How To Tie A Bowline On A Bight Knot

Joe Appleton by Joe Appleton Updated on July 12, 2022. In Nautical Knots

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Learning how to tie a Bowline On A Bight Knot is a fairly straightforward task, but if you overthink it all it gets very complicated, very quickly! To try and make life a little easier for budding boaters and rock climbers, we’ve put together a short guide all about this very useful knot.

The Bowline On A Bight Knot is a tie-in knot that’s designed to create two fixed-sized loops o a length of rope. Essentially, it’s a quick ad easy way to make a secure loop that can be used for a variety of practical tasks. Plus, it’s very easy to untie too—even after it has endured a heavy load.

Like the regular Bowline Knot, this practical knot is one of the most popular knots to learn. It’s relatively easy to master, satisfying to execute, and incredibly useful.

Common Bowline On A Bight Uses

There are plenty of practical uses for the Bowline On A Bight Knot, but the most popular reasons for deploying this knot are for emergency situations, rescue scenarios, and climbing purposes. Here are some examples.

A Bowline On A Bight Knot can be used to create a Bosun’s Chair. A Bosun’s Chair is a makeshift safety harness that can be used to transport injured people. It can also be used as a rudimentary safety harness for performing work at height. A person can place both legs through the loop and hold on to the standing end of the rope. Alternatively, a person can place each thigh through each loop for a more secure hold.

This knot can also be used to create a foothold. Since this knot creates a secure loop in the middle of a rope, it’s perfect for use as a foothold. It’s great for when you need to reach something without having to use a ladder.

Finally, one of the other most common uses includes using it to create handholds or additional purchase on a post or piling. It’s a practical way of getting extra purchase, though it does add a little extra friction to the mix. Even so, it’s worth keeping this knot in mind for that purpose.

Even if none of those applications particularly appeal to you, it’s still a great knot to learn how to tie. Here’s how you do it.

How To Tie A Bowline On A Bight Knot

Grab a length of rope and prepare to tie your first Bowline On A Bight Knot. Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that this knot is a simple knot to tie, but a confusing one to explain. It’s very easy to get confused, so we recommend that you look carefully at the images and try not to overthink it all. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll think “why is something so simple so hard to grasp?!”

Step One: Double up a section of rope by bending it in the middle, and form a loop with it.

Step Two: Pass the working end of the rope through the loop. This should for a double loop.

Step Three: Open the working end of the rope into a large eye, and bring it over the double loop, enveloping it.

Step Four: Pass the open working end over to the top of the eye.

Step Five: Tighten the knot by pulling the double loop downwards whilst keeping a firm grip on the standing end.

Once you’ve successfully mastered this knot, you can be proud of yourself. It’s a simple knot, but the instructions make it difficult to learn.

Other Things To Consider

Before using this knot in the field, take some time to familiarize yourself with its uses, quirks, and alternatives. Here are a few things to keep in mind.


Tests have shown that the Bowline On A Bight Knot can slip if it’s unevenly loaded. For the best results, if you’re putting stress on it, be sure to put equal stress on both loops. If you’re a climber, keep this in mind when fastening your carabiner through these knots.


Even though the Bowline On A Bight Knot rarely slips and won’t bind, it’s always best to consider using a strong backup knot with it if possible. Failing that, try using an alternative knot instead. Good alternatives include the Alpine Butterfly Loop and the Figure-Eight Loop. The Figure-Eight Loop is a variation of the classic Figure 8 Knot, which you can learn about here.


About Joe

Joe Appleton is an outdoor enthusiast who loves everything from bushcraft and hiking to wild camping and boating. If he’s not out in the woods, you’ll find him out on the water.


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