SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

BACKPACKER PHOTOS

Email this page RSS feed
User rating:
-

Half Hitch as a Bowline Backtie

A half hitch is an overhand knot tied around departing cord. It's the simplest way to secure a bowline waist loop for critical uses like climbing.
Text and photos by Steve Howe
Need a primer on knot tying terminology? Click here.
  • Start with a snugged-up <a href="/skills-how-to-tie-a-bowline-knot/slideshows/102">bowline</a> tied belt-tight around the narrowest part of your body.
  • Take the free end and wrap it around a departing portion of the waist loop.
  • Insert the free end through the resulting loop - going AWAY from the knot.
  • Pull it tight.
  • CAUTION: Always look closely at the result. The bowline should be an obvious bight of rope "choked off" by a loop to the standing end - NOT a slipknot with backtie.
Start with a snugged-up <a href="/skills-how-to-tie-a-bowline-knot/slideshows/102">bowline</a> tied belt-tight around the narrowest part of your body.
Image 1 of 5

Start with a snugged-up bowline tied belt-tight around the narrowest part of your body.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

Is that a bowline with a half-hitch or a sheet bend with a half-hitch?
— Foxman

A Half Hitch is not an Overhand, its a Half Hitch. You are showing an Overhand Knot and that's the correct knot for this application. The picture is clearly a Bowline, not a Sheet Bend.
— Terry Pogue

Foxman, from your question, I assume you're already aware that a bowline and a sheet bend are the "same". That is, the twists in the rope are identical. The only difference is which of the lines coming out of the knot are the tails vs. the bight in the bowline.

As for the picture, it looks like it probably is actually a bowline. Without seeing more of the rope it's impossible to say for certain. I believe part of the confusion is that the tail of the working end incorrectly finishes outside the bight of the bowline. This is important b/c having he tail exit "into" the bowline's bight makes the knot more secure (less likely to untie on its own). This is less of a concern when the bowline is backed-up as shown above.

This leads me to my last comment. Backpacker, I would call this a "bowline with an overhand back-up" rather than a "half hitch back-up". A half hitch, like all hitches, must, by definition collapse once its host is removed. In the above pictures, what is shown is an overhand knot tied around one side of the bight of a bowline. If you remove the line that creates the bowline's bight from the back-up knot, you would still have an overhand knot in the tail of the working end. Ergo, it is not a hitch and is, in fact, an overhand knot.

It's just a picky nomenclature thing, but if you're putting it on your website, you might as well get it right :-)
— JCS


POST A COMMENT

Your Name:
Comment:
My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Am I missing something here?
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Submitted By: Westhiker
The Political Arena
Another Example of the Big Brain Advantages
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Submitted By: Hungry Jack

  1. How to Hang a Bear Bag--PCT Style

    This method is popular with ultralight thru-hikers and requires two materials ...
  2. How to Fit a Week's Gear into a Weekend Pack

    Don't own a massive pack for your big annual adventure? Here's how to make it ...
  3. How to Make a Survival Bracelet

    In an emergency, you can use paracord for lashings, tourniquets, shoelaces, ...

TIP 62: Adjust Accordingly

Adjust for declination only when using a map–not when following visual bearings taken with your compass.

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions