Lessons From The Trail Episode 2 How To Tie a Bowline

Lessons From The Trail Episode 2 How To Tie a Bowline


We crossed Attikamagen Lake, and then the Height-of-land into the headwaters of the Du Pas, an ancillary tributary to the mighty George. We knew we were across the Height-of-Land once the connecting creeks in-between the lakes started flowing with us, as opposed to against us. A couple of the portages follow winter road blazes. And, because the area is boggy and low-lying, we were able to drag our fully loaded canoes over a couple of the blazes. Not an easy task, but faster than unloading our boats and portaging.

We use a Bowline knot to attach our painters and stern lines, this is the best  knot to use in this situation as it can be undone easily. Even if not dragging, the bowline is the go-to when tying lines to your boat. The knot creates a fixed loop that won’t pull tight like a noose does. This makes it perfect for a the end of a bow string which, is obviously is the knots name sake. Having a fixed loop at the start of your painter is also advantageous because it creates an excellent grab loop.

We use 1-inch thick tug boat rope for our lines. It’s 5000lb test, which, makes it usable in freeing a pinned boat, and its thickness means it won’t dig into your hands when pulling. The one draw-back to this rope is that it gets heavy when wet.

Tie a Bowline in these four easy steps:

1. Form a small loop near the end of your rope.
2. Pass the bitter end of the rope up through the loop, as if you were tiring an overhand knot.
3. Continue around the standing end and back through the small loop.
4. Pull it tight.

The shallow connecting creeks between the lakes grew larger and soon became paddle-able, but there was still almost 50-miles of lake paddling in front of us before we reached the main flow of the Du Pas.

Fox Lake Rainbow