Try this easy technique next time you need to whip a rope

Whipping a rope can be a little tricky. If your Scout is struggling with the traditional method, you can teach them another way, called “West Country whipping.”

For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some camp hacks that the BSA’s national camping subcommittee has shared with us. This week’s tip involves an easier way to whip a rope. Special thanks to Larry Green for the tips and text below.


Preventing the ends of rope from fraying is a process referred to as “whipping.” Learning how to whip the ends of a rope is one of the early requirements on the Scouts BSA advancement trail.

Indeed, there are many approaches to whipping a rope, but the one that’s used for the hundreds of lashing ropes in the pioneering area at national jamborees, as well as the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, is known as the West Country Whipping. What’s so special about this whipping? The answer is simple. It’s easy to teach and easy to tie, and most importantly, it’s easy to make tight. Hence, Scouts learn it more quickly and like it much better.

    1. Start by tying a half-knot, the way you would start a square knot, near the rope’s end.
    2. Continue by carrying the two ends of the whipping cord around the back of the rope, away from you, and tie another half-knot identical to the first.
    3. Keep repeating the half-knots, front and back, pulling each one tight.
    4. Form each half-knot the same way, either right over left, or left over right, so they interlock neatly together, and snug against the previous half-knot.
    5. Continue the process until the whipping is as wide as the rope’s diameter.
    6. Finish off with a tight square knot.
    7. Finally, the excess cord is trimmed.

Watch the video of this technique below.

About Michael Freeman 121 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.