Taut-line hitch

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Knot articles show how to tie Basic Knots, Fishing Knots, Sailing Knots, Climbing Knots,
Forty Knots, Special Knots, and Advanced Knots, for Cub Scouts (Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts),
Scouts (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks and numerous merit badges),
Venturers (Ranger Award), and Sea Scouts (Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster ranks).
Taut-line hitch
Names Taut-line hitch,
Typical use To create an adjustable loop that stays in place for staking out guy lines of your tent or dining fly
Category Hitch knots
Group Basic knots
Related two half-hitches, rolling hitch, trucker's hitch, midshipman's hitch
Animation of tying a Taut-line hitch
Animation of tying a Taut-line hitch
The taut-line hitch is used to make a line tight, or taut. It's the knot to use for staking out the guy lines of your tent or dining fly.
Boy Scout Handbook (12th ed.) © 2009, p. 385
Two half-hitches will tend to slide until the knot is close to the post or grommet. To create an adjustable loop that stays in place, use the taut-line hitch. This is the knot to use for staking out guy lines of your tent or dining fly.
Boy Scout Handbook (13th ed.) © 2016, p. 367
The Ashley Book of Knots #1856 p. 310[Note 1]

Required for
Webelos Scouts
Scouts BSA
  • Scout rank #4a. Show how to tie a square knot, two half-hitches, and a taut-line hitch. Explain how each knot is used.
  • Tenderfoot rank #3c. Demonstrate a practical use of the taut-line hitch.
  • Ranger Award Wilderness Survival core requirement #7.h.ii. Know the use of and demonstrate how to tie the following knots and lashings: sheet bend, fisherman’s knot, bowline, bowline on a bight, two half hitches, clove hitch, timber hitch, taut-line hitch, square lashing, shear lashing.
Sea Scouts
  • Ordinary rank #6b. Using both large and small lines, tie and explain the use of the following knots: stevedore’s knot, French (double) bowline, bowline on a bight, timber hitch, rolling hitch, marline hitch, midshipman’s (taut-line) hitch, and trucker's hitch.

  1. Loop over the top and pull through the hole to make a Half hitch.
  2. Loop over the top and through the hole again.
  3. One last Half hitch on the outside.
  4. Pull tight.

Lesson Videos

  1. Ashley refers to this hitch as the rolling hitch.
Additional information

See also

Knots by Use
Basic knots Overhand knot  •  Square knot  •  Granny knot  •  Two half-hitches  •  Taut-line hitch  •  Bowline  •  Sheet bend  •  Slip knot  •  Clove hitch  •  Timber hitch
Advanced knots Constrictor knot  •  Monkey's fist  •  Ocean plait  •  Trucker's hitch  •  Turk's head
Special knots Braiding  •  Carrick bend  •  Chain sinnet  •  Cow hitch  •  Double sheet bend  •  Sheep shank
Fishing knots Arbor knot  •  Barrel knot  •  Blood knot  •  Blood loop  •  Clinch knot  •  Fisherman's knot  •  Improved clinch knot  •  Nail knot  •  Needle knot  •  Palomar knot  •  Surgeon's loop  •  Turle knot
Sailing knots Bowline  •  Bowline on a bight  •  Cleat hitch  •  Double Bowline  •  Figure Eight  •  Marline hitch  •  Midshipman's hitch  •  Rolling hitch  •  Stevedore's knot
Climbing knots Alpine Butterfly knot  •  Bowline  •  Double fisherman's knot (Grapevine)  •  Figure eight follow-through  •  Figure eight on a bight  •  Figure eight on bend  •  Figure eight knot  •  Prusik knot  •  Safety knot  •  water knot
Forty knots Blackwall hitch  •  Bow knot  •  Bowline  •  Bowline on a bight  •  Cats Paw  •  Chain hitch (Marline hitch)  •  Clove hitch  •  Double Carrick bend (Carrick bend)  •  Double Figure Eight  •  Double Overhand  •  Double sheet bend  •  Figure Eight  •  Fisherman's Eye  •  Fisherman's Knot  •  Granny knot  •  Half hitch  •  Halyard bend  •  Hitching tie  •  Killick hitch  •  Lariat loop  •  Lark's head or (Cow hitch)  •  Marlinspike  •  Midshipman's hitch  •  Miller's knot  •  Overhand bow or (Water knot)  •  Overhand knot  •  Rolling hitch  •  Running knot (slip knot)  •  Sailor's knot  •  Sheep shank  •  Sheet bend  •  Slippery hitch  •  Square knot  •  Stevedore's knot  •  Surgeon's knot (surgeon's loop)  •  Taut-line hitch  •  Thief knot  •  Tiller's hitch  •  Timber hitch  •  Two half hitches
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