Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.



The videos below are all from YouTube which offers countless examples on how to tie knots and perform other Scout activities.  If you find a video that is better than the ones that I have selected, just email the webmaster and we can update the video link.


The Square Knot


Uses: Used at they will secure something that is unlikely to move much, such as furled sails or a bandage. (The knot lies flat when tied with cloth and has been used for bandages for millennia.) With both ends tucked (slipped) it becomes a good way to tie shoelaces. It is also used decoratively.

1) Tie a left-handed overhand knot and then a right-handed overhand knot or vice versa. (The Boy Scout instructions for this knot are: right-over-left and under; left-over-right and through.)
2) Pull the knot tight.

NOTE: In Scouts this knot has a special meaning – it is also called the JOINING KNOT.  This is because it is the first knot you learn after joining scouts and because it joins items together.



Two Half Hitches or Double Half Hitch


Uses: The Two Half Hitches or Double Half Hitch is commonly used to tie a line to a post or dock eye. The knot can slip apart under high stress loads so it should NOT be used for “mission-critical” things like tying a rode to an anchor.

Instructions: 1) After coming around the post, make an underhand loop (the loop goes under the standing part – attached or long end of the line.)
2) Bring the bitter end (free end) up over the standing part and through the eye which you created.
3) Next make a second underhand loop around the standing part, and run the bitter end through this eye.
4) Tighten the hitch.



 Taut Line Hitch



Uses: It is useful for tensioning lines where the tension may need to be periodically readjusted, and typical applications for this hitch is in securing loads on vehicles, and in securing [tent] lines. The taut-line hitch does not work well with some modern synthetic lines that are excessively slick or which do not knot well, but works excellently with most line.

1) Pass the line from the load, loop it around the anchor, take the free end and loop it around in a half-hitch; that is, loop it around the standing line and pass it through the loop formed.
2) Pass the free end through the loop again in the same direction, so that there are two passes of the line through the loop.
3) Tie another half-hitch on top of the previous half-hitch going in the same direction; that is, pass the free end around the standing line above the hitch just tied and pass it through the loop formed.
4) Tighten the hitch.

Notes: Adjust the taut-line hitch by grasping the standing line in one hand just below the taut-line hitch, then pull the line against the load, and grasp the hitch with the other hand and pull it the other direction, away from the anchor and towards the load, to tighten. The knot can be repeatedly adjusted as needed.


 Sheet Bend


Uses: Joining two rope of equal or different diameters.

1) Take the larger rope in one hand. Make a loop in this rope about three inches long and hold both ends of the loop in one hand.
2) Take the smaller rope and thread it up the loop.
3) Wrap the smaller rope around the loop of the larger one.
4) Tuck it underneath the where the smaller rope comes up through the larger rope’s loop.
5) Pull the free end of the smaller rope tight to secure the bend.

Notes: The sheet bend is very fast to tie and is also useful when joining two ropes of different diameters.

 The Clove Hitch

Clove_HitchUses: The clove hitch is normally used for securing objects, such as tying a load on a trailer or truck as a means of reliably securing one end of the rope, especially when used in combination with a sheepshank to ensure tension is maintained. The clove hitch is the starting knot in most lashing knots. It is very fast to tie and easy to adjust the knot for length, making it useful at belay stations in rock climbing, where the belayer can maintain the necessary tension.

1) Tie a half hitch around a rail or post.
2) Tie a second half hitch around the rail or post.
3) Tighten the hitch.

NOTE: It is formed from two half hitches around a rail or post where one is reversed or opposed to the other. This opposition causes the knot to grip against itself when tension is applied. It can be pre-formed in the middle of the rope, then slid over the end of a post.



Timber Hitch


Uses: The timber hitch is used to attach a single length of rope to a piece of wood. This knot is easily undone after use.

Instructions:  1) Wrap the rope around the log, then pass the running end around the standing part of the rope.
2) Twist the running end around itself three or four times.
3) Tighten the hitch.

Notes: A true Timber Hitch must have at least three tucks trapped against the object


Bowline Knot


Uses: Commonly used in sailing small craft to secure the top of the main sheet to the main line. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends the bowline knot for tying down light aircraft. Commonly referred to as the rescue knot because it is used to lift people out of dangerous situations.

Instructions: This knot can be tied in a number of ways, including in the air, around an object, and around oneself.

The ‘Bunny’ method:
1) Form the hole (a loop).
2) The bunny comes up through the hole.
3) Passes around the tree.
4) And then back down through the hole.
5) Pull the knot tight.

Single hand method:
1) Grasp the free end with the thumb of the dominant hand (leaving some free length) and place the line behind the victim.
2) Cross the free end over the line in front of the victim.
3) Twist the hand under the line and up to form a loop around the wrist.
4) Push the free end around the line.
5) Then pull it through the wrist loop.
6) Pull the knot tight.

Notes: This is an ancient knot non-jamming knot and is considered the ‘King of Knots’.


Whipping a Rope

Whipping_A_RopeUses: Whipping is a series of knots intended to stop a rope from unraveling. As it can slip off of the rope easily, the common whipping should not be used for rope ends that will be handled frequently. The benefit of a common whipping is that no tools are necessary and the rope does not need to be unlayed. The problem is that it will slide off the end of the rope with little provocation. Other whippings avoid this by interleaving the whipping with the strands of the rope and creating friction with the strands to avoid slipping. Normally a natural fiber rope is whipped with twine. The size of the rope dictates the size of the twine. Any twine can be used, but tarred two strand hemp (marline) is preferred. Unnatural ropes should have their ends fused by heat rather than whipped to prevent unraveling.

1) The rope should be whipped a short distance (2 or more diameters) from its end.
2) Lay the head of the twine along the rope and make a bight back along the rope.
3) Begin wrapping the twine around the rope and bight of twine securely.
4) Wrap until the whipping is one and a half times wider than the rope is thick.
5) Slip the working end of the twine through the bight. Carefully pull on the standing end of the twine until the bight and working end are pulled under the whipping (Note: It is normally necessary to maintain tension on the working end to prevent the bight from being dragged completely through and so destroying the whipping)
6) Cut the twine flush with the edges of the whipping and the rope end not less than half its width from the whipping to give the rope end a finished look.



© 2018 Troop 44 – Bushkill PA - Boy Scouts of America | WordPress Admin and Login
© 2018 Troop 44 – Bushkill PA - Boy Scouts of America
WordPress Admin and Login
Powered By WordPress
Powered By WordPress