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Pitching DNK Presents

When we started DNK Presents I never thought we would ever be pitching our company, but wow what an extraordinary experience it has been. Even though we aren’t necessarily looking for investment, pitching our business has been an amazing opportunity to get in front of individuals in which we may not have been able to before. I came up with a few reasons why you should pitch your business even if you aren’t looking for investment.


Reasons to Pitch:

  1. You don’t know who is in the audience and you don’t know who they know.

– Pitching will get you in front of an audience you may never have thought would be beneficial or applicable to your company. The ideas the panel or audience members have could shed a whole new light on your marketing efforts, business development, target market or several other aspects of your business. When they ask questions this also gives you on the spot practice at answering sometimes-difficult questions you may not have thought of before.


  1. Practice selling your business in front of multiple people

-You are constantly selling you and your business, and if you want to continue to grow your business you will never stop selling. Speaking to an audience confidently about what you do only gives you more practice, confidence and experience with your industry. I found that preparing for these pitches has made us research the industry even more, in every business you should always be learning and staying one step ahead of the game. Pitching makes you refine everything you already know about your company and industry, which will only make you more credible and knowledgable.


  1. Public speaking

According to the Washington Post, still the number one fear in America is public speaking, heights and bugs are behind and zombies have now made the list! But for years public speaking has topped the charts. Public speaking can scare you, or you can use it to your advantage…if you are good at it. The audience can tell in your voice and body language if you are uncomfortable. It’s ok to be nervous but you can still speak confidently and smoothly being nervous.

Read some tips on public speaking here:

If you still feel uncomfortable invest in a speaking coach or group that will help you and your presentation skills. The fact is most people don’t like public speaking so if you can use this skill to your advantage you will be able to get in front of many individuals and companies you may not have had the opportunity to before.

Where are we pitching next?

It was only a week ago today we pitched our business for the first time at The Indiana Conference for Women at The Dolphin Tank® part of Springboard Enterprises. We were one of six woman owned businesses chosen to pitch in the Dolphin Tank. This experience was absolutely amazing. We learned so much and were able to take that advice into a pitch we got accepted into the following Monday for the InnovateHER Challenge through the Small Business Administration.

And tonight we have the opportunity to pitch again for the same InnovateHER Challenge, which will be at the Microsoft Store in Keystone Mall. We look forward to tonight and we hope to see you at our next pitch.

In case you missed the Dolphin Tank, check out our video of the pitch here.

If you’re trying to raise money check out this link for grants available to small businesses.

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What Adventure Means To Us

At DNK Presents we lead guided adventure retreats for groups and businesses for team building, health and wellness, and client and employee reward programs. We have taken groups hiking, backpacking, trail running, mountain biking, caving, rock climbing and canoeing.

We started DNK Presents because of our love of the great outdoors and adventure. We accredit our professional success and strong relationship to our connection to nature and our healthy work life balance. But what does adventure really mean to us? We’re so glad you asked!

What is Adventure?

  • -Challenging yourself mentally and physically
  • – Trying something for the first time
  • -Overcoming a fear or obstacle
  • -Pushing yourself beyond what you think you cannot accomplish
  • -Taking risks
  • -Living off the grid
  • -Being outside (anytime of year!)
  • -Not having an itinerary
  • -Living in the present

Adventure – according to is 1. (noun) an unusual, exciting, typically hazardous experience or activity. 1. (verb) engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially in the exploration of unknown territory.

Knowing our definition and the dictionary’s definition of adventure, it’s sort of an oxymoron that we “plan” adventures for groups and businesses because adventure is the unexpected. As in life you plan as much as you can to a certain point, hopefully everything falls into place, but sometimes things do not always turn out the way we had planned. How do we handle set backs, and the unexpected situations? Successful people are those who figure out how to move forward from an unexpected situation or set back.

