Introduction: Tying a Figure 8 Follow Through

A Figure 8 Follow Through knot is the most important knot in climbing. This knot is useful because the loop in this knot will not cinch up and no matter how hard either end is pulled it will not untie or slip. This means it will keep the climber safe even if they fall. This knot is also useful as overkill for other situations.

I'll draw a white arrow to help with the direction of the rope. The arrow will always be pointing towards the end of the rope.

Time Estimate: 1 minute

Step 1: Step 1: Measure Around an Arm’s Span Length of Rope. (~5 Feet)

This is a general guideline as everyone is different heights. However, usually an arm’s span is more than enough rope to work with.

Step 2: Step 2: Make a Guy

Using your dominant hand, grab the rope and make bight (a loop) in the rope.

Make sure that:

- The rope is flat between your thumb and pointer finger.

- The side where the end of the rope is, is towards the tips of your fingers.

- The rope is not crossed or else this first knot will not come out.

Step 3: Step 3. Give Him a Tie

Using the side where the end of the rope is, wrap the rope around the loop you just made. I use my pointer finger to hold onto the top of the wrap to prevent it from moving afterwards.

Step 4: Step 4. Poke Him in the Eye

Use your opposite hand to grab the end of the rope. Now poke through the loop and pull it tight. Make sure that it cinches up towards your dominant hand, so you have enough rope to finish the knot.

Step 5: Step 5: Make a Loop

This is the loop you’ll be tying yourself into, or whatever item you want on the end of it.

Hold onto the knot you just made with your dominant hand. Hold it so that the end of the rope is pointing downwards, and the length of the rope is draped over your hand. Grab the end of the rope and poke it through the same side as the end so that it makes a small loop.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You want to be following the outside of the rope when following through with the end of the rope. If you don’t do this then the knot will have a cross and will be difficult to untie/not be correct.

Step 6: Step 6: Follow Through

Following through means that you continue feeding the rope alongside your initial knot. By the end it should be double what you initially had. So after making the loop continue to follow the outside of the rope. Follow the rope until you finish it off. You’ll know you’re done when the end of the rope comes out of the top alongside the length of the rope.

Step 7: Step 7: Tighten and Dress the Knot

Using opposite ends, tighten up the knot. Only pull two at a time or else it won’t tighten all the way. If the knot looks overlapped strangely, adjust it until it looks like the image. This is considered a dressed Figure 8.

Step 8: Step 8: Tie a Safety Knot

This step is semi-optional. If you have around 4-6 inches of rope left over, you don’t have do this step. If less than 4 inches, you should retie the knot. If longer than 6 inches tie a barrel knot using the excess rope.