Basic Knots

Basic knots are some of the commonly used knots that a scout should learn and master. They form the basic skill sets that scouts can use towards more advanced applications like pioneering, gadgeting and other outdoor adventures.

This list of basic knot will include the following:

  • Reef Knot (binding)
  • Sheet Bend (bend)
  • Figure of Eight Knot (stopper)
  • Clove Hitch (hitch)
  • Round Turn 2 and a Half Hitch (hitch)
  • Tautline Hitch (hitch)

Reef Knot

Knotting Category: Binding Knot

Reef knot (also known as square knot) has the following common usages:

  • To connect 2 ropes of equal thickness (for unequal thickness see sheet bend)
  • To tie bandages (as it allows for easy untying of the knot, especially on cloth)
  • To end lashings or whippings (i.e. japanese square lashing, etc)


Other common variants of reef knot:

  • Double slip reef knot (for tying shoe laces that seldom come loose)

Reef Knot is the knot found on our world scout logo!


Sheet Bend

Knotting Category: Bend

Sheet Bend has the following common usages:

  • To connect 2 ropes of unequal thickness (for equal thickness see reef knot)
  • Knot for net making.


Other common variants of sheet bend:

  • Double sheet bend (for added security)

Compare a sheet bend with a bowline and spot the differences!


Figure of 8 Knot

Knotting Category: Stopper

Figure of 8 (also known as figure 8) has the following common usages:

  • To use as a stopper knot, mainly to prevent the ends of a rope from slipping through pulleys or climbing devices
  • To use as a stopper note to temporary prevent fraying of a rope end (refer to whipping or splicing for more permanent methods)


Other common variants of figure of 8:

  • Figure of 8 Loop (mainly for climbing purposes)

One of the most important knot for sailing and climbing!


Clove Hitch

Knotting Category: Hitch

Clove Hitch (also known as double hitch) has the following common usages:

  • To use as a starting knot for lashings (i.e. square lashing)
  • To use as a crossing knot commonly use on fencing
  • To use to connect a rope to a pole (refer to round turn 2 half hitch for more secure binding).


Other common variants of clove hitch:

  • Constrictor Knot (binding knot)

There are 2 ways to tie the clove hitch!


Round turn 2 Half Hitches

Knotting Category: Hitch

Round Turn 2 Half Hitch has the following common usage:

  • To secure the end of a rope to a fixed object (i.e. for attaching guylines to flagstaff).


Other common variant of round turn 2 half hitch:

  • Anchor Hitch (fisherman's hitch)

Also great for tying your hammock!


Tautline Hitch

Knotting Category: Loop

Taut Line Hitch has the following common usage:

  • To create an adjustable loop that can hold tension (i.e. commonly tied on tent guylines to maintain tension while still being adjustable)


Other common variant of Taut Line Hitch:

  • Midshipman's HItch
  • Rolling Hitch

Spot the difference between a rolling hitch!