The clove hitch knot is a quick and easy knot to tie. You can use the clove hitch to fasten rope to a post or pole. It’s best used is a situation where you can keep tension on both ends of the rope. This knot can be unreliable and may slip if the tension on the rope is uneven or fluctuating. Many mariners shy away from the clove hitch because it can slip.
When camping, a clove hitch can come in handy when securing a tarp or lean to shelter. By wrapping the rope end around a tree and applying tension, you can tie a quick clove hitch to secure the rope in place, but it’s also a fairly easy knot to loosen and re-tighten as you adjust the tarp or lean-to.
The 2 steps below describe how to tie this knot:
Starting with your rope around a pole, tree, or bollard, pull taught and do another loop around the pole crossing the line upwards.
One of the tricky parts of this know is keeping the tension while doing the second loop. One way to do this is to grab the tension side of the rope (attached to the tarp or shelter) and do the second loop with enough slack to comfortably slip the end under the knot. It takes some practice, but it can be a very simple and useful knot in the field to know.
The Clove Hitch knot is an expedient knot that’s very useful in the temporary securing or short-term mooring. It also is very easy to loosen and tighten, if you need to make adjustments. If the tension fluctuates a lot or if you’re setting up something that’s long-term, the clove hitch does have a tendency to loosen and a different knot may be better suited for that situation.