Timber Hitch Knot – Step by Step How to Tie It

The Timber Hitch is for hauling large logs (or anything that shape), often many times the diameter of the line used. It will not jam, will not slip and will always come apart easily once unloaded.

timber hitch knot step 11 (final)
timber hitch knot step 11 (final)

The Timber Hitch is effectively a much improved, much stronger version of the same concept as the half hitch.

Step 1. Make a turn. For these instructions the part of the line underneath the timber will be the working end:

timber hitch knot step 1

Step 2. Pass the working end under the standing part, and up over the timber:

timber hitch knot step 2

Step 3. Pass the working end back over the standing end:

timber hitch knot step 3

Step 4. Tuck the working end underneath the near part of the turn around the timber, forming a half hitch:

timber hitch knot step 4

Step 5. Pass the working end back over the line it just went under:

timber hitch knot step 5

Step 6. Tuck the working end under the line again, forming another wrap around it:

timber hitch knot step 6

Step 7. Keep wrapping the end around this line, the more times the better for strength and security. Wrap enough times to keep the end out of the way:

timber hitch knot step 7

The Timber Hitch can be tied on the end as above, but when actually used for hauling logs is often tied in the middle of the log, and then a half hitch slipped over the end to act as a guide for pulling (one would be pulling the line from the end of the log where the half hitch is).

Step 8. Make a loop, with the working part underneath and closer to the log than the standing part:

timber hitch knot step 8

Step 9. Pass the loop over the end of the log:

timber hitch knot step 9

Step 10. Move the loop to where you want it. The loops should be evenly spaced between the Timber Hitch and the end of the log, so with only one loop it should be about halfway between the knot and the end:

timber hitch knot step 10

Step 11. Pull on the standing / hauling end of the line to tighten the loop and move the log:

timber hitch knot step 11 (final)
timber hitch knot step 11 (final)

Related Knots

  • For a more secure lengthways pull a proper ‘slide and grip’ hitch is preferable, especially if safety is a concern. The Icicle Hitch, Death Gripper Hitch and variations on the Prusik Loop are all good examples.
  • The Timber Hitch is a variation of the Half Hitch concept, and so is related to other variations like the Clove Hitch and Killick Hitch.

For more knots, read our survival knots guide.


The Timber Hitch is a simple knot, easily remembered and with many uses. However, it’s breadth should not be overestimated, and in some situations a slide and grip hitch or a loop is preferable.

timber hitch knot pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *