Square Knot

You can loosen the square knot easily by either pushing the ends toward the knot or by "upsetting" the knot by pulling back on one end and pulling the other through the loops.


The bowline has been called the king of knots. It will never slip or jam if properly made and, thus, is excellent for tying around a person in a rescue. Begin by formatting an overhand loop in the standing part. Then take the free end up through the eye, around the standing part and back where it came from.

Clove Hitch

This is one of the most widely used knots. Because it passes around an object in only one direction, it puts very little strain on the rope fibers. Tying it over an object that is open at one end is done by dropping one overhand loop over the post and drawing them together. The other method of tying it is used most commonly if the object is closed at both ends or is too high to toss loops over. The latter is used in starting and finishing most lashings.

Two Half Hitches

This is a reliable and useful knot for attaching a rope to a pole or boat mooring. As it's name suggests, it is two half hitches, one after the other. To finish, push them together and snug them by pulling on the standing part.

Taut-line Hitch

Since it will only slide one way, the Taut-line hitch is often used on tent ropes. The taut-line hitch will hold firmly on a smooth pole such as a scout stave. Place rope end around pole, make a turn below it, then bring rope up across the standing part around the pole and tuck through.

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