Category Archives: Knots

Bushcraft Knots, How To Tie Clove Hitch, Timber Hitch And Tripod Lashing

Clove Hitch

Bushcraft Knots Clove Hitch, Timber Hitch and Tripod Lashing

Bushcraft Knots

The term “Bushcraft Knots” is a title I have creates. It is to label some knots that can be used in bushcraft and survival skills. There is no specific set of knots that fit this category. The Clove hitch and Timber Hitch are easy to tie and useful to fasten rope or cordage to something temporarily. They use friction to keep tight so if you use finished wood like in the videos you will find they sometimes slip. That doesn’t mean you haven’t tied the knot correctly it is just that the wood is so smooth there is not a lot of friction.

These are two good bushcraft knots to teach children because they are quite easy, especially the Timber Hitch. When tying a clove Hitch you will find an explanation on the net how to tie the knot making loops. This is “easier”, but  can cause problems. If someone needs to tie the knot, and the loops can’t slip over the end, the knot can’t be tied. So a little more practice to tie the Clove Hitch using this method means you can tie it in any situation.

These bushcraft knots are useful to start building Bushcraft Shelters, dens and equipment and tools around your camp


After watching these videos please subscribe to the Bushcraft For Kids YouTube channel here

Clove Hitch

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Timber Hitch


Tripod Lashing

Den Building, Basic Bushcraft Shelters For Kids

Clove Hitch

Den Building, Basic Bushcraft For Kids

When I think back to my childhood den building was something I loved to do. Whether it was permanent dens in trees or hidden away, or temporary dens that lasted a few hours of fun. The main thing I remember is the fun, sometimes it would be cowboys and Indians others, Robinson Crusoe, living out tales or adventure and fun. Other times I would be a spy building a hide to watch my quarry. As time went by these developed into more substantial structures made to keep my friends and I dry and warm whilst we tried to stay outdoors in all weathers.

When I mention we are going to den building or shelters the reaction is always the same, excitement and smiles. If you aren’t confident being outdoors you can start at home either indoors or in the garden and start using cardboard boxes. if you decide to start with cardboard boxes make sure you check the weather. There is nothing worse than cleaning up soggy cardboard and watching your hard work slowly collapse into a soggy mess.

Uses of Den Building/Bushcraft Shelters.

When you build your first shelter it is likely just to be a fun thing to do with your children. When you have finished you will see your children’s imagination come alive, whether they are pirates, marooned men like Robinson Crusoe, Cowboys and Indians, playing with teddy bears and dolls, or what ever the latest television show is about. The point is they get a chance to be outside getting fresh air and having fun whilst using their imagination.

When children are a little older they may be interested in watch wildlife, nature, bushcraft, fishing or some other outdoor activity. Making a simple shelter and camouflaging it can be fun and either keep you dry or out of the sun depending on the weather. In the UK you are likely to have to do both within the space of a day or even a few hours. When you set out bear in mind the colour of the Tarp you are using. Even if you camouflage it orange or fluorescent yellow will still stand out.

The final activity you might like to do with your child is sleep out. Whether it is in your shelter or under the stars, it will be something your child will never forget. I believe every child should experience sleeping out under the stars with their parents at least once. It doesn’t matter where you do it, it can be in the garden or further afield and part of a bigger adventure. What ever you decide to do it will be a memorable time for everyone. Starting in the garden can be good for your first attempt then if it rains or you have any other reason you can retreat indoors.

Being Prepared For Den Building.

The best option is to purchase a few basic items. This will allow you to build a more substantial den/shelter. You can then re-use your den building equipment again and again. You can take it with you to the beach or park and have fun den building anywhere. You could start with a piece of plastic (A Tarp) and a length of Paracord. you would be amazed at the variety of shelters you can make with these two items and a couple of trees. But with a few more items you can do a lot more and learn a few skills along the way.

Here is what you will need for your den building experience:

  1. A piece of plastic, or a “Tarp”;
  2. Paracord;
  3. 6 long pieces of wood, log broom handles are suitable;
  4. Dozen tent pegs.

Remember: When you are building this shelter the size of tarp and the lengths of wood determine the size. Using Broom handles will make your den quite low to the ground, but suitable for young children.

Den building is fun and exciting and gives parents a chance to learn and share with their children. The skills taught here will also give you some basic bushcraft skills you can the develop further and build shelters in the woods.

Den Building Skills.

When you are building a den or a bushcraft shelter you are likely at some point going to need some or all these skills. They are all quite simple and will come in useful when you practice other bushcraft skills with children.

Don’t let these names scare you they are easy to learn with a little practice you will have your “Bushcraft Kid” helping you with these.

Here are some links to get what you need to build shelters and dens with your children. Whether it is in the garden or somewhere further afield in a park or local woodlands.

Clove Hitch

Clove Hitch

Remember  At least two poles are needed for den building, unless you have two conveniently spaced trees. you can use broom handles. Or an alternative more sturdy method using 6  broom handles.

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For some simple simple ideas for shelters visit Basic Den Designs.

If you decide to use Cardboard you can use the Basic Den Designs, but it is best to let the children use their imagination and you to be the chief labourer adding some knotting and lashing skills.