We believe experiencing new adventures in your life prepares you for the unexpected occurrences that life throws us at times. Filling your life with new adventures and experiences is a way to live a fulfilled and well-balanced life. Studies have proven that outdoor activities increase problem solving skills, productivity, creativity, and develop a positive mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

We have been blessed to have experienced many adventures with DNK Presents and on our own. We have been caving in lava tubes in Mt. St. Helens, skied un-groomed terrain in Mount Rainier National Forest, white water rafted and rappelled waterfalls in the jungles of Costa Rica, competed in mountain bike adventure races and many more exciting and challenging activities. We have found that living our lives filled with adventure and excitement gives us the courage to take on new challenges, be prepared to face whatever life brings to us, and to be grateful for the many gifts we are blessed with.

Like Amelia Earthart said, “ Adventure in itself is worthwhile.”

We are blessed to share our passion for the great outdoors while helping individuals, groups and businesses find and explore their next big adventure.

What does adventure meant to you? What was your last great adventure? Let us know in the comments below!

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Happiness in the Workplace

What is Happiness?

It’s a simple question really. What is happiness? According to happy (adjective) 1. is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment 2. fortunate and convenient.

Each person has a very different answer to this question and we all come from different backgrounds, cultures and upbringings so happiness can be gained different ways by different people in the office. Business Collective has a great article on ways to increase your happiness at work here.

According to PEW Research Center millennials make up the largest generation in the workforce.

More millennials are being hired at companies and they want different things than your GenXers and Baby Boomers want. How do you keep them all happy? If you are an employer there are several different ways you can incorporate happiness within the workplace.

Try many different things and see what works and what doesn’t. Remember no matter what you do there are always skeptics out there too. Sometimes there’s someone who doesn’t want to do anything you mention, no matter what it is, and maybe with increasing workplace happiness they will improve their mindset or you may see that they do not align with your company culture after all. There are some tips we developed that will help when you are trying to incorporate happiness in the workplace.

When choosing an activity ask…

  1. Did they learn something?
  2. Did some or all of your team try something for the first time?

– When you try new things you overcome barriers in your head. For instance, “I’ve never done this before, can I do this?” “I don’t know how to do this, how will I figure this out?” When they attempt and complete these kinds of challenges they gain confidence, problem solving skills, and positive mental health.

  1. Did they get to know their team better?
  2. Do you notice a positive effect after they return to the office?
  3. Last but most importantly, did they have fun? That is a key ingredient to happiness.

If you’re struggling to figure out what your team wants you should ask them! What do they do for fun? What makes them happy? If you have hundreds of employees get with your managers of departments and have them to ask their team what they like to do for fun and what makes them happy. It’s not all about buying them tickets to a local basketball game, or having t-shirt or beer Fridays. You need to get much more creative if you want to recruit talented individuals, retain your current employees, keep them happy and in turn grow your business.

Good luck with your workplace happiness! Let us know what kinds of things you have done at your office to keep your employees happy, we’d love to hear from you!


Hugging trees makes us feel happy!

Have an adventurous day!

DNK Presents…your next great adventure

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Hoosier Mountain Bike Association Epic Weekend

This weekend we got the opportunity to be part of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Brown County Epic. The epic is not a race, rather a group ride with over three hundred of your closest friends. The weekend includes camping, live music, giveaways and local craft beer on tap!

This event is especially memorable for Kate and I because 3 years ago at this event was my first real attempt at mountain biking! I had only ridden once before at Ft Ben on a beginner trail during the Hoosier Outdoor Experience. The first day of the event (back then) was demo day, so you get to ride bikes from Trek, Giant, Surly, Specialized and Rocky Mountain. Some of these bikes could have cost more than my car. I think I rode a full suspension Trek and what I really fell in love with, was the Giant Anthem. I loved mountain biking, after road biking for so long I felt like, “I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this the whole time!”

The next day I was riding Kate’s old bike – a hard tail Cannondale. Which at the time meant nothing to me, and if you don’t know it basically means you feel everything – in the worst way! After our first route I was like seriously why does anyone even make bikes like this?! It was a little painful, especially after riding luxury bikes the day before, but I rode through the day and absolutely loved it. I made it to the top of hesitation point. It was rainy that day and some of our friends chose not to ride, back then I felt like I didn’t know any better. I played outdoor sports growing up so I thought, “what’s a little rain going to do?” Turns out rocks and roots can be kind of slippery on your bike tires in the rain, but that didn’t stop us from riding all day! It was awesome.

