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Hold a mid-portion of the rope in both hands.
Twist a loop into the rope.
Twist a second loop into the rope going the opposite direction, so the loops lie opposing each other as shown. One departing end should be in front of the rope connecting the loops, while the other departing end is behind it.
Overlap the two loops on the opposite side from the rope’s two departing ends. Look closely at the distinctively-shaped result. If you’ve done this wrong, the knot just falls apart.
Put the resulting loop over your desired anchor point. A hitch differs from a knot in that it needs to be tied around something to be secure. The clove hitch without an anchor point is just loops of rope.
Tighten the loop, removing any kinks that may form from twisting stiff cord. To adjust, just slide slack either way through the spiraling loops.
Text and photos by Steve Howe
Need a primer on knot tying terminology? Click here.