The Double Running Bowline Knot is used in the Rope Tree Swing project to hang the tree swing from a high branch that can’t be reached by a ladder. The Double Running Bowline is durable, strong and won’t strangle the branch as the tree grows.

The rope used in this example is 5/8 inch diameter braided polypropylene.

How to Tie a Double Running Bowline Knot

Step 1 – Begin by making a double loop.

Double Bowline Knot - Step 1

Double Bowline Knot – Step 1

Step 2 – Tuck the working end of the rope under (red square) and through the two loops.

Double Bowline Knot - Step 2

Double Bowline Knot – Step 2

Step 3 – Wrap the working around the standing part of the rope and down into the double loops.

Double Bowline Knot - Step 3

Double Bowline Knot – Step 3

Step 4 – Working end tucked into the hole formed by the double loops.

Double Bowline Knot - Step 4

Double Bowline Knot – Step 4

Step 5 – Pull on both ends to draw the knot tight leaving a small (~6 inch) loop at the bottom.

Double Bowline Knot - Step 5

Double Bowline Knot – Step 5

This is how the knot should look when draw tight and properly dressed. “Dressed” means the rope lays correctly in the knot without extra crossings or kinks.

Double Bowline Knot - Front

Double Bowline Knot – Front

View of the opposite side of the knot:

Double Bowline Knot - Back Side

Double Bowline Knot – Back Side

Running Bowline Knot over a Tree Limb

The next photo illustrates how the Running Bowline Knot loops around a tree limb for a rope tree swing. After throwing the rope over the tree limb, the standing part of the rope is tucked through the loop of the Bowline knot. The knot slides up snug (purple arrow) around the tree limb as the rope is pulled from the ground (red arrow). This makes it easy if tying the rope over a high tree branch that can’t be reached for the ground.

Tip: I used a fishing pole with a weight to toss a “lead line” over the high tree limb and tied the rope to the fishing line. The fishing line & rope are then pulled up-and-over the limb. The fishing line is cut off, the free end of the rope inserted through the bowline knot and the free end of the rope pulled to run the knot up to the tree limb – all from the safety of standing on the ground. No need for a ladder! This technique requires a length of rope that’s twice the height of the tree limb.

Leave a generous pigtail (loose end of rope on right) as shown for security and to visually inspect the knot is OK from the ground.

Double Running Bowline Knot - Tree Limb

Double Running Bowline Knot – Tree Limb

Take care,

Bob Jackson

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