Rope is a useful and versatile material in the outdoors that can be used for all manner of tasks, from tying up a bag to constructing live saving structures.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

57
votes
8answers
18k views

What are good knots to know for camping and backpacking?

I once tied a bear bag with a haphazard bundle of knots, and despite being seemingly impossible to untie, it came loose when lowering the bear bag and nearly smoked my friend standing under it. What ...
28
votes
2answers
5k views

Things to keep away from climbing ropes

There are some no brainers like don't throw your climbing rope next to car batteries in the back of your car. The effect of bug sprays containing Deet seem to be controversial. I have also heard a ...
25
votes
2answers
17k views

Climbing rope is rated to X UIAA falls. What is a UIAA fall?

When looking at buying climbing ropes, they are rated to a number of "UIAA falls". What does that mean?
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Ideal and Minimal Rope Diameter for Lead Climbing

I'm thinking of a single rope that it's safe to take long lead falls, but also light to carry around. I weight 75 kg and I might climb with heavier partners (80-90 kg)
21
votes
4answers
3k views

How should a climbing rope be stored?

I've purchased my first climbing rope and am wondering how it should be stored when not in use. I have a rope bag which I assume is a good home for the rope; should it be kept tightly coiled inside ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the difference between “dry rope”, “non-dry rope” and “dry core rope”?

I've just recently gotten into climbing and so far the ropes have always been provided for me. I'm starting to look at getting my own rope for outside climbing, and am confused by some of the ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

How to safely mark a rope

I was reading this question and the first thing that popped into my head is what do you use to mark the middle of the rope? I was taught not to use any kind of marker on the rope (because there's no ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe to cut a climbing rope in half?

I recently bought a 70 meter climbing rope from REI because it was a great price on the outlet. Last weekend I used it for the first time in the Texas hill country, where 99% of routes need a rope ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How to get kinks and twists out of a climbing rope?

One complaint about using the Munter hitch for belaying is that it twists and kinks the rope. After doing a full rope length rappel with a Munter hitch down a slightly overhanging face to the base of ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

When should I retire my rope

I know there is a degree of "gray" in this question but: I have a Beal Top gun II 10.5mm, I've had this rope for around 4 years now and I'm starting to think about retiring it. It's been used ...
16
votes
1answer
480 views

Difference when using twin or half ropes

There are three types of ropes according to the UIAA/EN norm for climbing ropes: Single, half and twin. While the distinction between single ropes and the other two is rather obvious (one strand ...
16
votes
1answer
396 views

How should a climbing rope be cleaned?

What products and process should be used to clean a climbing rope when it gets sufficiently dirty? How would I remove as much dirt and grime as possible without negatively affecting the strength or ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Mountaineering / glacial traverse: rope-up or go it alone?

When crossing a glacier (or other mountaineering activity for that matter) I've heard that roping everyone together without having a fixed anchor is falling out of fashion since more often than not if ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Best type of rope for glacier travel?

What sort of rope would be ideal for glacier travel? I have a 10mm 60m rope, but this is quite heavy. Would a 9mm 50m rope be suitable for a team of three, crossing glaciers in the Swiss Alps?
13
votes
3answers
287 views

Why are eye friction hitches not commonly used in rock climbing?

It seems that the majority of professional arborists favor friction hitches that are tied with a free cord rather than a loop: Blake's Hitch Schwabisch Distel Valdotain Tresse This is often tied ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Pros and Cons of paracord

From a comment on the How to select paracord question I was curious, what is the benefit of paracord over hardware store yellow twisted poly stuff? The yellow stuff is cheap, readily available, ...
12
votes
6answers
610 views

What to do when you run out of rope on a sports climb?

The situation is, that you started a high route with fixed protection (bolts) and misjudged its length, so before reaching the belay the middle mark of the rope passes the belayer. What can you do to ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

What to do at the top of a sport climb

I dabble a little at leading trad, but have never led a sport route. If I do a sport lead, I want to make sure I don't make some stupid mistake when I get to the top. For example, I don't want to ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

When to use a static rope?

I usually do sport-climbing so I've never owned a static rope. However, most rope-related Q&As in TGO.SE don't bother specifying dynamic vs static ropes. I've been told that for rappelling (or ...
12
votes
5answers
944 views

How can rope/cordage be packed to minimize tangles?

I generally pack my cordage in little bundles like Unfortunately for any significant length (100' for instance) it just turns into a wadded mess when I try and use it. How can I pack this stuff ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Paracord rope strength

I have recently come into possession of many thousands of feet of paracord, more than any practical use would dictate. So this started me down the addictive path that is weaving and forming it into ...
11
votes
2answers
409 views

How can I make/improvise a rope on a trip?

If I'm out in the wilderness and find myself in need of a rope I don't have with me (forgotten, not enough, another snapped), how can I make one? Are there any natural ropes I could use with minimal ...
11
votes
2answers
349 views

How big a fall is a “major” fall?

I answered a question about rope safety with some advice about retiring the rope after a "major" fall. Another user asked me what would constitute a major fall - and I have to admit that I can only ...
11
votes
2answers
846 views

Placing protection efficiently when leading trad?

I'm a beginning trad leader, having done about five easy fifth class leads. I've had some formal instruction, but don't currently have access to a teacher or mentor. I'm finding that I'm extremely ...
11
votes
1answer
784 views

Using a rope “Alpine Style”/Moving together

I've seen people using a ropes "alpine style" in the past but I'm not sure on the specifics. By alpine style I mean where the rope is coiled around the body and attached to a second of third person. ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the best rope to have in a survival situation?

