Every week I'll offer some wood wisdom gleaned from Registered Maine Guides I've known.
The King of Knots
When I was a Boy Scout, I never got my knot-tying merit badge. Something about ropes and strings befuddled me. I could barely tie my shoelaces, which was strange because I was otherwise a pretty smart and dextrous kid.
It was only as I got older that I learned the value of tying strong knots (I think it was after a mattress went flying off the roof of my car after a haphazard knot I'd tied gave way). And the reality is that you don't really need to know all that many knots to handle most situations in life. But the one knot you absolutely do need to learn is the bowline (pronounced bowlin'). Back when I learned how to tie it, there was no YouTube to help teach me. I had to use a book. These days, though, there are lots of great how-to videos available. The one below is fine. My only complaint — beyond the University of Phoenix ad — is that it doesn't use the old "bunny goes in the hole and around the tree" teaching model.
Bowlines are fun and easy to tie once you get the hang of them. Impress your landlubber friends!