How To Tie The Bowline Knot

A bowline knot is used to tie a fixed loop. The bowline can be used in bushcraft, survival and camping, like to attach guy lines around a webbing loop, or grommet on a tarp or tent. Also the bowline can be used as part of a hammock system.

The bowline can be tied several ways. It can also be tied with one hand.

There are also many variations of the bowline knot that can be used in climbing as well.


How To Tie The Bowline Knot

How to tie the bowline knot.

1. Make an overhand* loop. 2. Pass the working end or tail end under and through the loop. 3. The working end then comes around the back of the standing part. 4. Thread the end down back through the original loop. 5. Dress and tighten the knot.

* An overhand loop is when the working end of the rope is over the standing end. An underhand loop is when the standing part is over the working end.

Tips for tying the bowline knot.

There is a popular saying that can be used to help remember the bowline knot, which goes something like this – “The rabbit comes out of the hole, goes around the tree, then goes down the hole again.”

I teach my children a slightly different version, “First dig the hole, grow the tree, rabbit comes out of the hole, goes around the tree, then goes down the hole again.”   This version helps to remember to create the first loop and identify the tree, for the line to go around.

The bowline knot is easy to untie, even after a fair load has been put on it.

The tail end should be left long enough and secured, such as a double overhand knot or similar for load bearing applications.

Bushcraft knots ridgeline

The bowline knot can be used as a fixed loop in a ridgeline set up at one end. The ridgeline can be passed around a tree and through the bowline loop. Or use it for to form the loop, for a loop and toggle (Tent stake, stick, etc.) quick release set up for the ridgeline.




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