Overhand Knot

One of the most simple knots to tie. Usually used as an anti-slip knot or a "stop" knot. Since this knot reduces the strength of the rope by 50%, it is not meant to be a strong knot. It is difficult to untie when put under a lot of strain.

Square Knot

Used to tie two ropes of similar size together. Also known as the reef knot. Although it is a simple knot to tie, it is very strong.

One trick to remember how to tie: "Right over left, left over right." Hold one rope in each hand. 'Right' and 'Left' refer to the rope in each hand.

Clove Hitch

Used to tie a rope to a pole. It can be worked lose by repeatedly varying the angle of the pull, which may happen if a boat is rocking from wave or tide motion. You can add one or two half hitches on the standing line for a more secure attachment. There are very many methods to tie this knot.


Used to tie a line around a post or a person's waist. When the knot is snug, you'll have a loop that will not tighten and a knot that holds well but is easy to undo. For a more security, tie a double overhand stopper knot to the loose end, otherwise the knot may untie.

Figure Eight

Although the Boy Scout Handbook does not cover this knot, it is an important knot to learn because it is used in sailing and rockclimbing. This knot also works better than an overhand knot as a stopper.

Timber Hitch

The knot on the right side of the picture is the timber hitch. This picture illustrates one of the important uses of this knot, to drag logs. If not pulled with a steady force, the knot may become loose. Be sure to add the simple hitch when dragging.

Two-Half Hitches

Very useful to tie a rope to a pole. Since this knot slips along the line, it is most useful for a tight grip against the pole. This knot can slip under strong tension and should not be used to hold heavy objects such as an anchor.

Taut-Line Hitch

Since this knot only slips in one direction like the two-half hitches, it is useful to tie tents down. This knot is very simliar to the two-half hitches and like the two-half hitches, it is useful for a tight grip against a pole. Our troop uses this knot mostly to tie the guidelines of our flagpole.


Not only is this knot used to shorten rope, but it also used to strengthen chafed (worn out) sections of the rope.

Sheet Bend

Used to tie two different size ropes together. This knot is very similar to the square knot. In fact, when tying the sheet bend, there is only one difference from the square knot.