Explorer Campcraft Knots

Explorer Campcraft Knots


  • Bowline: A sailing knot used to form a loop in an end of a piece of rope, the bowline is useful for fastening a rope to a mooring ring or pole. It is difficult to tie and untie when there is strain on the rope, and it may work its way loose if there is no load, or an intermittent load. Not a good knot for climbing!

  • Sheepshank: The sheepshank is used to shorten a length of rope, but is not a secure way to do so. An alpine butterfly knot is better for this purpose. It is included here as it’s still required for the Scout Award Scheme.

  • West Country Whipping or Sailmaker’s Whipping: Whippings are used to secure the ends of a cut rope. The West Country Whipping is very simple, using half knots tied in front and behind the main rope, and finished with a series of reef knots. The Sailmaker’s Whipping is a more secure whipping, but is easier with a tool (such as a large needle) to help open the braid to pass the whipping thread between the strands.

  • Round turn and two half hitches: This knot is useful for securing a rope to a fixed object such as a pole. The initial turns around the pole can be used to control the tension, for example, if you’re trying to tie a mooring rope and the boat is pulling on the line! This then allows you to tie two or more half hitches (forming one or more clove hitches around the rope).

  • Diagonal lashing: The diagonal lashing is used to tie two poles together, usually where those poles are being used as cross-bracing to support a construction. Where the poles are at 90 degrees as square lashing may be better, but a diagonal lashing is useful where the poles are not at 90 degrees. Start with a timber hitch, and finish with a clove hitch.

  • Figure of Eight Lashing: Also known as a tripod lashing. It is similar to a round lashing but involves passing the rope around each pole individually (forming ‘figures of eight’), rather than around the outside of the poles. This lashing also has frapping to help tighten everything up (a round lashing does not).