This year unfortunately we did not ride, but we did get to support our friends with HMBA who are responsible for all the wonderful trails. We also got to run at Yellowwood State Forest. Kate broke her rib 4 weeks to the day on Sunday, her doctor cleared her to run at 4 weeks and cleared her to ride at 6 weeks. Through that time Kate had a few minor breakdowns but what I admired and love so much was that instead of focusing on what she couldn’t do like running, biking, boxing, and many of the things she loves to do. She focused on things she COULD do! Like John Wooden once said, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” There was a lot of walking, yoga, but she also got to go on our last canoeing trip of the year. It was a time that we were able to think about those who live with disease or impairments throughout their entire lives. It was Kate’s first broken bone, but it was a lifelong lesson for us both.

In life we sometimes take for granted what we have and often times are always wishing and complaining about what everyone else has or gets. From this weekend and through these past few weeks it has opened our eyes to be thankful for our health, happiness, family and friends.

By: Danielle Wolter Nolan

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Millennials – Living, Working, Doing

Being out and about networking for our business it’s hard to go a week, well let’s be honest a day without hearing someone bringing up – Millennials and how to deal with those ‘darn kids’! As I was wondering why I can’t go a day without someone bringing up the topic of millennials, company culture, or the generation gap. I then realized why this topic is so prevalent, the Baby Boomers and the Gen X’ers are hiring us, recruiting us and trying to retain us at their offices.

So they (older crowd) want us (Millennials) in the office doing all the awesomeness we do but then our co-workers and bosses don’t know how to deal with us because we are so different from the other generations. For example Millennials are now the most diverse, and largest living generation in the U.S. For the first time we feel like we can be ourselves in the office which means we want to talk to our co-workers and engage with them on a regular-ish basis (we also like to have flexibility to be able to work from home!) We have been influenced by technology and we aggregate very quickly to change which means we adapt well to new ideas and creativity. Check out this study from the White House on everything else you ever wanted to know about Millennials.

So here is this new awesome breed of humans coming into the workforce and we still have the question of “How to Deal”? So you can’t afford to take your sales team to Sedona for a week long energy vortex, meditation retreat here are a list of some things you can do in your office for a new way of engaging, recruiting and retaining your employees. Don’t forget the Millennial generation likes to work at a place where they feel and are treated like family.

Employee Engagement Tips:

  • Walk and Talk Meetings – Take your meeting outside! This is a great way to get outside the box – literally, you’ll see those creative juices flowing immediately.
  • Weekly Meal – If your office is mostly or partly remote have at least one day and time together a week and not in a meeting setting but in a relaxed setting like lunch or breakfast.
  • Adventures – Yes we are saying it but it’s true, try something different with your staff! They will thank you for caring about them enough to see that you want to do something fun and unique. We have facilitated several large and small organization team building events from a few hours to week long adventure retreats and have gotten excellent feedback from participants.

Our favorite thing to incorporate with any of the tips listed above is to NOT allow any type of technology. So no cell phones, ipads, iphones, computers, etc., therefore people are actually communicating and engaging with one another in the present face to face and not getting distracted with anything else.

Check out when we were guests on Spin Web Radio to hear what we had to say about Company Culture.

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What does adventure mean to you?

Recently we guided a backcountry adventure for Team Film in Charles C. Deam Wilderness – part of Hoosier National Forest. We led 17 amazing women, some of which had never backpacked, or slept on the ground, and most of which never had our s’moreos or rehydrated veggie tacos. It was an amazing experience to have spent the weekend sharing our backpacking skills and campfire stories with these ladies. We made 17 new friends and put together a short video that gives you a snippet of all of us “living our film” in the wild. Click below to view the video on You Tube.

Check out the blog post from Team Film to hear what the ladies had to say about their experience!

We were inspired to write a poem about our weekend with Team Film.

Writing a poem was quite an adventure for us!

