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Reef Knot and Clove hitch illustration: arrows highlight the path for a length of rope or string to take when tying a reef knot, often used to tie belts, bandages and bundles (left) and a clove hitch, often used to tie up to a post (right). It is noted that neither should be used when safety is at stake.

Reef knot and clove hitch

A refresh for basic guiding and scouting skills — two satisfying and simple, but not secure, knots: the reef knot, or square knot, and the clove hitch.

The reef knot was also known to the ancient Greeks as the Hercules knot. You can use it for non-safety critical things like belts, bandages, tying bundles and parcels but it doesn't hold weight well so don't use it when safety is important.

The clove hitch is a simple knot that can quickly, say, tie a rope to a post. But don't use it if you need something to really hold.

Again, don't use either for safety critical applications, but they're both nice knots to know.

Also see a sheet bend

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