The Clove Hitch

Alright y’all. Time for another post on how to use a hard working hitch out in the field. By field I don’t just mean rock climbing. This hitch is used in sailing, makeshift fences, holding heavy loads, and leashing a dog. The Clove hitch is often considered one of the most important knots and can be tied faster than reading this paragraph.

Ready. Set. Learn!

Unlike a knot a hitch requires an object to stay in form. Said differently, without something in the hitch it would fall a part (unlike this knot). This makes hitches a good option when securing a heavy load and eliminates any time spent untying the knot after use. No teeth or nails required (we’ve all been there).

Caution: when trusting this hitch with your life always practice in a safe, low-angle environment and do not substitute a blog for professional training.

Let’s get started! All you will need is some string/rope, an object (for example a pole), and the willingness to learn something new.

First start by grabbing a bight of rope and cross the tails. This creates a half-hitch.

Next, create another half-hitch and place it on top.

Now, place your object or carabiner through the two loops

Tighten down the rope and voilà!

By creating a knot or hitch in the rope the strength of the rope is reduced. Although the Clove hitch reduces the tensile strength of rope by 60% I would be hard pressed to guess which would break first: the webbing, carabiner, or rope (in the picture below). It would probably be my hand holding the rope 🙂

To tie the knot around an object, such as a pole, start by draping the non-working line around the object.

Next, bring the non-working line around and place it on top of the loaded line.

Bring the non-loaded line up and around, tracing the loaded line. Once formed, snug the rope down and give er’ a tug.

Need to tie off the dog quickly? Use the Clove hitch to tie to a pole. Good boy, stay.

Nice job! You’ve learned something new.

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