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Boy Scout Troop 298
(New Hyde Park, New York)
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Know Your Knots

Scouting KNOT requirements


Select the Use You Need

The list above provides you with some of the uses you are likely to need while scouting. Visualize what you would like to do. Move the mouse over the items. Read the description. Click on the item you decide best meets your needs.

Merit Badges and Advancement Requirements

Knots Required by Scouting Organizations

Some national organizations specify detailed requirements for advancement and for various activities. These lists change with time and some are overdue for revision because they contain errors or knots of almost no value.

Other countries describe projects and activities that involve using knots, but provide no specified lists. The lists below were compiled from data on websites in the US and UK:

Required Knots, US

From (effective January 1, 2010):

Boy Scout Joining Requirement
Square Knot
Two Half Hitches, Taut-Line Hitch
First Class
Timber Hitch, Clove Hitch, Square Lashing, Shear Lashing, Diagonal Lashing.

Merit Badge Knots, US

Thanks to Matt Sorensen who helped me compile this this list from

Climbing Merit Badge
Double Fisherman's Knot (Grapevine Knot), Figure Eight on a Bight,
Figure Eight Follow-Through, Safety knot, Water knot.
Fishing Merit Badge
Blood Loop (Barrel Knot), Clinch, Double Surgeon's Loop, Palomar,
Pioneering Merit Badge
Bowline, Round Turn with Two Half Hitches, Sheepshank (included regretfully),
Sheet Bend, Square knot.
Rowing Merit Badge
Bowline, Clove Hitch, Round Turn with Two Half-Hitches
plus a couple of other knots, animation not available
Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge
Bowline, Cleat Hitch, Clove Hitch, Figure Eight Knot, Square (Reef) Knot
Two Half Hitches.

Animated Knots by Grog


Scouting Knots

Scouting Knots

Welcome to Scouting Knots

These animated knots are described for scouts, but most of them have critical uses in other environments. Select the knots from: the index above left; the pictures above; or the Scouting Requirements page which provides details of the knots expected for advancement and different activities.


The selection of knots is based on consultation with many scouting leaders and a review of the requirements by some national organizations.


Rather than show the Fisherman's Knot the Double Fisherman's is used because it is safer and more widely used. The Fisherman's can easily be created by substituting Overhand Knots for the Double Overhand Knots. The Sheepshank is included reluctantly for reasons explained on its page. I make no apology for also including the Constrictor and Alpine Butterfly. They are both useful and more valuable than the Sheepshank.

Optional Knots

Some additional knots which have been listed for teaching to scouts are described elsewhere on this website: the Water Knot, the Bowline on a Bight, the Carrick Bend, and the Sailmaker's Whipping. The Tautline Hitch is regarded as a variation of the Rolling Hitch. The Double Sheet Bend is pictured on the Sheet Bend Page. The Pipe Hitch is not described as several knots appear to share this name, one of which is the same as the Klemheist. The Masthead or Jury Knot is not described here as it appears to have limited use but you can find how to make it on the page about the Masthead Knot Mat in the decorative section. So far at least, the Cat's paw, Draw Hitch, and Honda are not included.