One of the things you should be spending your time learning how to do in case you’re in a survival situation is learning how to tie knots. It’s really cheap (only costs a good climbing rope or even shoestring to practice) and you can learn from lots of websites or books. There are a LOT of knots out there. This post is about the Prusik knot.
So… What would you do if you were faced with a situation where you needed to climb a rope to get out of a situation or into somewhere? Could you climb it with just your bare hands? It’s a lot harder than it seems. What if you had to carry your gear on your back? What if it was a really long rope? What about the other people in your group – could they?
The wonderful thing about a Prusik knot is that it takes a rope and essentially turns it into a kind of ladder. Here’s a quick video that shows how to use a Prusik to climb out if you’ve fallen while climbing and are on a rope. It’s made for climbers but you’ll see how easy it is to climb using this knot.
But how do you tie a Prusik knot? Surprisingly, it’s one of the easiest knots to learn. It does take a bit of practice though to get your lengths correct. If you don’t want to keep two lengths of rope ready (or even already looped), just figure out how long you need it in order for it to all tie up correctly, and then however many fully stretched armlengths you need as a reference so you could cut off rope later on. The nice thing about doing them in advance is that you can also tie in a long, flat knot to step on or even throw a foot’s-width of pvc pipe to step on in the loop. I’ll have to make a video of that some time but you don’t need to do it that way.
Here’s a great video that shows how to tie a Prusik knot.
Here’s how you do it in Ranger School. It seems a bit more complicated but that’s because it’s the Army.