“Smells Like High School”

19 women came near and far
Deep in the woods they raised the bar 😉

We hiked eight miles with no complaints
Everyone was smiling even with the dehydrated food we ate

We had Ironwomen, ultrarunners and marathoners in the group
We made up one badass troupe

Lake Monroe greeted us when we arrived
It wasn’t long before we all took a dive

Our neighbors turned out to be friendly in Deam
They even offered to share their bottle of Beam

We drank some beer and sang some songs
We may have stayed up a little too long

The next day came – sun shining bright
We sat by the lake and shared a bite

We packed up our tents and stuffed our packs
It was now time for us to head back

We left our mark that weekend in Deam
For the rest of our lives we’ll love the Team

Testimonials from the Adventure:

“I had no idea that I would meet SO many incredible women. I have 18 new friends — how fantastic is that?? Thank you so much for a great weekend.

The idea of micro adventures is a wonderful way to get introduced to something new. There isn’t a huge investment and you have an opportunity to try something new to see if it is enjoyable. When’s the next adventure?

I have already planned my next camping trip and found an easy backpacking trip to take my fam! If Team Film and DNK Presents didn’t offer this trip, I don’t know if I would have ever backpacked. Thanks Team Film!” Karen Hale Yott

“What I learned in Deam Wilderness:

  • When you spend a day with strangers on a trail carrying a pack, you learn the coolest things about their lives and personalities. It makes me want to pry open the story of more and more women.
  • Jim Beam is no one’s friend.
  • You should always travel with someone who knows about pressure points and therapeutic teas.
  • Women share a bond that is innate and electric. Sometimes we need to get out in the woods to share it and feel it. That’s what happened in Deam.” — Casey Kenley
Have you seen us around Indy lately? Do you want to? Contact us to meet up, and check out these organizations we just joined!
We want to know… “What does adventure mean to you?” Let us know in the comments below or contact us! or 317-445-7155
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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, camping

Outdoor Dining & The Things You Need to Consider

Going on a backpacking trip means you don’t want to carry any unnecessary weight. Well, when it comes to food, there is much more to consider. According to REI, these are the things you need to be looking for.

Taste – Yeah, don’t try going out into the backcountry with food you can’t stomach. This isn’t the time to learn to like new foods. Do that at home. Don’t try to convince yourself that you’ll eat something if you know you can’t enjoy it. You need the….

Calories – There is no time for a diet in the woods. Calories will be burned anyways. This is the energy that is fueling your entire escapade. If you don’t have the energy to continue on, backpacking just won’t be the greatest experience for you. Energy, energy, energy. Keep that in mind as you go along!

Nutrition – While in the backcountry, you’ll want to make sure that you are staying filled up on complex carbohydrates and proteins. Having sugary treats with no return will only make you drag and feel heavy. Make sure to keep nuts and dried fruits on you. They will be able to provide you with the more stable and consistent energy you’ll need.

Weight & Bulk – Again, weight and bulk are huge concerns for backpacking. As miraculous as backpacking packs are, the less weight you have on you, the better it will feel, leaving you with more energy to go farther. It’s amazing the relief you feel taking off the pack after a day of backpacking and realizing how much weight you were actually just carrying. An easy way to do this is to reduce any unnecessary packaging. Just make sure to clearly label everything and include instructions if there are any included with the food. Another thing? Be aware of the equipment you’ll need to prepare everything…

Ease of Preparation – The ease and simplicity by which you can make a meal is a huge part of selecting the meal to be packed. The more complex, the more frivolous tools you’ll end up carrying. Again, that is just more unnecessary weight. Make sure that in case of any sort of malfunction with a stove you have non-cook items available for consumption. You also may not even have the energy to get through cooking a whole entire meal. Keep it simple. Sit back and relax. Hey, at least it isn’t a microwaveable dinner meal.

Availability of Water – If there isn’t all that much water available where you plan on setting camp up in or even just are hiking through, you will need to keep this in mind as you pack food. Things that don’t require water will be your best bet in these situations.

Fuel – If anything you bring needs a stove, you’re going to need to check the cook time. Depending on that, you’ll need to bring a certain amount of fuel. Make sure you have that amount available but also keep in mind, again, the more canisters you have, the more weight you’ll be carrying.

Cost – All that gear you find you’ll need for backpacking is expensive. And that’s without accounting for the price of food. The cost of food comes with many considerations of its own though. You have to take into account the utensils you need, pots and pans you may need, as well as the extra things you may need to accompany your may use to dress up your meal. That’s all without actually taking into account the food you’re bringing along, Don’t go overboard buying items that may break your bank, but don’t go too cheap either because you want to make sure you aren’t compromising on taste and nutrition especially.


