Along with the bowline and the sheet bend, the Clove Hitch often considered one of the most essential knots. It is most effective used as a crossing knot, where the line on both sides of the knot are under tension. Used as a traditional hitch, that is loading only one end, the clove hitch is liable to slip.
1. Take a turn around a par. Bring the working end up and across the standing part, forming an x on the spar.
2. Take the working end around the spar a second time.
3. Bring the working end up and pass it behind the crossing part, so that you have two parallel part behind one diagonal part.
4. Pull the standing part and the working end to fair the knot, nipping the parallel parts behind the diagonal.
Photos and instructions courtesy of Columbia what knot