Useful Knots for Hikers: The Sheet Bend Knot

One of the most important backpacking knots a hiker can learn is called the “Sheet Bend.” This knot is great for joining two lines together and can be very useful while out on the trail.

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The sheet bend knot is known for joining two lines together.  It is easy and quick to tie making it one of the most useful knots to learn.

The sheet bend knot can also be used to connect a line to a corner of a tarp or poncho.  This can be very useful when making a simple lean-to shelter. This gives the sheet bend knot another useful function for the backpacker.

For added security you can easily convert the sheet bend knot to a double sheet bend making the connection even more secure.

Securing two lines together

The sheet bend can be quickly tied as illustrated in the diagram to the right.  The final and important step is to tighten the knot.  A lose sheet bend knot can slip.

You should always verify that the two free ends are on the same side of the knot as illustrated in the diagram.  If the free ends are on opposite sides you tied the knot incorrectly and it will slip.

sheet bend knot
Note: The two free ends are on the same side.  If the two free ends are not on the same side the knot will quickly slip.

Secure a line to a tarp or poncho corner

The sheet bend can be quickly tied to a corner of a poncho or tarp as illustrated in the diagram to the right.  The final and important step is to tighten the knot.  A lose sheet bend knot can slip.

You should always verify that the two free ends are on the same side of the knot as illustrated in the diagram.  If the free ends are on opposite sides you tied the knot incorrectly and it will slip.

Sheet bend knot to secure poncho
Note: By twisting the corner of the poncho or tarp you make it act like a line.

Bonus: Double Sheet Bend

Double Sheet bend knot

To make a more secure knot you can convert the sheet bend knot to a double sheet bend.  In order to make a double sheet bend make another loop around as illustrated above.  Always verify that the two free ends are on the same side of the knot.