So now you are probably wondering, what are some good examples of things that fit well into all of these considerations? Dehydrated packs are great. They are specifically meant for use in the outdoors so the nutrition benefits are high. Some allow you to use either hot or cold water for cooking so if there really is a malfunction with your stove, your option A, is also your option B. These packs are really light and include clear instructions for ease. As I mentioned before, nuts and dried fruits are great for snacking on throughout your trip for all the obvious reasons and then some. Make sure to have plenty of water on you. There’s never enough water when you’re out backpacking. That is weight that you won’t regret bringing along.

Canned foods are a good, quick option. Bringing some spices along may also make your meals much more worthwhile. Pack them up in mini Ziploc bags and they’ll weigh virtually nothing. Same goes for powdered drink mixes. It’ll be nice to have a refreshing, fruity drink in you. As you might imagine, coffee is a popular option, too. Eggs, oatmeal, and pancake mix are popular breakfast choices. Lunch is more often just a series of snacks throughout the hike such as granola, jerky, and dried fruit. As for dinners, those are often the reward to your day, and are meant to take more prep time for ultimate enjoyment. Pasta, soup, and a variety of “instant” foods are popular choices for that time of day.

Something you’ll need to keep in mind is wildlife. Bear bags, as they are called are meant to hold all of your food in one place away from your tent and other things. They’re meant to decrease the chances of being attacked for your food as well as for keeping your food supply safe. They are kept up in the air, usually between two trees. However, bear bags can’t be too close to one side. There’s a chance that an animal could climb up to them. Make sure you are aware of what kinds of animals you might find on your adventure so that you can tailor the way in which you hang your bear bag(s). For more information and for a how-to, checkout this video from Peak Survival!

If you’re going “car camping”, most of this won’t apply. Just make sure that you know how and what you’ll need to prepare the items that you’ve brought along and have enough fuel to keep your stove going. No matter where you’re eating though, make sure to keep the seven Leave No Trace principles in mind!

If you are a woman looking to get some hands on experience and knowledge, you should join us on our next beginner’s backpacking trip! We are teaming up with Team Film (see what I did there?) to unplug and embrace nature for an overnight backpacking trip to Charles C. Deam Wilderness which is located within the Hoosier National Forest. For more information and to sign up click here! We’re excited to see you all out there August 22-23rd, 2015.

In the end, just remember, you need food. It’s how you’ll survive. If you’re afraid you don’t have enough, food is the one thing you shouldn’t fear your supply of. Pack enough to make you feel comfortable but also keeps your pack at a decent weight, too. Bon Appetite and trust me on this: everything tastes good after a long excursion with a pack on your back.


Eden Ashebir
Adventure Marketing Intern
Your Next Great Adventure…


Ever been to Costa Rica? Needing an escape? Click here for more information for our first ever DNK Presents Costa Rica Adventure, January 23rd through 30th, 2016. Registration closes by October 1st, 2015 so sign up quick!

Payment plan available.

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Sleeping in the Outdoors: What Makes a Sleeping Bag

According to REI, there are three key factors that you need to be aware of when you’re out going sleeping bag shopping. There’s the temperature rating, the weight/compactness, and the type of insulation that is being used. But let’s get into more detail.

The Temperature Rating of a bag indicates the lowest temperature at which the sleeping bag will keep the average human sleeping comfortable in their sleep. There are two different ratings. There is the comfort rating, which is for women, and the lower-limit rating for men. Women typically prefer sleeping colder than men typically do which s why there are two separate ratings. If the temperature rating on the EN Standard indicates that it is rate to a temperature of +20°F, that means it is made to keep you comfortable at temperatures as low as 20°F. This is why when you’re looking for a bag, according to REI, you need to choose the sleeping bag that is rated for the coldest temperature that you expect to encounter on the outing you plan on using this specific sleeping bag for. Use this chart from REI to help you make decisions on temperature rating based on the season you will be using the bag for:

Bag Type Temperature Rating (°F)
Summer Season +35° and higher
3-Season Bag +10° to +35°
Cold Weather -10° to +10°
Winter/Extreme -10° and lower


