Friction Hitches

Taut line Hitch (a.k.a. Rolling Hitch)

The Tautline Hitch is an adjustable knot that is commonly used for tensioning guy lines, such as on a tent. The knot can slide along the standing part. When the knot is released, the tension on the standing part tightens the coils in the knot, increasing the friction which keeps the knot in place under tension. Since the Tautline Hitch is tied to its own standing part, the rope must be able to slide around the object it is secured to for it to be adjustable. This knot is known as the Rolling Hitch when, instead of being tied around its standing part, it is tied around another rope, spar, or cylindrical object.

 

Step 1

Pull the end around a secure object (The picture shows an empty thread spool.)

Tautline Hitch - Step 1

Step 2

Bring the end under the standing part.

Tautline Hitch - Step 2

Step 3

Wrap the end around the standing part.

Tautline Hitch - Step 3

Step 4

Wrap the end around the standing part a second time.

Tautline Hitch - Step 4

Step 5

Now you add a half hitch above the turns. Bring the end over the standing part.

Tautline Hitch - Step 5

Step 6

Make a half hitch.

Tautline Hitch - Step 6

Finished Tautline Hitch

Tighten the loops. Be careful to keep the knot neat while doing this, and tighten it enough so that it will grip the standing part reliably, but not so tight that it can't easily slide.

Finished Tautline Hitch

Finished Tautline Hitch - Opposite View

Opposite view.

Finished Tautline Hitch

Finished Tautline Hitch

This picture shows the knot having been slid further up the standing part. Note that the rope had to move around the spool in order for this to occur.

Finished Tautline Hitch


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