Mechanical tie down straps are handy but are not as flexible or adaptable as a length of paracord. The trick with rope or cord as a tie down is to construct a series of knots that are secure but are still easy untie. I find the classic trucker's hitch a bit difficult so have put together my own version of the classic that I find to be quick, easy and secure. The two basic knots that will be used are the half hitch and the alpine butterfly. These are both easy to tie and untie and with some small practice can be done with very little light and in poor conditions.
Step 1: Cut Cord
The paracord can be cut to what ever length is convenient for your need. Paracord is a parallel core braided rope so it has a nylon sheath around 7 individual inner lines. This construction is flexible, durable and very strong. The easiest means to cut and seal the end of the cord is with a flame. Take care as the burning nylon fumes are noxious and the burnt end will remain hot for some time.
Step 2: Fixed End
The first knot I use is a pair of half hitches. Tie the first half hitch normal and the second right behind it and slipped.
Step 3: Tie pulley
The second knot used is the alpine butterfly. This is a climber's knot that can be tied quickly and can take strain in either direction. The knot can also be untied easily after taking strain. 1) Take three turns around your fingers 2) Take the loop closest to your elbow and move it to to the outside (closest to your finger tips) 3) Repeat this step a second time with the new loop closest to your elbow 4) Pull the loop closest to your finger tips under the loops and work the knot into shape.
Step 4: Loop and secure
Wrap the cord around the second binding point and back through the pulley. Pull the cord tight and secure against the pulley with a slipped half hitch. The following video shows tying and untying in real time.