Tensionless Hitch

Tensionless Hitch

The tensionless hitch gains its name from the use of a figure 8 loop at one end that is clipped to the standing end with no tension. It preserves most of the rope’s breaking strain. It is designed to bear a lot of load, that is, humans. It does not pose a significant stress on the rope. The anchor for the rope, it could be a tree, pipe or post, should be very secure as the knot applies rotational forces on it. It finds mention in The Ashley Book of Knots.

How to Tie a Tensionless Hitch

How to Tie a Tensionless Hitch

For this, you need to make 4-5 turns around a post. Hence, ensure you have enough length of rope.


  1. The diameter of the anchor should be at least 8 times that of the rope.
  2. The number of turns around the anchor should be increased if it is polished and smooth.
  3. Any corner or edge on the anchor reduces the strength of the rope in proportion to the sharpness of the bend.
  4. The figure 8 loop is strictly a safety mechanism that is attached to the standing part with a carabiner.
  5. For additional safety, you can tie an overhand knot around the standing part before the final turn around the anchor.
  6. Instead of the carabiner, you can use a figure 8 follow through.


  1. Rappelling
  2. Rescue
  3. Firefighting
  4. Climbing

Steps to Tying a Tensionless Hitch

  1. Wrap a rope around a support 4 times
  2. Create a bight with the shorter end
  3. Make an “8” with it
  4. Pull both ends to tighten
  5. Insert a carabiner
  6. The knot it made

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