How to tie the Tautline Hitch Knot. This knot can be slipped to tighten or loosen a line, then holds fast under load. Useful for lines that may need adjustment. The Tautline Hitch is essentially a Rolling Hitch tied on the standing part of a tight line after it has been secured around a object. Campers like to use this knot to secure tent guy lines because the hitch slides freely, yet jams under load, making adjustments to the line easy.
This is the knot that the Boy Scouts of America recommends for an adjustable sliding knot. An alternative way of finishing the knot is to reverse the direction of the Half Hitch (step 3), which Clifford Ashley states will eliminate much of the torsion that might cause the knot to twist. However, the Midshipman's Hitch is in fact a more secure knot to use for this purpose, although it is not quite as easy to adjust.
Scroll to see Animated Tautline Hitch Knot below the illustration and tying instructions.
Tautline Hitch Knot Tying Instructions
- Make a turn around a post or other object several feet from the free end.
- Coil the free end twice around the standing line working back toward the post.
- Make one additional coil around the standing line on the outside of the coils just made.
- Tighten the knot and slide it on the standing line to adjust tension.