The bowline can be tied quickly and is easy to adjust. It is also very easy to untie, so the tail should always be secured with a backup knot (e.g., an overhand knot). The bowline can be a little difficult for novices to learn, but it is easy to remember with a little practice.


This illustration shows how to tie a bowline. The trickiest step is to get the correct strand of the loop on the bottom (step #1 in this illustration) so it will get captured (step #4). (You can click on this illustration to enlarge it.)

Some people learn to tie a bowline using the memory aid, "The rabbit comes out of its hole, goes around the tree, and goes back down its hole." If that works for you, use it!

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