When you need to bind something together, there is no better knot to use than the constrictor knot.
This knot lives up to its name! It will tighten down and bind items together like no other!
This knot is very simple to tie, as well as easy to release. Its ease of release does limit its range of use as it can not be used as a permanent knot (but a variation of this knot is permanent).
I use this knot frequently when I'm splicing lines and don't have tape handy, or when I'm tying things up for a short period of time. I even used this knot to put pressure on a wound when I cut my finger while making rope fenders.
To tie this knot, you begin by laying the line on the left and crossing up to the top right.
From there, straight down, passing on the outside of the starting line
Then straight down behind the bundle
And around coming from the bottom right to the top left across the front.
Then wrapping around the first line and exiting out the middle between the top part of the X.
It looks a lot like a clove hitch, but it makes an extra pass under the starting line, which creates a twisted section bound down by an X. This makes the knot very easy to tighten when both ends are pulled, and hold itself tight when tension is released from the lines.
To really tighten it, tie marlinspike hitches in the tails and pull hard on the spikes, this will tighten it down to insane levels.
I use this knot all the time, it holds securely and can be easily released. I find it works best in situations where you would usually tie a square knot, but need it to hold tighter.
In the picture to the left, I'm using the constrictor knot in lieu of tape to hold the line from fraying while doing a tree surgeons back splice. The knot above it is a Crown Knot (which we will go over in a later post).