Bowline Knot Uses

The wide variety of bowline knot uses makes this an important knot to have in your knot-tying repertoire. Whether you’re an avid rock climber or just a Boy Scout at heart, you will find plenty of uses for the bowline knot.

  1. Hang a Hammock: If you love to hang around in a hammock on a hot summer day, try using bowline knots to secure it to tree limbs. You won’t have to worry about a humiliating hammock disaster, because a bowline knot won’t come undone while loaded. If you need to take it down for an impromptu football game in the backyard, the bowline knot makes it easy.
  2. Anchors Away: Sailors have long used bowline knots to secure boats in docks. The Appalachian Mountain Club says to play with the loop size until you can reach it from the boat to make departing a snap – handy if you want to show off for your passengers.
  3. Tying Animals: Bowline knots come in handy on farms, where they secure animals without slipping against their skin or tightening too much, says the University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science. Both of these qualities prevent tender spots and pain.
  4. Climbing: Indoor climbers use a bowline knot to tie into a harness. Outdoor climbers use bowline knots to anchor themselves to trees or heavy boulders, says the Appalachian Mountain Club. They do this by looping the rope around a tree or rock and tying a back-up knot for safety.
  5. Camping: If you don’t want a bear raiding your snack stash at camp, use a bowline knot to hang up your food in a bear bag. The bowline works perfectly for this task because it will not slip, but you can undo the knot quickly any time you have a snack attack. The bowline knot is great for tying through tent grommets, too.
  6. Rescue: This bowline knot use will appeal to your inner Boy Scout. You never know when someone will fall in a hole or slip overboard, and the bowline knot can help you reel the victim back to safety. So be prepared and remember this use of the bowline knot if you want to be hero.
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