Overhand Knot

Overhand Knot

The overhand knot (or simple knot) is the most basic of the knots. Most people are familiar with this knot…and only this knot, as the shoe-tying knot. By itself it is a very reliable knot for securing lashes on packs, guide wires on tents, and strings on packages. It’s also very useful as a component of other knots such as stop knot, a slip knot, the double-knot, or the fisherman’s knot.

Below are the steps of this basic knot, although it really is quite simple to do. It’s a good knot to use in scouting class or outdoor training as an ice-breaker, confidence builder before proceeding with the more complicated knots. It’s also a nice knot to use to familiarize students with the parts of the rope (load portion, end, bight, etc…).

Overhand Knot – Step 1:

Take your piece of rope and cross the left side over the right side.

Overhand Knot – Step 2:

Take the left end and curl it back through the hole and bring it to the upper right.

Overhand Knot – Final:

Pull both ends of the rope to tighten the knot.


It’s nothing elaborate or special, but it’s the workhorse knot of bindings, lashings and loops.

This knot will likely be your knot of choice for your bear bag, as it is simple, doesn’t use much rope and will be easy to untie the next morning.