Round Turn & Two Half Hitches

A step-by-step guide for tying a round turn and two half hitches.

How to Tie a Round Turn & Two Half Hitches

Step 1: Wrap the working end of the rope twice around a fixed object. 

Step 2: Pass the end of the rope over and around the stationary rope in a half hitch. 

Step 3: Tighten the first half hitch.  

Step 4: In the same direction as the first, pass the end of the rope over and around for a second half hitch. 

Step 5: Tighten both hitches together. 

About the Round Turn & Two Half Hitches

Use this knot to secure the end of a rope to a fixed object like a post, tree, or hook. It’s easy to tie, rarely jams, and won’t slip on the job. The name of the knot is also how it’s tied. Round turn describes the rope wrapping around the fixed object, and two half hitches are the knots to secure the trailing end of the rope. You can change the number of rounds and the number of hitches to create variations of this knot. 

Depending on the rope’s length and the object you’re tying to, you can also use a bight instead of the line’s end for a tidier appearance. With a bight, you also can release the knot fast, by tugging the end of the rope free. Without a bight and even under a load, you can still untie the half hitches because the rounds hold the tension.

Related Knots

Pipe hitch: a round turn with the rope encircling the fixed object multiple times. 

Mooring hitch: a quick-release load hitch, tied around a fixed object with the end of a rope.

Clove hitch: two half hitches around a fixed object. 

Buntline hitch: a clove hitch around the stationary part of a rope, secured to a fixed object. 

Fisherman’s bend: two ropes joined with overhand knots. 

When to Use a Round Turn & Two Half Hitches

The round turn is most useful when the line already carries a load, which can make tying other knots more difficult. Instead, the round turn puts the line’s weight onto the object, making it easy to tie the two half hitches. 

For Survival

This fast tying knot is excellent for securing both boats and loads. By using a bight instead of the end of the rope, it also becomes a fast-release knot. In emergency and survival situations, when you need to avoid a jam, this knot is reliable. Once you’ve completed the round, the fixed object is holding the load, making it easier to execute the hitches. 

While Camping

Because the rope won’t slide along the object it’s tied around, this is a great knot for setting up a hammock at a campsite. The round turn and two half hitches is also popular while sailing. It’s considered one of the essential knots after the bowline. Use it when you need to secure a boat to a mooring. 

With Other Knots

The round turn and two half hitches riffs on several other knots designed to attach a rope to a fixed object. You can alter the two half hitches to make the knot more permanent or secure, or add an extra hitch to use up slack at the end of the line. 

Around the House

Once you learn to tie the round turn and two half hitches, it’s a great knot for around the house. Anytime you’re securing a line to a fixed object, use this knot because it’s easy to release, but won’t slide on the object, and is secure. Tying balloons to a post, putting up seasonal decorations, even gardening, keep this knot in the back of your mind. It looks tidier than stacking overhand knots, and remember if you use a bight instead of the end of the rope, you can undo the knot with a simple tug.