The bowline knot is a great all purpose knot that has many uses at the campsite.
It’s a very dependable knot as long as the rope is under a load. The knot is popular because when the rope is slack it’s easy to untie (no one likes using their teeth). It can be used for tying a pet to a tree, hanging a hammock, hanging food or a solar shower from a tree, and securing grommets on a tarp.
A little Wikipedia history:
The bowline’s name has an earlier meaning, dating to the age of sail. On a square-rigged ship, a bowline (sometimes spelled as two words, bow line) is a rope that holds the edge of a square sail towards the bow of the ship and into the wind, preventing it from being taken aback. A ship is said to be on a “taut bowline” when these lines are made as taut as possible in order to sail close-hauled to the wind.
The bowline knot is thought to have been first mentioned in John Smith’s 1691 work A Sea Grammar under the name Boling knot. Smith considered the knot to be strong and secure, saying, “The Boling knot is also so firmly made and fastened by the bridles into the cringles of the sails, they will break, or the sail split before it will slip.”
Another possible finding was discovered on the rigging of the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu’s solar ship during an excavation in 1954.