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Good knots to know are:

Sheet Bend (Required for 2nd class):

The Sheet Bend is commonly used to tie two ropes of unequal thickness together. The blue rope is used to form a bight, and the red rope is passed up through the bight, around the back of the bight, and then tucked under itself.

Sheet Bend


Bowline (Required for 2nd class):

The Bowline is a commonly used knot to tie a loop in the end of a rope. It has the advantage of not jamming, compared to some other loop forming knots (for example when using an overhand knot on a large bight to form a loop). To tie it, make a small loop in the standing part of the rope. Bring the working end up through the loop, around the rope, and back down into the loop. (You can also remember it this way: the rabbit comes out of the hole, around the tree, and back in the hole.) Then tighten the knot by pulling the standing part of the rope away from the bight.

Taut Line (Required for Tenderfoot):

An adjustable loop knot for use on lines under tension. It is useful when the length of a line will need to be periodically adjusted in order to maintain tension. To tie it, pass the running end around something to tie it on (ex. a tent stake). Then bring the end over and around the standing part, then back through the loop that formed. Go around the standing part of the loop again, then take the end around the standing part outside the loop, making sure you are going in the same direction, to tie another half-hitch. 

Square Knot (Required for Tenderfoot):

The Square Knot is usually learned when we tie the laces on our first pair of shoes. Admittedly it is usually a bow that we tie - but the underlying knot is a Square Knot. We also learn just how unsatisfactory the knot is. It slips, it comes undone, it jams, and it is all too easy to tie a granny instead which behaves even less well. It is intended to be a binding knot and, tied in the right material against a curved surface, the first Half Knot may bind – but it cannot be trusted.

Clove Hitch (Required for 1st class):

The Clove Hitch has various applications. For example, in the theater it is used to adjust the height of stage curtains hanging from a bar; and in boating it can be used to initially position a fender hanging from a rail.

Figure 8 (Flemish) Knot:

Provides a quick and convenient stopper knot to prevent a line sliding out of sight, e.g., up inside the mast. Its virtue is that, even after it has been jammed tightly against a block, it doesn't bind; it can be undone easily. This virtue is also, occasionally, a vice. The figure 8 can fall undone and then has to be retied.

Over Hand Knot:

The overhand knot can be used as a stopper knot and can keep a rope from fraying or unraveling but the Figure 8 is a much better stopper knot. The Overhand knot is used in other knots including the Square knot which is two Overhand knots. The overhand knot can be used temporarily but can untie very easily if tied around something.

Diagonal Lashing (Required for 1st class):

Used to lash two spars together. The Diagonal Lashing secures poles crossing each other at a variety of angles.

As shown here, the diagonal lashing is used to join two diagonal poles that are being used to brace a rectangular frame. The location of one diagonal in front and one behind explains the gap between the poles commonly found in the center.

Additional info (video) regarding Diagonal Lashings can be found by clicking here

Additional info (videos) regarding various types of diffierent knots can also be found at and