5 Must-know Knots
for the BWCA

Tie down a tarp, secure your canoe and keep a tidy camp with these knots

It’s hard to have a tight and tidy camp without tying a few knots! There are dozens of knots out there, but for the sake of simplicity, there are two knots you will use 80 percent of the time in the BWCA: the bowline and the taut-line hitch.

Bowline

The bowline is a loop that does not slip. Perfect for tying down stakes and a million other uses

5 Essential Knots

Taut-line

The taut-line hitch allows you to adjust and tighten a line that cinches under pressure. Great for getting a tight tarp or clothesline.

Now, there are times when neither of the above two knots will do.

5 Essential Knots

Donate and be part of a community dedicated to protecting the Boundary Waters!

Trucker’s Hitch

If you’ve ever tied a canoe to a car, you’ve used the trucker hitch to secure the bow and the stern to the front and back of your vehicle. This adjustable knot is ridiculously strong and can be used in camp when bunkering down for a storm, or just for fun. And it is a lot of fun to tie.

5 Essential Knots

Square Knot

Also known as a Reef Knot; this temporary binding knot is used to secure a rope or line around an object. It’s also used in tying bandages. The knot lies flat when made correctly. WARNING: This is great for temporary use, but never use when safety is concerned (to secure a critical load).

5 Essential Knots

Donate and be part of a community dedicated to protecting the Boundary Waters!

Hitching Tie

When you have an unruly amount of rope at the end of your line, a hitching tie is a simple way to tie off the end to an anchor. Use this knot with a taut-line to make a perfect clothes line.

5 Essential Knots

Explore Our Blog

Breaking news, in-depth stories, tips for wilderness travel, and insights into America’s most popular Wilderness Area.

| People

Opening the Wild

A man who became paralyzed after an accident strives to create a wilderness resort for people with disabilities near the…

Hennessy racing in a snowy tree-filled scene in the boundary waters in a sled behind a team of dogs during the brief hours of winter sunlight.
| People | Recreation

From the Boundary Waters to the Iditarod

Follow a young woman’s journey from dog sledding in the Boundary Waters to racing in the Iditarod, the most famous…

Do Your Part to Protect the Boundary Waters