Author Topic: Do you ever use a cow hitch/fixed loop combination?  (Read 2745 times)

knot4u

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Do you ever use a cow hitch/fixed loop combination?
« on: June 06, 2010, 06:44:54 PM »
My preferred hitches to an object are the the siberian and the slipped buntline.  However, a cow hitch/bowline combination may replace these hitches in some applications.  Unfortunately, descriptions I've seen only talk about of the cow hitch coming apart easily if you don't tension both ends coming off the object.  So, I never really gave the cow hitch much thought.

For a cow hitch/fixed loop combination, tie a bowline loop, wrap the bowline around your object and then pull the standing end through the loop to tie a cow hitch around the object.  It's basically a running bowline with a loop that's big enough to make a cow hitch around the object.  It's as simple as you think, nothing earth shattering here.

Some advantages:
-the security limit is the bowline loop, which is sufficiently secure for anything I've ever tied
-pretty good friction around object because cow hitch gets tighter as the tension on the standing end increases
-easy to remember if you know the bowline
-easy to loosen and move cow hitch along object
-will not jam, unless you can somehow jam the bowline
-somewhat quick if you're willing to keep the fixed loop there or if you can tie/untie a bowline quickly
-possible to tie the cow hitch/bowline without pulling the standing end through, for example, by just using the working end

Some disadvantages:
-not as quick as many other hitches if the bowline is not already there
-relatively big profile
-loses friction if standing end has no tension (but that can be an advantage depending on the application)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 07:42:36 PM by knot4u »

jcsampson

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Re: Do you ever use a cow hitch/fixed loop combination?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 08:42:54 PM »
I agree with you 100%. You make some very good points.

Quote from: knot4u
"Unfortunately, descriptions I've seen only talk about . . . the cow hitch coming apart easily if you don't tension both ends coming off the object. So, I never really gave the cow hitch much thought."

I agree: Strictly as a hitch, it's utterly horrible; but, when used in tandem with an end loop, it's incredibly useful and wonderfully fast and simple. Often, in knotting, the simplest structures have the greatest value.

Quote
"For a cow hitch/fixed loop combination, tie a bowline loop . . ."

I like that one myself. If you like that method, then you might like this one, too, as it offers a couple of extra benefits: Try a Bowstring Loop (a.k.a. Honda Knot) and then hitch the loop to a post using a Cow-Hitch structure.

The Cow Hitch is the perfect companion to the Bowstring Loop. The Bowstring Knot is actually an unusual type of slide-and-grip knot. It holds spectacularly well--but only when the shape of the Bowstring Loop is elongated. The Cow Hitch guarantees that the Bowstring Loop will stay elongated and closed (also important to keep the Bowstring's tail from falling into its loop and being accidentally pulled once it's in there, which will convert the Bowstring Loop into nothing more than a working end going through the MIDDLE of an Overhand). This very quick-and-easy combination structure will give you perpetual adjustability: Say you want to suspend an object at a precise height, have a quick and easy way to do it, maintain quick-and-easy perpetual adjustability, and have the guarantee of no slippage. The Cow-Hitched Honda to the rescue!

My experiments with dental floss reveal that the Bowstring Knot slips a little--very little--but only in the context of many, hard, REPEATED TUGS, in such a way that the main problem is that it slightly damages the cord. The presence of a Cow Hitch solves this problem entirely and eliminates both the slippage and the damage to the cord.

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". . . but that can be an advantage depending on the application . . ."

I love this statement. I am so glad to hear someone else confirm this thought that I hold to be true and so very important.

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". . . relatively big profile . . ."

Want to reduce the profile and the amount of cord used? Try this: Make a Bowstring Loop, hitch it to a post using the Cow-Hitch structure, and then slowly pull the tail of the Bowstring Loop to reduce the size of the loop. Keep pulling until the loop gets so small that the Cow Hitch winds up passing the Bowstring Knot and going over the standing part (you'll need to help it along) and turning the whole structure into what I usually call a "Fixed-Loop-Based Hitch" (which most just call a "Running Loop"), which can be considered to be related to the Cow Hitch. This uses less cord, has a smaller profile, and is related to the Cow Hitch!

JCS

knot4u

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Re: Do you ever use a cow hitch/fixed loop combination?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 09:51:03 PM »
I'll have to try out that honda (bowstring).  This cow hitch/loop may become my main hitch for an anchor.

EDIT:  I tried out the honda with the cow.  Yeah, a honda/cow is the way to go, better than using a bowline/cow.  The honda/cow solves the adjustability problem that's in the bowline/cow.  Heck, I'm going tie a loop into all ropes that are in my car so that I can quickly tie a cow hitch when needed.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 09:17:58 PM by knot4u »

jcsampson

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Re: Do you ever use a cow hitch/fixed loop combination?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 02:33:35 AM »
Hey knot4u,

After a recent test using WAXED dental floss (executed to refresh my memory), I should say that the Cow Hitch "reduces slippage and damage to the floss DRAMATICALLY, albeit not entirely."

However, slippage from repeated tugs using PROPER rope is entirely unnoticeable and may be non-existent.

JCS