As its name suggests, the timber hitch has been used for centuries by lumberjacks and others who must move felled tree and logs. Men, animals, and machines have all pulled heavy timbers using this simple knot.
The hitch is incredibly secure due to its self-cinching nature. The more tension you place on the standing in (the end you are pulling), the more it clamps down on the working end (the end wrapped around the log or pole) making it incredible snug.
Once tension is released from the standing end, the knot will almost untie itself.
How to Tie a Timber Hitch
To tie a timber hitch:
Step 1: Wrap the working end of the rope around the tree one time, laying the working end on top of the standing end.
Step 2: Take the working end and bend it around the standing end so that it passes underneath the standing end. This will form a bight around the standing end.
Step 3: Wrap the working end around itself three or four times.
Step 4: Cinch the knot to the tree so that the is tension on it.
As in a lot of things, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here’s a short video to illustrate how to tie the timber hitch.
The timber hitch is not limited to pulling logs. It can be used on one end of line strung between two trees to form a clothes line or to support a shelter.
Its ease of tying and untying, combined with its flexibility of uses make this knot a “handy knot” for preppers and survivalists.