I was never a scout and never had a reason to tie knots until now. Is there a good reference guide that has the basic knots listed, fits in a pack and will handle the rigors of a trail?
Do you have a smart phone?
I found a great knot app at Apple's app store. Probably the most convenient way I can think of carrying a knot guide.
You can now get the "animated knots by grog" app at itunes
We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Ben Franklin
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I was at an Outdoor store called Outdoors Oriented in St. Catherines ON and remember seeing a little deck of cards of knots. It was shrink wrapped and I did not pick it up to look at it but I suspect that they might be water resistant. Keep an eye out in the impulse buy section of any outdoor stores you frequent.
I think there maybe only a handful of knots that could get you through most things. Take a look at the above links, get some rope and have fun. I find doing knots almost therapeutic at times and the constant repetition in tying them and untying them makes them second nature. If I lose hardware then I can still get by. As the Dual Survivors say, the more you know the less you need.
Don't let life get in the way of living.
I've got a document I put together years ago that's basically copy and past from various knot websites. I need to update it as I've learned new knots like the marlin spike (not sure how I could forget that one) and the zeppelin bend.
What I really want to make however is practice rig. I'm thinking something the size of a clothes hanger with some various notches and holes on which to practice tying knots to/around.
Your brain is far more advanced then any app you can download. Plus, its waterproof, rugged, and thick (atleast mine is ). There are 6-10 basic knots you should know. Just sit down one night with your laptop and learn them one by one. Then whenever you are watching tv or watching a movie after that, make a point to practice tying them. No reference needed thereafter.
This works, I know, because I did it two weeks ago.
You don't sleep on the ground at home, why would you expect me to out here?