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How to Tie a Bowline Knot

The bowline loop is the workhorse of knots—it never slips, comes loose, or jams under strain. How many people do you know who are that reliable?


  • Step 1: Make "Q" shape Cross the end of the rope over the top of the remaining rope, making a "Q" shape.
  • Step 2: Thread tail Pass a short portion of the end of the rope, or the tail of the "Q," through the loop from behind (and back along the remaining rope). Thread it loosely, leaving behind a new large, loose loop to the right of your "Q."
  • Step 3: Pass short portion Pass the short portion of the end around the back of the remaining rope.
  • Step 4: Pass short portion again Bring the short portion of the end back up and once again pass it through the small loop (your initial "Q"), this time from the front.
  • Step 5: Cinch knot closed Cinch the knot closed, and use the resulting loop to secure your bow.
  • FACT: The Bowline is also called the King of Knots—a version of it exists in every sea-faring culture in the world.

You Will Need

  • A single length of rope

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