You can learn to tie a bowline around yourself, around a post, and in the free end of a rope. Here’s how:
- Make a small overhand loop in the standing part of a rope.
- Bring the rope end up through the loop, around and behind the standing part, and back down into the loop. The amount of rope remaining below the loop determines the size of the fixed loop in the finished bowline.
- Bring the working end back down through the overhand loop so it exits the knot toward the inside of the fixed loop.
- Tighten the knot by pulling the standing part of the rope away from the loop while holding the bight.
The bowline forms a loop that will not slip. That’s just what you want for tying a rope around your waist or around someone requiring rescue. A bowline also works well for securing guy lines through the grommets on a tent or dining fly. It is also easy to untie.