Tying and Using the Double Becket Bend

The Double Becket Bend is one of the most useful and important knots you’ll use in a wide variety of survival or emergency situations. It is considered so essential that the Ashley Book of Knots lists it as number 1. It is easy to learn, and it applies in many situations. Best of all, it has that most important characteristic of all good knots — it is easy to untie.

A Little Terminology of Knots

  • A knot is both the general term describing how to tie things, but it also has a more specific meaning of tying a line or rope to itself.
  • A bend is a knot used to join two ropes.
  • A hitch is a knot used to fasten a rope to an object, such as a cleat or a grommet.

When working on the Emergency Shelter series of articles (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), it struck me that you should all learn how to use this knot. Watch the video to learn some trivia and applications of the knot, as well as a slow and easy demonstration of how to tie it.


The Double Becket Bend is also known as the Double Becket Hitch and the Double Sheet Bend. In my experience working on a fishing boat, it is called a hitch if it’s tied to an object like a stake, pole, or cleat. It’s called a bend if it’s tied to another line. Some sources identify it as a Becket Hitch if it’s tied to a spliced loop, and a Sheet Bend if it’s tied to a bight (non-spliced loop).

This knot is particularly useful when tying a thin line to a thicker one. In single form it is structurally identical to the Bowline, which is quite simply a single Becket bend tied in a loop on a single line, instead of one rope to another.

Step by Step Instructions on Tying the Double Becket Hitch

Step 1. The Double Becket Bend is the knot of choice when you're tying a thinner rope to a thicker one

Step 2. Make a loop or bight (shown here) in the thicker rope

Step 3. Run the working end of the other rope through the bight from underneath

Step 4. Run your line behind the bight

Step 5. Tuck the working end over the bight, but under the standing part

Step 6. Run the line behind the bight again

Step 7. Repeat step 5 – just make sure the second coil comes below the first one, as shown

Step 8. Tighten the bend by pulling on the standing part of the line (the long part trailing away off the bottom of the picture), not the working end

The final knot. Notice that the tails of both ropes are on the same side of the knot. This makes it more secure

Excellent Knot and Survival References:

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