How to Tie a Bowline Knot

The bowline knot is a simple knot that allows for direct support. Because of its design, it’s unlikely to slip or tighten allowing for easy tying and untying, regardless of weight. This knot also has variants made for specific uses in mind, such as French bowline knots that last longer.

Step 1: Make a Loop

Make a loop

Keep in mind that you’ll need length for your knot.

Step 2: Go Through the Loop.

Go through the loop.

The new loop formed (on the bottom of the diagram) will become the region held tight by the knot. If the knot is being tied onto something, ideally the rope should pass through an anchor point on the object before performing this step. Keep some room in the loop, because the rope will need to pass through again.

If the knot falls apart at this point, then try using the other side of the loop, as this step will only work one way.

Step 3: Wrap Around the Original Rope

Wrap around the original rope

Keeping this section of the rope tight will save time later.

Step 4: Pull the Rope Back Through the Loop, and Then Tighten the Knot

Pull the rope back through the loop, and then tighten the knot

Typically the extra line is wrapped up or tied off to whatever is available. Alternatively, the knot can be loosened to accept the slack.

Step 5: Memorization Tip

After making a loop the steps line up respectively.

The rabbit goes through the hole (Step 2),

runs around the tree (Step 3),

and right back into the hole (Step 4).

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