The taut-line hitch is another good knot to know for bushcraft, survival and camping. It is easily adjustable and can slide up or down the line, however when it is under load, it will hold fast. (Similar to a prusik knot.)
A taut-line hitch can be used to help setup and adjust the tension on a ridgeline for a tarp shelter.
How to tie a taut-line hitch.
1. Wrap around the working end around the tree, post or structure. Place the working end over the standing part, forming a loop. 2. Continuing in the same direction, coil around inside the loop. 3. Continue another coil (Working towards the post end.) 4. Continue a third coil, but this time on the outside of the original loop. 5. Thread the working end through the new loop. 6. Dress the hitch and tighten.
Above pic: The taut-line hitch is tensioning the ridgeline around the tree. A hoochie (Military slang for the Australian Army Tarp Shelter.) is set up in the “A” frame configuration.
I normally use the taut-line hitch for one end of my ridgeline. If I want to raise the tarp shelter to allow some air to circulate when it’s hot, the hitch can easily be loosened off quickly. The height of the ridgeline can then be adjusted up or down the tree trunk and then tightened again. (Tent stakes and guy lines moved accordingly.)
Likewise if the cold weather, rain or wind comes in, I can easily move the ridgeline height and tarp shelter lower to the ground for protection.
Taut-line hitch quick tips. (Try saying that several times quickly.)
1. As in above photo indication, do two turns inside the original loop and one outside.
2. It doesn’t really matter if you go over, or under the standing part of the rope initially. As long as you follow the same direction for all of the three coils or turns.
3. The hitch can also be used for adjusting guy lines for tents as well.
There are several variations of the taut-line hitch and it can be modified with additional hitches and a slippery hitch for a quick release.
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