The Clove Hitch

Essential knots, part 2. 

Long days afield offer plenty of time to work on the lost art of rope-craft, and one of the best knots to have in your repertoire is the clove hitch. An essential sailing and climbing knot, the clove hitch also comes in handy when suspending a cooking pot from a branch, securing a guyline to a tree, or lashing items together. It’s a simple, strong, versatile knot that can be adjusted and removed easily. Here’s how to tie it.

1. Loop around a post, log, rail, or other cylindrical anchor point.
2. Cross in front diagonally and make another loop.
3. Feed underneath and through the diagonal and pull tight.

Now, dress the knot, removing any twists or binding, and make sure it’s tight. A clove hitch needs constant pressure to remain completely secure; so adjust the knot accordingly. Practice this knot often, in various applications, and you’ll soon find all kinds of uses for it, both in the field and around the yard.