Its Not a Knot

I have been a high-angle rescue instructor for 20 years in mountain rescue. The Saved By A Prusik Knot needs some clarification.

First, the Prusik is not a knot, it is a hitch. A knot is something that is tied on an object and if the object is pulled out of the rope it stays together in its original knot form. A hitch will fall apart if the object is pulled out. That’s what makes the Prusik a hitch.

Next, the Prusik shown in the article is correctly wrapped on the static line, but the knot should be a double over hand bend. A bend in a rope is when you join two ends of a rope together and tie them. It looks like a square knot in the article photo, which would be a deadly knot to tie if shock loaded in the direction of the force needed to arrest a load. The hitch should also be tied on the static line in such a way that the double overhand bend is not at the bottom of the Prusik loop as shown in the image below.

Learn how to tie a Double Overhand Bend, or watch the animated instructions for the same knot, also known as a Double Fisherman’s Knot.

Next, in the article he uses the term fall restraint for the harness. A harness is fall arrest because it is catching you after you have already fallen. A restraint would keep you from falling in the first place.

Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank Curt for providing this information. He has helped me understand a lot about tree stand safety and harnesses. This topic can’t be easily covered as a tip, so hopefully we can turn some of this information into a Feature Article in the near future.

2017-10-08T09:48:13+00:00

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