Weight, compactness, and fit are the things you need to be considering for all your gear when you’re planning what to pack for an outing. You need to make sure there is still plenty of room left in your pack. But at the same time, it is important you are not compromising to the point where your equipment is unsafe or not comfortable enough to use. You’ve got to balance out the durability, convenience, comfort, and price of the object overall. When it comes to matters of sleeping, it is important that you are able to get a good night’s sleep, especially after a day of hiking to be followed by yet another day of hiking. You want to make sure that you’re comfortable, well slept, and not experiencing any sleeping pains. It really depends on how long of a trip you’re going on and how much space you have in your pack. Now, for the actual use of the bag, there are actually different shapes that you can purchase. The most efficient shape at maintaining your body heat, according to many sources, is probably the Mummy shape. It is shaped, as the name would indicate, like a mummy wrapped in gauze. A hole just large enough for your face can be seen at the top. Some may feel that it is a bit constricting though and opt for more standard shapes. As for length, here is a chart from REI on when to choose certain bag lengths:

Men’s Women’s
Short: For people up to 5’6″ Regular: For women up to 5’6″
Regular: For people 5’7″ to 6’0″ Long: For women 5’7″ to 6’0″
Long: For people 6’1″ to 6’6″


Insulation is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of a sleeping bag. The options available to us now are down, synthetic, or even the newer water-repellent down. According to REI:

Down fills (either goose or duck) are very light, compressible, durable and breathable. While initially more expensive, they offer great long-term value. Synthetic fills excel in damp, cold conditions and have less sticker shock up front. They are slightly heavier and less compressible than down. Water-repellent down (e.g., DriDownTM) is down treated to resist moisture, the Achilles heel of regular down.

This is really important to know when making your decision because if you are going to be around any extreme conditions such as cold or moisture filled environments, you can really pick a sleeping bag that perfectly compliments your trip maximizing return on the bag itself. Now certain types are more expensive, for example down is more expensive than synthetic fill, but just as with just about any feature of the sleeping bag, you really have to be willing to know when the extra cost is worth it. Something to consider also are allergies. Also, make sure that you aren’t allergic to any of these materials or else you’ll find much too late that being wrapped up in one of these in the middle of nowhere may not be the best idea for you. As for the shelling of a sleeping bag, while, according to REI, it is typically made of ripstop nylon or polyster, top quality bags will be treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. It makes sure water just beads up on the outside of the bag instead of penetrating the surface of the bag. While this is true for the shell, the inside of the bag needs to allow for dispersal of moisture so as to allow our skin to breathe.

Other things to consider when trying out sleeping in the outdoors? If you’re trying to get a comfortable sleep, it is essential that you pack a sleeping pad! These pads come in different forms including air pads, foam pads, and self-inflating pads. Each has its pros and cons that you should read up on with this article from REI. What you need to take into consideration when looking for these sleeping pads is how much cushioning/thickness you desire for comfort, your preferred length & width for a pad, how much time & the ease with which one might take to prepare the pad for sleeping, as well as the weight & compressibility of the pad. Sleeping pads are also important in that they lift you up from the ground, meaning that you are getting more insulation. Especially at night, the ground grows cold and will cause you to lose body heat quickly. A sleeping pad is vital in helping reduce this effect.

For even more information, click through this article from REI featuring expert advice on sleeping bags for backpacking.

Just set your sleeping bag on top of your sleeping pad and you’ll be set for a comfortable sleep on the grounds of just about…anywhere. In fact, why not let DNK Presents take you on your next adventure to anywhere! Want to test out that sleeping bag that’s just been lying around your house catching dust? Join us on Eden’s Excursion in Deam Wilderness located in Bloomington, Indiana! It will be the weekend of August 1st – 2nd, 2015. For more information, an itinerary, and to signup, read more here!


Eden Ashebir

Adventure Marketing Intern

Ever been to Costa Rica? Needing an escape? Click here for more information for our first ever DNK Presents Costa Rica Adventure, January 23rd through 30th, 2016. Registration closes by October 1st, 2015 so sign up quick!

Payment plan available.

