Officer & Gent

Tying the Half Hitch

Knots are used everywhere in our life, knowing which knot should be used in which application, is something the Officer & Gent should pride himself on.  Knot tying is an extremely useful and perishable skill that when not practiced, is easily forgotten.  Today we will be taking a look at our first hitch.

What is the difference between a knot and a hitch?

Knots or Bends are used to tie cordage to cordage.  In other words, whether using two pieces of cord or one cord by itself.  A hitch is used to tie a line around an object, such as a branch, or a pole or ring.

The Half Hitch:

The half hitch is a very useful hitch, but should never be used alone.

Uses for a Half Hitch:

A half hitch is often used in a supporting role.  For example: we could have tied a half hitch to increase the security of our square knot in the previous knot post.  This is how we will use it in further knot tying articles, to increase the security of the primary knot or hitch that we have tied.  For this article we will use two half hitches (Double Half Hitch) as the stand alone hitch to secure a cord to a pole.

“Two half hitches is the commonest of all hitches for mooring in particular and also for general utility.”   –  Clifford Ashley, author of “The Ashley Book of Knots” 1944

Uses for a Double Half Hitch:

  • Tie a cord to a tree
  • Secure a boat to a dock
  • Increase security of a primary knot


Tying a Double Half Hitch:

  1. Pass the end of the cord around your pole.
  2. Bring the end over the cord, under and through the loop you just formed. (image a)
  3. If you were to pull this tight, it would be a Single Half Hitch. (image b)
  4. Bring the end over the cord, under and through the second loop you have formed. (image c)
  5. Pull tight (image d)

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