Clove hitch

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Knot articles show how to tie Basic Knots, Fishing Knots, Sailing Knots, Climbing Knots,
Forty Knots, Special Knots, and Advanced Knots, for Cub Scouts (Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts),
Scouts (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks and numerous merit badges),
Venturers (Ranger Award), and Sea Scouts (Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster ranks).
Clove hitch
Names Clove hitch,
Typical use Securing lines running along a series of posts, belaying, starting lashings, weak binding
Caveat Can spill if the standing part is pulled forcibly in the wrong direction.
Releasing Jamming
Category Hitch knots
Group Basic knots
Related Slippery hitch, Two half-hitches, Buntline hitch, Constrictor knot, Ground-line hitch, Lashings, Snuggle hitch
Animation of tying a Clove hitch
Animation of tying a Clove hitch
Clove Hitch(Method 2)
Clove Hitch
(Method 2)
Since clove comes from the word cleave meaning “to split”, a clove hitch is split into two parts like the foot of a deer or a sheep – used to end lashings… form the first half hitch of the clove hitch by taking a bight (loop) around the pole and then across itself.

Form the second half hitch of the clove hitch by taking the second bight around the pole and tucking the end of the rope under the rope between the two loops. When pulled tight, the clove hitch should look like an X. The difference between a clove hitch and two half-hitches is that a clove hitch is tied around an object and two half-hitches are tied around the rope’s own standing part.

An alternative way of tying a clove hitch it to make and overhand loop in the rope. Then make a second overhand loop next to the first loop. Next, without turning over either loop, place the first loop on top of the second loop. Finally, place the two loops over the end of a pole or around the neck of the bear bag and pull tight.

Boy Scout Handbook p. 139, 11th ed.

The Clove hitch was, originally, included here with the intention of condemning it. It does have two major failings: it slips and, paradoxically, can also bind.
Animated Knots
The Ashley Book of Knots # 1245, p. 224

Required for

  1. Loop over the top.
  2. Loop around again below.
  3. Pull through the hole.

Lesson Videos


See also

Knots by Use
Basic knots Overhand knot  •  Square knot  •  Granny knot  •  Two half-hitches  •  Taut-line hitch  •  Bowline  •  Sheet bend  •  Slip knot  •  Clove hitch  •  Timber hitch
Advanced knots Constrictor knot  •  Monkey's fist  •  Ocean plait  •  Trucker's hitch  •  Turk's head
Special knots Braiding  •  Carrick bend  •  Chain sinnet  •  Cow hitch  •  Double sheet bend  •  Sheep shank
Fishing knots Arbor knot  •  Barrel knot  •  Blood knot  •  Blood loop  •  Clinch knot  •  Fisherman's knot  •  Improved clinch knot  •  Nail knot  •  Needle knot  •  Palomar knot  •  Surgeon's loop  •  Turle knot
Sailing knots Bowline  •  Bowline on a bight  •  Cleat hitch  •  Double Bowline  •  Figure Eight  •  Marline hitch  •  Midshipman's hitch  •  Rolling hitch  •  Stevedore's knot
Climbing knots Alpine Butterfly knot  •  Bowline  •  Double fisherman's knot (Grapevine)  •  Figure eight follow-through  •  Figure eight on a bight  •  Figure eight on bend  •  Figure eight knot  •  Prusik knot  •  Safety knot  •  water knot
Forty knots Blackwall hitch  •  Bow knot  •  Bowline  •  Bowline on a bight  •  Cats Paw  •  Chain hitch (Marline hitch)  •  Clove hitch  •  Double Carrick bend (Carrick bend)  •  Double Figure Eight  •  Double Overhand  •  Double sheet bend  •  Figure Eight  •  Fisherman's Eye  •  Fisherman's Knot  •  Granny knot  •  Half hitch  •  Halyard bend  •  Hitching tie  •  Killick hitch  •  Lariat loop  •  Lark's head or (Cow hitch)  •  Marlinspike  •  Midshipman's hitch  •  Miller's knot  •  Overhand bow or (Water knot)  •  Overhand knot  •  Rolling hitch  •  Running knot (slip knot)  •  Sailor's knot  •  Sheep shank  •  Sheet bend  •  Slippery hitch  •  Square knot  •  Stevedore's knot  •  Surgeon's knot (surgeon's loop)  •  Taut-line hitch  •  Thief knot  •  Tiller's hitch  •  Timber hitch  •  Two half hitches

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