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Backup Knot

How to tie the Backup Knot. Climbers often add a “backup knot” to their primary knot for additional security and a backup knot makes sense in a lot of situations involving rope and knots. The purpose of the backup knot is to avoid the primary knot from untying itself. There are numerous back-up knot options, for example a simple overhand knot, but one side of a Double Fisherman's Knot or a "Half Fisherman's" is superior. Although it does use up some rope and is bulky, it is unlikely to work loose, making your primary knot pretty much fail-safe. This version is simply one side of a Double Fisherman's tied with a long tag end (fifteen to eighteen inches) of the primary knot. It is even been proposed that the half-fisherman’s can hold weight by itself should you tie your primary knot incorrectly.

Scroll to see Animated Backup Knot below the illustration and tying instructions.


Backup Knot Tying Instructions

  • Wrap the free end twice around the standing rope and the working part of the free end, working back toward the primary knot.

  • Feed the free end back through the loops just made.

  • Pull free end to tighten backup knot down onto standing line.
Swiffy Output

Disclaimer: Any activity involving rope can be dangerous and may even be life threatening! Knot illustrations contained in this web site are not intended for rock climbing instruction. Many knots are not suitable for the risks involved in climbing. Where failure could cause property damage, injury, or death, seek professional instruction prior to use. Many factors affect knots including: the appropriateness of knots and rope materials used in particular applications, the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this content.