Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Skills: The Half Hitch

The half hitch is a popular knot. It is most commonly and most practically used as two half hitches. This knot is quick and easy to learn. It has similar uses to a clove hitch but is more practical in many applications such as securing a line to a tree such as a ridgeline.1 It can be made more secure by adding an extra loop around the object to which it is tied. Then it is called a Round Turn and Two Half Hitches. However the round turn is not necessary. See a great illustration from Animated Knots by Grog here

Here is a brief description from Ashley’s Book of Knots, “Two HALF HITCHES is the commonest of all hitches for mooring in particular and also for general utility. This [knot] is easier to draw taut and hold under stress…. Commonly used in parcel tying and [securing the end of] lashing a load. The HALF HITCH is tied with one end of a rope, which is passed around an object and secured to its own standing part with a SINGLE HITCH. The difference between the CLOVE HITCH and Two HALF HITCHES is exceedingly vague in the minds of many, the reason being that the two have the same knot form; but one is tied around another object, the other [two half hitches] around its own standing part.”2


1 Caudill, Craig. "Top Five Useful Knots for Camping, Survival, Hiking, and More." YouTube. Nature Reliance School, 18 June 2014. Web. 21 June 2016. .

2 Ashley, Clifford W. The Ashley Book of Knots. p 14, 295. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1944. Print.

Written By David F. Garner
Photo Credit: David F. Garner