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Know a Knot: Bowline on a Bight

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This weekend I was considering what knot to run this week. I dug back through the previous knots and was a little surprised I hadn’t mentioned the Bowline-on-a-Bight. It’s an interesting knot, and a really easy one to tie.

The Bowline-on-a-Bight Knot

The Bowline-on-a-Bight is a knot that has been a little hard for me to wrap my head around. It’s really easy to tie, but for the longest time it was difficult for me to comprehend its relationship to the regular ol’ Bowline (pronounced something like ‘-lun‘). I’m not going to attempt to demystify that for you, and to be honest, as long as you know how to tie the knot and what to use it for it really doesn’t matter. I put a picture of both below, and you can definitely see the resemblance.

So what do you use it for? It’s an awesome knot for placing two strong loops in a line – at the end or in the middle of the line. The Bowline-on-a-Bight is so strong it is sometimes recommended as an alternative to the Figure Eight Loop for tying into a harness. If the loops are sufficiently large to accomodate one’s legs it may be used as an emergency “bosun’s chair” and this is an awesome knot to know if you need to tie a strong loop in the middle of the line (making it a middle-of-the-line knot, too).

Bowline-on-Bight: Step 1

To start a Bowline-on-a-Bight, create a bight in your rope. I’m using the end here but you can use the middle of the line, as well. This bight is so small so you can see the complete bight – you’ll need a bit more rope than that.

Bowline-on-a-Bight: Step 2

Create a loop using both lines.

Bowline on Bight Step 3

Pass the bight through the loop. You’ll basically be creating a very loose overhand knot here.

Bowline-on-a-Bight: Step 4

At this point stop. Don’t tighten the overhand knot. Instead, pass the loop back over the rest of the knot:

Bowline-on-a-Bight: Step 5

At this point it gets a little tricky. Pull the two lines that feed into the loop. This should collapse the loop, and create two, new loops.

Bowline-on-a-Bight: Step 6

At this point your Bowline-on-a-Bight should be coming together. All you should have to do now is clean it up.

Bowline on Bight

Another week, another knot, and that’s the Bowline-on-a-Bight! Stay tuned next week for another joining knot.

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