A Step by Step Guide to
Knot Tying for Cubs and Scouts

Compiled for the Cubs and Scouts
of the 66th Group London Ontario
by Wm. Burns





Ropes and Knots

Since the Stone Age, Man has had to contend with the moving of weights and the lifting of heavy loads. As the loads became progressively heavier and more complicated to handle, crude tools were fashioned to deal with these problems. At first, vine stems were twisted together to form a rough rope of sufficient strength. At various times, other materials were used such as the fibrous bark of certain trees, coconut hair, camel hair, horse hair, thongs of sinew or cut hides from animals, cotton, jute, sisal, flax and wild hemp - and so on through the ages until today we have the modern manilla, nylon, polypropylene, steel wire rope and cable.

Natural Fibre Rope

Fibre Rope Construction

Fibre Rope Size

Synthetic Fibre Rope

Nylon Rope

Poly Ropes

Braided Synthetic Rope



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Rope Terms

Line - another term for rope.

Running End - the free or working end of the rope.

Standing Part - the balance of the rope, excluding the running end.

Knot - the intertwining of the end of a rope within a portion of the rope. A good knot must be easy to tie and untie and must hold without slipping.

Bend - the intertwining of the ends of two ropes to make one continuous rope.

Hitch - the attachment of a rope to a post, pole, ring, hook or other object.

Bight - a U-shaped curve in a rope.

Loop - a fold or doubling of the rope through which another rope can be passed to form a knot or hitch.

Overhand Loop - made when the running end is passed over the standing part of the rope.

Underhand Loop - made when the running end is passed under the standing part of the rope.

Turn - the same as a loop, but usually used to describe the placing of a rope around a specific object such as a post, rail or ring, with the running end continuing in the opposite direction from the standing part.

Round Turn - the same as a turn, with the running end returning in the same direction as the standing part.

Splice - the joining of the ends of two ropes, or, the end of the rope with the body of the rope by weaving the strands over and under the strands of the other part.

Whipping or Seizing - a means of fixing the end of a rope so that the strands will not unravel.


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Overhand or Thumb Knot

To tie an Overhand Knot:


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Care and Handling of Fiber Rope

Taken from U.S. Army Field Manual FM-5-125
Rigging Techniques, Procedures, and Applications


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Figure Eight Knot

To tie a Figure of Eight Knot:


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Reef or Square Knot

To tie a Reef Knot:


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Granny Knot


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Thief Knot


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To tie a Bowline:


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Sheet Bend

To tie a Sheet Bend:



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Clove Hitch

To tie a Clove Hitch:


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Round Turn and Two Half Hitches

To tie a Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches:


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Fisherman's Knot

To tie a Fisherman's Knot:


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Tautline Hitch

To tie a Tautline Hitch:


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Internet Resources:




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