A Knot to Know: The Midshipman’s Hitch

When you’re out camping this summer, you may need to guy your tent or hang a bear bag. You’ll need a sturdy knot to fix the rope to a stake or rock, one that can be easily tightened and won’t slip. That kind of knot is a hitch. Scouts learn the taut-line hitch. The midshipman’s hitch is a variation with superior slip resistance.

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STEP 1
Pull the rope around the anchor, then wrap the free end around the line that goes to the load (tent or bear bag), creating a loop.

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STEP 2
Wrap the end of the rope around the load line again, pulling through the loop and then toward the load.

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STEP 3
Tighten the two coils you’ve created around the load line.

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STEP 4
Wrap the free end of the rope around the load line one last time, this time outside the loop. Pull tight.

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STEP 5
To tighten a guy (or hang a bear bag higher), use one hand to pull the load end to get slack and the other to slide the knot up or down the rope. It moves easily but under a load will not slip.