Handy Knots: The Vice Versa Knot

October 25, 2012


Using Cordage in Survival

Survival doesn’t often allow you to pick your time or your location. Choosing when and where you must survive is not a luxury typically afforded to most survivors.

Despite our preparations, we may be thrust into survival situations where our supplies and even our health is less than ideal. It’s at times such as these where knowledge, ingenuity, and determinations reign supreme.  With these attributes, you can adapt and overcome most any situation.

That’s why knowledge and skills are considered incredibly important for the prepper and survivor. As Cody Lundin of Dual Survival and once quipped “Knowledge is power. It’s lightweight. It lasts a long time.”

That’s another reason to learn skills such as fire building, snare making, and knot tying.

The Vice Versa Knot

As mentioned in prior posts, cordage is a great friend to anyone trying to make it in the wilderness. It can be used in countless ways. From setting a snare to catch small game to making a shelter to get you out of the elements, cordage is good.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the best cordage for our situation. We may have to make use of cordage that is not well suited for our purpose. For example, the cordage may be little more than slippery pieces of wet leather strips or extremely slippery nylon rope.

It’s important to be able to tie a knot that won’t slip when stressed. You don’t want your improvised hammock to come crashing down in the in middle of the night!

That’s where the Vice Versa knot can help. It’s a great knot for slippery, wet cordage.

How to Tie a Vice Versa Knot

To tie a Vice Versa Knot:

Step 1. Lay to two ropes with the standing ends stretching out in opposition directions.

Vice Versa Step 1

Step 2. Take the rope farther from you and tie a half hitch around the closer rope. Bring the rope under the closer rope, around and back over the closer rope, and finally under itself as shown. Under, over, under.

Vice Versa Step 2

Step 3. Similarly using the closer of the two ropes, loop the rope around the farther of the two ropes. This time go over the second rope, around behind it and then over the first rope as shown in the picture. It’s important that each of the crossing points are done correctly.

Vice Versa Step 3

Step 4. Both working ends should near each other at this point. Place the second one behind the first.

Vice Versa Step 4

Step 5. Finally, bring each end through the loop create during steps 2 and 3 from the underneath side.

Vice Versa Step 5

Step 6. Cinch the knot.

Vice Versa Step 6

This looks very complicated, but it’s not. This video helps to further demonstrate it.

With only a couple of practices, you should have this knot memorized. (Though its a good idea to regularly practice your knots to refresh your memory.)

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6 Comments on “Handy Knots: The Vice Versa Knot”

  1. mike I Says: … this was a big one we did in the army signal corps. there is actually an animation on this link for it… it works well for tying things that will put that put constant pressure like a hammock.. a shelter/tent line to stakes and or to ahng a tent between trees or strong posts


    • Joe Says:

      Thanks, Mike! You’re right, I haven’t shared the clove hitch yet. Great knot that’s easy to tie and very stable as long as you have a load on it.


  2. dextrollc88 Says:

    Awesome demonstration, photos, and so useful. This knot absolutely does not slip. It is used by mariners and commercial fishermen in Alaska throughout Alaska.
    Great job!


  3. Albvs Says:

    Just an unrelated comment–didn’t see anywhere to leave you a suggestion–so feel free to delete this…

    A good article might be to remind everyone that one of the first things to go will be the cellphone towers. And the very next thing will be the Internet (to include Google, Wiki, youtube). No more maps. No more answers. No more email to friends and family nor phone calls. No Skype. No MSN. No videochat, no texts, no status. The public libraries if open probably won’t have the things we’d be interested in.

    I’d also guess that the publically-available (non-military) GPS will no longer be working. Old-school maps.

    If radio stations still work then they’ll likely be used by the NWO to spread disinformation and will be of little use. And yet people may still have and protect their radios.

    So I’m suggesting that a good article would be one about information, the storage of information and our access to it. “How to” information, map data, status of loved ones, news of the progress of the NWO, and actually the information on this and similar websites. (It’s not good enough for us–your readers–to merely know that your website is here. We should read it all before everything changes because it won’t be available as a resource later.)


    • Joe Says:

      Hi Albvs –

      You make some really good points and I appreciate the suggestion for a topic for a new post. I’m always looking for ideas and guest posters. hint, hint…

      Laura touched on this briefly a while back in a post about making a prepper notebook.’s-notebook/ But I’m sure it could/should be updated.

      I’m curious though, when you say “A good article might be to remind everyone that one of the first things to go will be the cellphone towers. And the very next thing will be the Internet…” What kind of TEOTWAWKI event are you envisioning?

      EMP? Economic collapse? Something else?

      Thanks, again!



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