Nature, Exploration, Tools and Weaponry, Bushcraft, History and Related Musings.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This week's knot is the Zeppelin Bend knot -- my favorite knot for tying together two ropes of similar diameter. This knot is easy to untie, is more secure under a load than the sheet bend, and is incredibly simple. There are multiple ways to tie the Zeppelin Bend. This video shows the method whereby the tyer starts with the ropes' working ends in his hand, parallel, with the ends flush:

There is another method of tying, which might help the beginner to visualize how the knot works, and further ensure success in tying the knot in the alternate manner shown above. This method starts with the ropes' working ends lying on the ground. You can survey the full instructions at Survival Topics. Here is a visual synopsis:

When the knot is dressed, the final product should be symmetrical and look like this:

The Zeppelin Bend is sometimes also referred to as Rosendahl's Bend, since it was the only knot Lt. Commander Charles Rosendahl would trust for the mooring of his zeppelin. In The Complete Book of Knots, Budworth notes that the Zeppelin Bend is "probably the best of a whole trustworthy family of symmetrical bends comprising two interlocked overhand knots. It works even in big stiff hawsers and cables and is suitable for everything from hobbies to heavy industrial use. [...] The knot does not have to be completely tightened before loading; it is secure even with daylight showing through it."

This knot should be in the permanent repertoire of all campers, climbers, boatsmen, and survivalists.


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