rains, a river that may be flowing fast and can sweep you off your feet even when it isn’t that deep. In these situations a rope across the river can make the difference between a safe crossing and a dangerous one.

In this video I look at some knots that can be used and try to explain why different knots are used (rather than one for all situations).   For example, my own favourite for securing a rope is the double bowline (with secured working end) but a ‘better’ knot is the figure-of-eight loop – so why use the double bowline?  The answer is that the figure-of-eight can become difficult to untie whereas I find the bowline both easier to tie and untie…

…but any knot choice is trade-off and the choice, ultimately, is yours.

One other feature of the bowline that I like is that it can be tied one-handed so. if you are thrown a rope and only have one hand free, you can tie the bowline and secure the rope around your waist.

I like to use the Alpine Butterfly (shown in the video) for a mid-rope loop to allow tensioning, other people will use a trucker’s hitch but these are less secure and I’ve had a few of them slip.  The Alpine Butterfly knot can also be used as a bend or for temporarily fixing a section of frayed rope as an alternative to the sheepshank.