Hitches are used to tie a rope to another object such as a barrel, pole, post, stake, or bundled cloth (e.g. tarp).  A hitch holds well due to the friction set up between the two surfaces of the rope being pressed together.

Barrel Hitch

Barrel Hitch

Provides a lifting sling for barrels or buckets. Two hitches will help stabilize the load.


Bale Sling

A Bale Sling first requires a long, continuous loop which you can make by using a Short Splice to attach the rope ends together.

Bale Sling

Step 1: Place the object (e.g. barrel) on its side.

Step 2: Pass the sling underneath both ends of the barrel.

Step 3: Bring the bights (loop ends )up over the object and pass one through the other.

Step 4: Hook into the bight (loop end) that has passed through its partner.


Round turn and two half-hitches

Round turn and two half-hitches

Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

This is the main anchor knot for one-rope bridges and other applications when a good anchor knot is required and where high loads would make other knots jam and difficult to untie. It is most used to anchor rope to a pole or tree. It consists of two half-hitches with an extra wrap around the object you are tying.

Clove hitch and end-of-the-line clove hitch

Clove Hitch and end-of-the-line Clove Hitch

A clove hitch is really two half-hitches in opposite directions alongside each other. It can be used to fasten a rope to a tree or pipe and also puts little strain on the rope. It is an easy anchor knot but tension must remain on the knot or it will slip (it has a loose end which can be helpful for some objectives). This can be remedied by making another loop around the object and under the center of the clove hitch.

Clove Hitch

Rolling Hitch

A Rolling Hitch is useful for securing a rope along a post or pole.


Construction of a Rolling Hitch

Rolling Hitch

If you look at this hitch closely you see that it is really a clove hitch that ends with a turn. Best tied so that the load pulls against the hitch as shown.

Roadmender’s Knot

Another knot that is useful for securing a pole to a rope is a Roadmender’s Knot.

Step 1: Bend the rope to form a bight.

Step 2: Take a turn around the post with the bight passing below both the standing part and the loose end.

Roadmender's Knot - take turn around post

Step 3: Pass the bight over the top of the post and tighten.

Roadmender's Knot - pass bight over top

Pipe Hitch

Pipe Hitch

This hitch will not slip on pipes, poles or other round objects.

Blackwall Hitch

Blackwall Hitch

This is the quickest way to secure a rope’s end to a hook. It is a basic loop made around the neck of the hook. The standing part jams down on the end and holds the line more securely than it looks.

Midshipman’s Hitch

Midshipman's Hitch

A Midshipman’s Hitch knot is better than a Blackwall Hitch, especially if the rope is slippery.

Timber Hitch

A Timber Hitch is useful for securing a plank or board that has to be hoisted or towed. It is essentially a Half Hitch made with a rather long loose end which is then dogged back around itself.

Timber Hitch

To keep the end of the timber you are hauling pointing in one direction, add an extra Half Hitch.


Timber Hitch - keep ends pointing in one direction


Marine Hitch

Marine Hitch

Useful for tarps, sails, hammocks, or other long bundles.

Step 1: Make an eye in the end of the rope (a Bowline knot will suffice).

Step 2: Pass the other end round the bundle (if applicable), through the eye, and pull tight.

Step 3: Continue along the bundle with a series of Half Hitches, pulling each tight as it is made.

Step 4: Finish with a Clove Hitch.

Marine Spike Hitch

Marine Spike Hitch

A Marine Spike Hitch is good for getting a grip on a spike, bolt, screwdriver, tent stake, etc.

Step 1: Make a loop over the standing part.

Step 2: Pass the spike across the top of the loop but under the bottom standing part.

Step 3: Pull on both ends to tighten.



A grommet is a very small, continuous loop.  It is such a small size that a normal splice cannot be used so instead, you use a single strand of the rope.


Step 1: Unlay a strand of rope 3-4 times the circumference of the grommet you will need.  Try to preserve the natural turns of the lay in the strand.

Grommet - Unlay rope

Step 2: Close up the middle strand into the ring of the desired size.

Step 3: Pass the ends around in the original lay until all spaces have been filled.

Grommet - pass ends around original lay

Step 4: Finish off as you would a long splice.


Scaffold Hitch

A Scaffold Hitch is the safest way to sling a plank, horizontally to form a platform that you can stand or sit on.

Step 1: Wrap the rope around the plank twice with the second round being closer to the end of the plank and nearer the end of the rope.

Step 2: Lay the standing part (the long part) of the rope between the two.

Scaffold Hitch - lay standing part

Step 3: Lift your first turn over the standing part of the rope and wrap underneath the end of the plank.

Scaffold Hitch - life first turn over standing part

Step 4: Bring the standing part and loose end upward and secure with a Bowline knot.

Scaffold Hitch - complete with Bowline knot