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Highwayman’s Hitch

Highwayman’s Hitch

This quick release knot is of the draw loop type and can temporarily secure a load that is to be released cleanly and easily. It can be tied at the middle of a rope eliminating the need of the working end to be passed around the anchor while tying or releasing. It involves 3 bights of the same rope each of which successively lock the previous one as is evident from the below diagram. The name of the knot is attributed to Dick Turpin, a notorious 18th century English highwayman by author Hal McKail, the founder of sea scouts in Western Australia and Cyrus L. Day, a notable author of a book on knots and splices.

How to Tie a Highwayman’s Hitch

How to Tie a Highwayman’s Hitch



It can be untied just with a single tug at the working end, even when the rope is under tension.Entanglement of the free end with the load might trigger an abrupt release that might be fatal. Hence it is not safe to use it with human loads as in climbing.


  1. To tie up a kayak shortly before getting to it.
  2. Tethering animals.

The Highwayman’s Hitch Knot Video Instructions

How to Tie a Highwayman’s Hitch Step by Step

  1. Take a bight of rope behind the support
  2. Pass another bight through it
  3. Pass another bight through the loop
  4. Pull the top loop and the standing part
  5. The knot is Complete

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