Favorite Pioneering Knots: Prusik

Link to: Older Pamphlet Info

A Prusik is tied by first making a rope grommet (fixed loop).After attaching the grommet around the spar forming a common lark’s head. Next, inside the middle of the lark’s head, wrap the loop around the spar at least two complete times. When finished, position the Prusikand pull the loop tight
Attaching a light pulley for a rope halyard on a flagpole.

The following text is by Adolph E. Peschke as presented in the 1998 printing of the 1993 edition of the Pioneering Merit Badge Pamphlet:


This knot has the reputation of having a firm, sure grip once it is put under pressure. The multiple opposing turns provide friction and put a bend in the standing part of the rope, which becomes more difficult to pass through the turns as a lateral pull is applied. The prusik is widely used by mountain climbers as they attach a loop (grommet) made from a smaller rope to a larger rope to form a hand or foothold. It can also be used to form hand and shoulder loops for a lateral pull on another rope or to drag a log or spar. Pioneering Uses

  • To hook a light tackle on a vertical or horizontal spar.
  • To make hand and foot loops for climbing another rope or vertical spar.
  • To make hand and shoulder loops as an aid to hauling a large log. It can easily be moved along as the positions require.
  • To provide the grip and a loop to tie another line with a sheet bend.
  • To provide a safety brake against back-slipping on a load-lifting line. (Do not use when lifting a person.)
Prusik Tying Sequence
Prusik Tying Sequence

Author: Scout Pioneering

Volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America

9 thoughts on “Favorite Pioneering Knots: Prusik”

  1. This is another good one, a Prusik is a variation of the Larks Head, which is another variation of the Half Hitch.

    I see on the Bushcraft Youtube sites, the Prusik is used along a ridge line to tension a tarp using toggles and a Larks Head. I’ve tried and it works well.

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