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Updated August 2000


Learn how to tie knots!!!

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Angler's Knot Bowline Clove Hitch Common Bend Knot Cow Hitch
Double Sheet Bend English Knot Englishman's Bend Figure Eight
Fisherman's Knot Flag Bend Knot Flemish Knot Granny Knot Halibut Knot
Lanyard Hitch Lark's Head Left Handed Sheet Bend Magner's Hitch
Magnus Hitch Overhand Knot Reef Knot Rolling Hitch Round Turn
Savoy Knot Sheepshank Sheet Bend Square Knot
Thief Knot Timber Hitch Thumb Knot Waterman's Knot What-Knot




Bowline

This is a commonly used knot to tie a loop in the end of a rope. It does not jam.

How to tie the knot


Form a small loop (the direction is important), and pass the free end of the knot up through the loop, around and behind the standing part of the rope, and back down through the loop.

Clove Hitch

This knot provides a quick and secure result. It rarely jams and is often used to start and finish lashings.

How to tie the knot

Figure Eight Knot

(Also known as: Flemish Knot or Savoy Knot)

A useful "stop" knot to temporarily bulk-out the end of a rope or cord, the finished knot looks like the numeral eight. It is better than using a Thumb knot, because it does not jam so easily.

How to tie the knot

Tips and tricks

The Figure Eight knot is useful to temporarily stop the ends of a rope from fraying.

Fisherman's Knot

(Also known as: Angler's Knot, English Knot, Englishman's bend, Halibut Knot, Waterman's Knot)

The Fisherman's knot is used to tie two ropes of equal thickness together. It is used by fishermen to join fishing line, and is very effective with small strings and twines.

How to tie the knot

Tie a thumb knot, in the running end of the first rope around the second rope. Then tie a thumb knot in the second rope, around the first rope. Thumb knots are tied so that they lie snuggly against each other when the ends are pulled.

Tips and tricks

When tying knots in monofilament line, moisten the line before pulling the knot tight. This helps to stop the line heating up with friction which weakens it.

Lark's Head

(Also known as: Cow Hitch or Lanyard Hitch)

The Lark's Head knot is used to loosely attach a rope to a ring. The knot has two good features:
1.) It is easy to tie, and
2.) it does not jam.
However, it will slip fairly easily and may slip undone when tied using manmade fiber ropes.

How to tie the knot

Tips and tricks

Do not use this knot when a secure attachment is required or needed.

Rolling Hitch

(Also known as: Magner's Hitch or Magnus Hitch)

One of the most underrated knots in Scouting. The Rolling Hitch is used to attach one rope to another in such a manner that the first rope can be easily slid along the second. This knot can be considered a Clove hitch with an additional turn.

How to tie the knot


When tension is applied and the ropes form a straight line, the rolling hitch will lock onto the first rope. When the tension is released, the hitch can be loosened and slid along the first rope to a new location. The tension must be applied on the side of the knot with the extra turn.

Tips and tricks

Use this knot when constructing camp gadgets such as a suspended table. A Rolling hitch in each suspension rope will allow easy adjustment and your table will be level. When adjustments are complete, lock the rolling hitch into place by using a stop knot such as a Figure Eight in the first rope, below the Rolling hitch, to stop it from slipping.

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

This knot is used to secure a rope to a pole, or to start or finish a lashing. This knot rarely jams.

How to tie the knot

Pass the running end of the rope over the pole twice. Then pass the running end over the standing part of rope, and tuck it back up and under itself, forming a half hitch. Repeat this for a second half hitch.

Tips and tricks

This is better than a Clove Hitch for starting and finishing a lashing as the half hitches prevent this knot from unrolling. It locks the knot. The Clove Hitch might look neater but it can unroll and be difficult to tie tightly.

Sheepshank

The Sheepshank is a shortening knot, which enables a rope to be shortened without destroying it. The knot is only really secure under tension. It will fall apart when slack.

How to tie the knot

Tips and tricks

Use up to five half hitches at each end of the Sheepshank to make the knot more secure. Never cut ropes to shorten them. Always use a shortening knot such as the Sheepshank or coil the excess.

Sheet Bend

(Also known as: Flag Bend Knot or Common Bend Knot)

The Sheetbend is commonly used to tie two ropes of unequal thickness together.

How to tie the knot

The thicker rope of the two is used to form a loop, and the thinner rope is passed up, through, and around the back, and then tucked under itself. The knot should be tied with both ends coming off the same side of the bend. It can easily be accidentally tied with the ends coming off opposite sides of the bend, when it is known as the Left Handed Sheet Bend. Try to avoid the Left Handed Sheet Bend …it is less secure.

Tips and tricks

If the ropes are of very unequal thickness, or placed under a lot of tension, use a Double Sheetbend.

Double Sheet Bend

The Double Sheetbend is a more secure form of the Sheetbend.

How to tie the knot

Tips and tricks

It is particularly useful when the thickness of the two ropes varies a lot or when a more secure Sheetbend is required.

Left Handed Sheet Bend

This knot is a wrongly tied Sheetbend, a very easy mistake to make.

How to tie the knot

The ends of the ropes should both come off the same side of the knot, and NOT off opposite sides. The knot strength is severely reduced, and this knot should be avoided.

Tips and tricks

Do not use this knot if you can help it.

Thief Knot

The Thief knot resembles the Reef knot. The difference is that the ends of the Thief knot come off opposite sides of the knot and in the Reef knot, they come off the same sides. The Thief knot has no strength whatsoever, and will slip under tension.

How to tie the knot

Tips and tricks

Only use this knot for tricks. Never use it when a life is at risk.

Square Knot

(Also known as: Reef Knot, Granny Knot, Thief Knot, and What-Knot)

An excellent general-purpose knot for tying two pieces of string or twine together. This is probably the most commonly used knot and is easy to learn. However, it is not a long term or secure knot, and it should only be used to tie-up packages.

How to tie the knot

Holding one end of each rope in each hand, pass the left rope over the right, and tuck under. Then pass the same rope, now in the right hand, over the left rope, and tuck under.

The Square knot can easily be undone by gripping one loose end, and pulling it back over the knot, in the opposite direction, thus straightening the rope, which is pulled. The other rope forms a Lark's Head knot, and slips off the tugged rope.

Tips and tricks

Only use this knot for tricks. Never use it when a life is at risk.

Thumb Knot

(Also known as: Overhand Knot)

This is the simplest knot of all. It is commonly use to temporarily stop a rope from fraying.

How to tie the knot

The overhand knot is commonly tied in a loop formed at the end of a rope, forming the Overhand Loop.

Tips and tricks

The Thumb knot jams easily so it is far better to use a Figure Eight knot to stop the end of a fraying rope.

Timber Hitch

Used to attach a rope to a log, or where security is not an issue. This knot tightens under strain, but comes undone very easily when the rope is slack.

How to tie the knot

Wrap the rope around the log, and then pass the running end around the standing part of the rope. Finally twist the running end around itself three or four times.

Tips and tricks

Very useful for dragging logs back to the campfire.




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