Knots in the dark | GridScout™


Pursuit of proficiency in the manly arts, like maps and knots and locks and guns.

GridScout™ presents:

Knots in the dark

Inspired by naval demolition trainees tying knots —albeit inferior ones— underwater, and also by firefighters doing it in thick fireproof gloves, I present to you the GridScout™ tactile knot-tying challenge!


Darkness may be a more practical obstacle. So, periodically, in a completely dark room or with your vision of the rope otherwise obstructed, test your ability to correctly tie each of the following knots.

Don’t let me talk you out of tying knots underwater. You should totally do that too.

  1. Double constrictor knot. In lieu of the inferior clove hitch or right-angle knot.

  2. Simple-Simon-under bend. At least 200% more secure than the sheetbend.

  3. Alpine butterfly. Excellent as a mid-rope loop, or as a “shank” to bypass a section of rope, or as a “bend” to join ropes.

  4. Zeppelin loop. A fixed loop for the end of a rope, better than the bowline in every way.

  5. Cawley hitch. A far more secure alternative to the taut-line hitch.

If you can properly tie great knots like these without even looking, then you’re good to go. It may not be as sexy as splicing det cord or as cool as hoisting a carbide chainsaw up to a rooftop; but it’s sexy enough, cool enough, and downright useful in everyday life.

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