Your Next Great Adventure…



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dnk presents, private group adventures, corporate team building adventures, adventures, mountain biking

Basic Knot-ery

Knots are an important part of being an outdoorsmen/outdoors-woman. Even the simplest ones can change your experience. They’re a huge part of safety, ease, and structure.

To start off, get to know some basic knot terminology. Here is some useful terminology as defined by Steve Howie of GearFinder.

  • Standing end This is the long end of the rope that would go from you, the tie-er, to a tree, tent or belay point
  • Free end The end which is nearest to you and where single-line knots are tied
  • Bight A doubled-over bending of the cord, where many double-line (mid-rope) knots are tied
  • Backtie A second knot used to make sure the primary, load-bearing knot cannot come untied, also used to simply secure excess free-end cord
  • Departing rope The cordage that runs into or away from a knot

Source: GearFinder powered by Backpacker

For even more terminology, check out this list of definitions from Animated Knots by Grog™.

Now let’s get into some knots and their uses. Click the headings of each knot to see demonstrations of how each knot is created! Keep in mind that there are tons of knots out there. The ones that I’ve listed below are knots that I feel you can get the most use out of due to their extreme effectiveness and yet simplicity as well.

SlipknotThis is a basic and very commonly used knot. The great thing about this knot is that the rope will easily “slip out” when you are untying it and yet holds on tight when it is actually in use. This knot can be used to keep things tied to a post, to keep rope up & off the ground, and is even used for knitting. Something you will realize as you go along is that slipknots are often used in creating more complex knots.

Clove HitchThere is also the stacked loops method of tying this knot. This knot has its pros and cons. The clove hitch can be tied around another piece of rope to easily slide things along it. It can be tightened back into place easily but just as easily loosed back up to continue sliding things along again. It can also be used to keep a boat’s fender attached to railing or just as a general binding knot. This knot is extremely simple to tie. The only drawback is that it can slip off if tied to something that is not sturdy in its place. The same amount of pressure must always be present or else the knot may come loose.

Figure 8 KnotThis knot looks exactly as you’d imagine: like the number 8. It is most often used as a stopper knot. It is a quick knot to tie. As stated in the link above, the knot’s “virtue is that, even after it has been jammed tightly against a block, it doesn’t bind; it can be undone easily. This virtue is also, occasionally, a vice. The figure 8 can fall undone and then has to be retied.” It actually has a more complicated version often used in climbing to secure the climber’s harness to the rope. It is called the Figure 8 Follow Through knot. It looks like a “boldened” version of the Figure 8 using about double the amount of rope and “dressed” to look like a clear number 8 to keep the rope untangled.

Trucker’s HitchEventually you’ll find that you need different types of knot to make a whole other knot. Take the trucker’s hitch for example, a personal favorite of mine. As demonstrated in the video I’ve provided, this knot is based on a slip knot. As discussed earlier, due to the easy release feature of a slipknot, the trucker’s hitch is a great choice for pitching a tent. It is also a great knot for cinching gear into place. The knot has a 3 to 1 mechanical advantage. As shown in the video, the more hitches added, the greater the purchase. The great thing about this knot is that although it is extremely secure when executed correctly, it is still fairly easy to release.

Gasket CoilSomething you’ll learn as you carry around rope is that it likes to get tangled up and twisted. Well guess what? There’s a knot solution for that too. The Gasket Coil is a common knot used to keep unattached-rope clean, neat, and tangle-free thus expanding its life expectancy. This is especially important when it comes to ropes involving safety such as in the case of climbing. As the rope gets filthier, the quality of the rope quickly deteriorates. This leads to issues of safety. That’s why it has become common knowledge in the world of climbing to not step on your climbing rope. For more climbing rope care etiquette, check out this article from

A lot of knots can actually accomplish many of the same things as others. As you grow more accustomed to more and more knots, you will be able to see which you feel most comfortable with as well as where and how to use different ones. Everyone has a preference. When trying to tie a certain knot, you’ll find that people have different ways of executing the same exact knot, as can be seen in the case of the clove hitch. It is interesting to see. Knot tying is honestly an art of its own, both impressive and effective. The fact that knots can range from simple to crazy intricate shows you the range of things that rope can do for you.

Eden Ashebir
Adventure Marketing Intern

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