What rope would be most helpful/versatile in a survival situation?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Anchor without cordelette?

I have the John Long book on climbing anchors and also a couple of others that describe the subject more briefly (Pesterfield, Traditional Lead Climbing, and Freedom of the Hills). When it comes to ...
10
votes
3answers
979 views

How can I tie a bowline knot with one hand?

A bowline knot is an excellent rescue knot as it tightens when under load. However, its very use as a rescue knot may make it hard to tie - for example, if a person fell and damaged one arm to the ...
10
votes
2answers
484 views

Is there a more practical type of cord to carry than “550 paracord”?

Paracord is widely considered a must-have for wilderness survival, and there are hundreds of tutorials for making bracelets out of it, etc. With this popularity has come a glut of people selling "...
10
votes
2answers
278 views

Are static dyneema/spectra ropes suited for use on glaciers?

While Dyneema is in use for cordelettes for quite some time manufacturers started bringing long ropes made of dyneema on the market. The benefits are obvious: Less weight, less volume and no water ...
10
votes
3answers
227 views

What should I look for in a rope for climbing?

I just started rock climbing recently. I don't have any gear of my own and the first thing I wanted to get was a rope. There are various ropes of different prices. What should I look for when buying a ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Best rope for a rope swing

A few years ago I, er… a friend of mine, put up a rope swing in a nearby park. It's in a large eucalyptus, about 25 metres high, and is much loved by many local kids – and parents. Originaly I just ...
10
votes
2answers
537 views

Why all the different accessory cord diameters?

It's easy to get overwhelmed with all the different types and diameters of accessory cords. I usually always get 7mm for making my prusiks and cordalettes, but I've often wondered who uses the smaller ...
10
votes
1answer
173 views

How to fold rope for storage?

What is a good and easy way to fold a (50-100') rope for storage so that it resembles a caterpillar and has no loose ends getting undone? Close to the way it comes folded in a store like this at the ...
9
votes
3answers
965 views

Roping together on an icy path?

I'm planning a mountain hiking trip and one of the issues is that the trails that we're following will almost certainly be covered in ice. There are two of us and we'll both be wearing shoe traction ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What happens to rappel anchors?

When setting up a rappel anchor, using things like webbing, rings, that kind of stuff, what happens to the anchor when you get to the bottom? Assuming you can't hike to the top and grab it, do you ...
9
votes
2answers
577 views

“Used” top rope when bouldering

My friend and I often boulder around my home instead of driving to the local area, and when attempting some more challenging features, such as overhangs and slightly taller cliffs, we would feel ...
9
votes
2answers
449 views

How do I check paracord to determine if it's genuine?

Given some paracord, is there a simple check that I can make to check that it's genuine and not the cheaper knock off stuff? Number of strands seems like the most obvious point, but is there anything ...
9
votes
4answers
205 views

Why static rope rather than webbing for toprope anchors?

I'm signed up for an AMGA single-pitch instructor course (to learn how to teach other people single-pitch climbing). One of the pieces of gear we're supposed to bring is a 30 meter static rope "for ...
9
votes
2answers
894 views

Fixed line: Prusik vs mechanical ascender

The standard mountaineering textbook Freedom of the Hills has a long discussion of fixed lines, and they state simply that you use a mechanical ascender on them. This seems odd to me, since for most ...
9
votes
1answer
188 views

Adjustable mid-line knot?

I'm looking for a knot similar to a sheepshank but adjustable and stable under load on both ends. Think of two poles that have the two ends of a rope permanently attached to them but you want to ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What should I replace guylines with?

I need to replace some guylines on one of my tents. I normally use some paracord lying around but they have been getting tripped over more and more. I found some glow in the dark paracord, but before ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Minimum safe rappel rope diameters?

9mm is considered minimum for a vertical rappel with a nylon or polyester kernmantle rope, 6mm with high strength aramid, but what if your rappel isn't vertical? What's the minimum safe rope diameter ...
8
votes
2answers
83 views

What ropes could I use to suspend a hammock?

I use paracord for a lot of stuff but looking for something stronger, for holding up a hammock. I'm thinking it would need to be 1000lb strength or stronger. Would type IV paracord (850lb strength ) ...
8
votes
2answers
529 views

Semi-static rope 24 hour rule

It is said that a semi-static rope should be submerged for 24 hours before first use. Why is this, and is this before every first use ?
8
votes
1answer
124 views

Relative abraision resistance of Dyneema slings vs an average dynamic climbing rope

I recently read this answer about rope thickness, and it mentions a tragic incident where a rope was severed during a lead fall due to the rope being dragged across rock edge whilst under tension. ...
8
votes
2answers
211 views

How to attach a shackle to vertical square tubes by using a rope?

I want to hang up a hammock. There are vertical square tubes made of galvanized steel of 10cm x 10cm. I want to hang up my hammock by using ropes (polyester, ⌀6mm, 9500N) and shackles. The rope should ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What type of rope should I use for roof work?

Am going to do some repairs on my roof, (not a climber). not sure regarding the type of rope I should get? Also, any advice as to how to secure the rope to my harness?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Knot for Joining the ropes of different thicknesses

As, I have been using a Double Fisherman's knot to join the two ropes. With some physics that I know, in Double Fisherman's knot the same amount of pressure (stress) is applied over the two turns of ...
7
votes
2answers
547 views

What are the dangers of descending/rappeling very quickly?

Sometimes when descending with a GriGri, I get the urge to pull hard and zip down the line. Safe reasoning returns and I continue descending with a safe, steady pace. However, I would like to know ...