Convenient tree, lamppost, telephone pole, etc.
Devised by mountaineer Kenneth Tarbuck
for nylon rope. The knot grips
but under sudden stress will slide to a
limited extent thus reducing
Scaffold Hitch and Spanish Windlass
(a device for applying multiple pulling power).
Alpine Butterfly (?)
Barrel Sling, Midshipman's Hitch,
and Guy Line Hitch. A Midshipman's
Hitch is used to replace a lost or
Man Harness Knot
Knots are made, not tied.
A Hitch is a method of making a rope fast to another rope or object, and is
incomplete in itself. A Bend is a method of joining ropes together.
Knots, bends and hitches can be used:
- to join (reef sheetbend, fisherman's etc..).
- to make fast (clove-hitch, round tam and two half hitches, rolling hitch, fisherman's bend).
- to make fast for quick release (highwayman s and other draw hitches).
- to strengthen (sheepshank).
- to shorten (sheepshank).
- to attach (cats paw, larks-head).
- to slip (running bowline).
- to slip and grip (figure-of-eight, guy line hitch).
- to make non-slip
loops (bowline in end of rope, man-harness, middleman's, alpine butterfly).
- to act as sheave (harvester's hitch).
- to act as temporary stopper to prevent rope un-laying or prevent free end from naming through block
- to act as brake (tarbuck- a climber's knot generally used in nylon rope).
Most knots can be made "slippery" (e.g.. slip-reef) by finishing
with the bight.
When teaching knots, immobilize the standing part so than it cannot be used.
Measurement of Rope
Length is measured in feet or fathoms.
The Size of a rope is the circumference in inches. Cordage under 1 inch is
known as line or cord.
To calculate the length of lashing required, take diameter of larger spar in
inches and call it fathoms; thus, 6 inches diameter would require 6 fathoms of
lashing, Allow more for figure-of-eight lashing.
To determine size of lashings, diameter of larger spar in feet gives diameter
of lashing in inches; thus 6 inch diameter spar would require 1/2-inch diameter lashing
(roughly 1 1/2 inches circumference).
"Wrap thrice, Frap twice"
Safe Working Load
Double the square of the circumference and call it cwts., viz.: a 3 inch rope would give a S.W.L. of 2 x 32 = 18 owls.
Care of Rope
Ends of all cordage should be stopped with a whipping, splice, or knot, in
order of preference. Knots used only as temporary expedient. Splices limit the
use of ropes as in most cases they would prevent reeving through a block. When
not in use ropes are kept in a coil or hank. Always coil with the lay, i.e. a
hawserlaid (right-hand laid) rope should be coiled clockwise.
Store in an even temperature. Never store a wet rope; lay it out in open coil to dry - never in hot sun.
Heavy ropes should be stored flat on a shelf; or suspended from wall hooks, Lighter cordage can be banked
and stored in a sack suspended from a hook. (Beware of mildew.)
Simple Training Activities with Ropes
- Rope ladder making with marlin-spike and hitches or clove hitches.
- Rope ladder making, using tightly coiled rope for rungs.
- Putting highwayman's hitches on overhead beam from ground level.
- Setting up rope tackle (harvester's bitch) to increase pulling power,
parbuckle, for rolling and raising heavy timber, Spanish windlass.
- Making tripods with Scout staffs and bowline. (see Scouting for
- Practice catspaw, barrel hitch, scaffold hitch (to make bosun's chair
- Practice docker's splice, use for joining ropes together.
- Make toggle ropes (toggle spliced in one end, eye splice in other) and use
for Patrol stunts.
- Practice line throwing, including use of lobstick
©2003 Baden-Powell Scouts Association