Basic Scout Knots

These are the eight basic knots that all scouts should be able to tie without even thinking twice.

Click any image for an animation of the knot

Square (or Reef) Knot

Used to bind a package or bundle.
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reef knot Sheet Bend

Used to join two ropes together, which may be of unequal thickness.
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Used to make a non-slipping loop
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bowline Clove Hitch

used to start a lashing, or otherwise loosely attach a rope to a pole.
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clove hitch
Sheep Shank

Used to temporarily shorten a rope, or isolate a weak portion of rope.
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sheepshank Two Half Hitches

Used to attach a rope to a pole or guy point. Must be securely tightened.

NOTE: This is how scouts are taught the knot. An improved version includes an extra turn around the pole to add security, and is called a "Round Turn with Two Half-Hitches."

Click image for animation
two half hitches
Taut-Line Hitch

Used as a hitch, which may be drawn up away from what it is looped around to tighten a line.
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tautline hitch Timber Hitch

Used to attach a rope to a log for dragging.
Click image for animation
timber hitch

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Last Updated 5 January 2006. © 2002-2006 Alan L. Folsom, Jr.