Disclaimer: I’d like to make sure it’s understood that these are in no way to be taken as qualified instruction. I suppose that technically I should classify these as ‘reminders’, but it is possible to learn from them… Just make sure you check with someone that actually knows what they’re doing before you try and do them halfway up a cliff.
The clove hitch: an essential locking knot that’s quick and easy to tie, once the get the hang of it.
Start by taking the length of rope you want to use (duh).
Make a loop (twist) with the vertical line behind (the ‘behind’ and ‘in front’ can be reversed, but I’ll just refer to how I did it in the pictures). The arrows should help clear this up (I hope).
Now, on the right, make a loop that goes in front.
Pass the ‘behind’ loop on top of the the ‘in front’ loop. Lots of people get this wrong at the start; if you do it wrong, you’ll just end up with a whole load of loops, rather than the distinctive ‘cross’ when you put it through the carabiner.
Clip your carabiner through the centre eye (or pass it over whatever stake/spike/limb you’re hitching).
Easy to check it’s done right: there’s an obvious ‘cross’ in the middle, and it locks if you pull on either end up rope coming out (it relies on friction, so the more slippery your rope, the more slippage you’ll get before it ‘bites’).