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Preventing People From Undoing The Knots You Tied Them In

Every now and then we end up tying people who are determined to be… well, tricksy. Who will try and untie your knots and escape your rope. And sometimes that’s the nature of the game. “Let’s see how long it takes you to get out.”

And sometimes, we want to make life more difficult for such people.

So below is a very simple trick to make escape a lot more difficult.

This trick is called locking your bight.  It works with single column or double column ties, and is often used to prevent knots from collapsing and somehow undoing themselves. However, there’s no reason not to use this if you’re going for more inescapable bondage – except of course that it will make it more difficult for you to undo in an emergency, and so it increases the chance of having to cut the rope with safety shears instead. There you go. Informed risk.

Below is your basic single column tie. Actually, it’s the Summerville Bowline or “Struggler’s Knot” variation, which I rather like due to it’s neatness and quickness.  As you can see, you’ve got your bight sticking out, and the working end sticking out toward the bottom of the picture.

single column locked bight

All you have to do to lock your bight is to run your working end through the bight, as pictured below.

Single column locked bight 2

This effectively makes it nearly impossible to untie the knot; because when you go to pull the bight back through, it “locks” against the working end – which you’ve cleverly left tied somewhere your rope bottom or muse can’t reach it.

If you want to make it look tidier or make it even more challenging, then shorten your bight – simple to do, just use less rope on your single column tie.

Single column shortened bight

And, once again, run your working end through the bight. You’ll want to leave at least two thumbs worth of width within the bight, or getting your working end through might be more of a chore than you would like. You may have to fit one knotted end through at a time, if you use knots to finish your rope.

Single column shortened bight locked

Looks pretty neat, huh? Simple, but effective. It won’t stop your bottom from cutting your rope or trying to slip their wrist out, so mind the tightness; but it will stop them from untying the knot. This trick works with both single and forward tension double column ties – pretty much anywhere where you’ve left a bight sticking out.

Happy tying!