Social Media

You can find me on the following social media platforms...

Muddy Faces

Knot - clove hitch (slipped)

A really useful and incredibly strong self-tightening knot that can be used in many different scenarios.

Bushcraft & Survival


The clove hitch can be threaded or slipped on. In this example we will be slipping it on.

What you'll need

  • knife or scissors
  • string

This activity has been provided by

Useful items from our shop

Item available from our shop

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:


You don’t need much to prepare for practising your clove hitch, just a piece of string or cord and a stick to slide it on.
When working with groups it’s really handy to have 1 metre lengths of cord ready and available for the group to practise with – they are also great to give out for people to fidget with when listening.

Bushcraft & Survival

Step #1

Create a loop – I call this loop the p. Stick of the p over top of the loop.

Bushcraft & Survival

Step #2

Create another loop to the right of the p. I call this the q. The stick of the q going over the top of the loop. If you pull it apart slightly it creates a spiral.

Don’t worry if it takes you quite a number of goes to get this right – once you start to get the idea it does become easier and eventually instinctive. Like anything it just requires a little practice.

Bushcraft & Survival

Step #3

Slide your q behind your p.

If you slide it the wrong way when you slip it on the stick it will all unravel so its easy to see if you have gone wrong.

Bushcraft & Survival

Step #4

Slip the loops onto your stick. If done loosely it should look like the photo, with a diagonal bar going across the incoming and exiting strings.

As mentioned in step 3, if its not correct it will probably all just spring apart.

Bushcraft & Survival

Step #5

Pull the knot tighter. A clove hitch is a self-tightening knot and will stay gripped.

Have a little play with it – it is incredibly strong. When pulling in the same direction the strings pull away but if you pull the string back down in the opposite direction the knot can slip.

Take it further:

Keep practising the clove hitch – it is so useful to use – and make sure you become familiar with the threaded clove hitch as well. I find I use it all the time, from tying string onto sticks for leaf mobiles, to constructing shelters.

Try square lashing or making a natural frame.

Clove Hitch instructions - free pdf download

This version of the Clove Hitch instructions appeared in issue 1 of the Outdoor Practitioner - our free online magazine - Spring 2021.

Clove hitch

pdf, 618.02 KB

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

Key Features


Keep in touch

Register to receive our free email newsletter, full of outdoor inspiration, dates, deals and competitions.