How to Tie a Prusik Knot

The same features that allow the Prusik to used to great effect by climbers in ascending a mountain (i.e. the knot will easily slide to where it is needed and then lock into place) make it perfect for equestrian usage especially when setting up a highline to secure your horses and mules overnight.

A Prusik knot is considered a friction hitch type of knot that is commonly seen and used extensively in the realms of caving, climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, rope rescue, and by arborists. Anyplace where there is a need for a strong and secure loop that can slide when needed.

For the etymologists reading this, the term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is “to prusik”. The term is used for any friction hitch or device that can grab a rope and is often spelled as Prussik, Prussick or Prussic.

prusikThe basic tying of a Prusik Knot is simple in the extreme:

  • Take a piece of cord (small diameter climbing cord works great but so does doubled baling twine or mule tape) formed into a loop.
  • Pass the knot around the rope several times inside the loop.
  • Make sure the turns lie beside each other and pull the knot tight.

By learning and using the Prusik when setting up a highline you will free yourself from expensive gadgets and save space and weight in your saddle bags.

Pictured below are examples of the Prusik in action

Prusik in Action
Prusik in Action
Prusik in Action
Prusik in Action