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Here are some knots that are useful to bushwalkers and ski tourers.

Reef knot

  • For joining two ropes (cords, guys, etc.) of the same size
  • Easy to undo, by pushing both sides of the knot towards one another.

Fisherman’s knot

  • For joining two ropes of the same size
  • Holds synthetic rope materials better than a reef knot.


  • For joining two ropes of different sizes. Start with a loop (bight) in the thicker rope.

Clove hitch

  • For securing a rope to a tree or a pole and for starting a square lashing
  • Quick and easy to tie.

Round turn and two half hitches

  • A general purpose knot for securing ropes and tent guys to trees and thick poles.


  • Used where a loop in the end of a rope is required that will not slip and prevent the loop tightening (e.g. around a person’s waist or tying guylines to tents).

Figure of eight knot

  • Similar function to a bowline, but easier for the beginner to remember how to tie
  • Puts less strain on the rope.

Rolling hitch

  • Used for increasing the tension on tent guys
  • The knot can slide up the guy rope to give the required tension
  • It will not slip backwards by itself, but may be pushed back down the guy to release tension.

Square lashing

  • For securing two poles at right angles.