If you are involved in either sailing or rock climbing, it is likely you know the importance of the Figure Eight knot. It is used to stop ropes from running out of retaining devices.
Like the overhand knot, it will jam under strain, but unlike the Overhand, which often causes the rope to have to be cut, the figure of eight is usually more easily undone than the overhand knot.
Tying the Figure 8
- Pass the tail over itself to form a loop.
- Continue under and around the standing end.
- Complete the knot by passing the tail down through the loop
Can also double the rope up and make a figure 8 on a bite to be used for anchoring rope.
When my dad taught me about mountaineering and repelling this was one of the first knots he had me memorize.
He told me that proper knots are more than just pretty. They were a sign of professionalism and knowledge. He said that proper knots did the job they were designed to do, and as a rule (with the double fisherman as an exception) were easier to untie than improper knots.
To this day, I cannot tie a load down without thinking of him.