Survival Skills Archives - Off-Grid

Category: Survival Skills

8 Knots You Need To Know – How To Tie Knots That You Will Actually Use

Tying knots is one of those skills you take for granted until you’re in a “situation”. Whether for survivalism or simple everyday convenience, learning how to tie useful knots is a skill everyone should master. This is especially applicable for hunters, backpackers, rock climbers, or anyone who enjoys the liberating expanse of the wild.

Different knots are best suited to different applications and knowing which knot to select is as valuable a skill as being able to tie them. This could potentially be critical, in fact, as in some situations correct knots could be vital for survival. A tutorial by the Outdoor Boys shows you how to tie 8 knots that will suit most of your needs:

1. Chain Sinnet (AKA Daisy Chain or Monkey Chain): This is basically a series of loops or bights that shorten your rope—making storage easier. It allows you to keep things tidy and secure in no time. And untying is as easy as pulling one end.

2. Farrimond Friction Hitch: Looking for a convenient and quick way to tighten a tent ridgeline? Try the Farrimond Friction Hitch, which is similar to a Prusik knot—but with an extra wrap.

3. Trucker’s Hitch: The knot is quite strong and great for boating, sailing, camping, and strapping down heavy objects. This makes it an ideal option to secure objects on a vehicle, creating clotheslines, or tying down sails or tents.

4. Constrictor Knot (Gunner’s Knot): This is the go-to knot for whipping and binding purposes. It is not prone to slips and it tightens readily—making it applicable in surgical procedures.

5. Cow Hitch: The cow hitch is similar to the popular Clove hitch—only that the second half hitch is reversed to reduce the risk of binding. You can use it to secure a lanyard to a rope, secure cows, or protect bowstrings.

6. Half hitch: The half hitch is often used to increase the security of a primary knot – i.e., it plays a supporting role.

7. Fisherman’s Bend: Simple, unlikely to slip under strain, strong, and easy to untie—the Fisherman’s bend is awesome for a number of reasons. It’s typically used to attach a rope to an anchor, hook, or ring.

8. Water Knot (Tape Know, Grass Knot, or Overhand Follow-Through): This is often used in climbing since it can withstand a ton of pressure, it’s easy to tie, and it is effective at joining two lines.

Here’s the video for a hands-on tutorial on how to tie all these essential knots.

8 KNOTS You Need To Know - How To Tie Knots That You Will Actually Use
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How To Make Your Own DIY Solar Oven

How To Make Your Own DIY Solar OvenHow To Make Your Own DIY Solar Oven – Image To Repin / Share
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We discovered a great tutorial on how to make your very own solar oven! The link to the full tutorial is after our commentary. The oven can be used for a variety of dishes and works well for roasting or slow cooking in a pot. A solar oven would be ideal for keeping food hot at a barbecue or cook out! The instructions are clearly laid out and there are some helpful tips to help you make the most of your new creation.

The materials are easy to find and it’s a project that you can tackle in a couple of hours. It would make a fantastic science project or something to do with the children on a quiet weekend.

If you live in a sunny part of the world, a solar oven like this one is the off-grid cooker of choice! A plywood backed version can be used many times over, is easy to set up and doesn’t need any gas or electricity so it can go anywhere (sunlight permitting, of course). It’s a brilliant invention as it requires very little skill to put together and could be used to save money on your household bills too! I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t make use of one where I live until the sun reappears above the hill in April!

The oven works by focusing the light and heat of the sun from the whole reflective surface towards the central area – this means that the heat and light are much more intense there, giving temperatures high enough to cook food.

Related: Power To The People: How To Survive If The Power Goes Out

The principle behind this “low-tech” oven, known as CSP (concentrated solar power) is used in a high proportion of the world’s solar power stations, where rows of parabolic mirrors are used to create focused heat and convert it to steam under pressure. The steam powers a turbine that turns a dynamo to produce electricity. If you want more of the history and science, please try this link:

The oven can be made very lightweight and portable too, perfect for adding to a desert survival kit! It could also be used to boil water to make it safe for drinking in an emergency situation. It could even accompany you on a picnic trip so you can have hot meals outdoors!

This simple technology has been used to great effect in the refugee camps of Darfur, Sudan to enable the women to cook food without having to leave the safety of the camp to gather firewood.

Ok, here’s the link to the full tutorial: (via web archive)

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How To Make Your Own DIY Solar Oven
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How To Make An Emergency Oil Lamp From A Beer Can!

How To Make An Emergency Oil Lamp From A Beer Can!How To Make An Emergency Oil Lamp From A Beer Can!
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Here’s another awesome, simple and fun survival tip from our legendary friend the CrazyRussianHacker! This one is so easy that you could probably do it in the dark if you really had to… and the materials are about as cheap as it gets! It also takes about 3 minutes, if that. You’ll need a can of beer (or soda), a piece of an old cotton T-shirt, some vegetable oil, something to cut with and something to light it.

Our Russian friend finds that the oil lamp works with either Tiki Torch fuel or olive oil, but you could probably make it work with almost any type of vegetable oil. So my tip would be to use up that ghastly canola oil and save the nice olive oil for your salad 😉

Related: How To Make An Oil Lamp From A Light Bulb

As a slight improvement to this DIY lamp, I might use a nail or a center punch to make a clean, round hole for the wick.

A few safety tips spring to mind when watching this video –
1) be careful when cutting the can open, as the way it is demonstrated leads to some jagged edges which could cut you if not careful. I would suggest wearing some work gloves if possible, or you could use some pointed scissors to make the cuts.
2) Be sure that the rag you are using for the wick is 100% cotton or some other natural fiber, so as to minimize toxic fumes.
3) I’m sure that you can adjust the size of the flame by adjusting the amount of wick showing – just like with a “real” oil lamp.
4) Be sure to place the lamp in a safe place when lit, so that it doesn’t get knocked over. Please observe typical candle safety precautions – don’t leave the lamp unattended or in a place otherwise unsafe for candles and don’t light near flammable materials.
5) As there is flame and cutting involved, this project should only be done with adult supervision.

Okay, here is the video: