I've recently retired a rope (dynamic) and a harness. They're both in very good shape, but just over 8 years old. Common sense dictates I throw them away, but I wonder if there are other uses I can put them up to. For example, I was thinking maybe craft them into a home-made bandolier/gear sling. What do you suggest I do with them?
I have a few lengths of retired rope (I don't climb myself, but have them from others) - they come in useful! I've used them for pulling things along, tying odd bits and pieces up securely, and when I used to do event tech work we'd often use them for rigging some of the lighter, cheaper lights (at the end of the day, if the rope fails with a light lantern, it smashes and no-one's hurt, so hardly much to lose.)
However, some are much more creative than me, and have put them to all sorts of good uses...
People who work with children are usually very happy to take any old ropes for non-climbing purposes (marking playing fields, tug of war, anything really). Even an old rope totally unfit for climbing is still very good for them.
I've never done it personally, but you can weave an old rope into a rug. There are several patterns on the Internet. Here's one if them:
With an old harness, I'd recommend either:
if it's still structurally sound, and less than 5 years old, keep it as a loaner harness for any time you take your non-climber friends out toproping
if it's older than 5 years, or if there's any sign of wear, just throw it out.
A rope is never a thing to throw away at any point in time. You can make slings out of it, and teach your kids about knots and other rope handling procedures. Or You can use the sling as an accessory cord for self anchoring (under static loads - not dynamic) as long as it is not damaged. I have so far used a not-at-all-good-for-climbing piece of rope for two things that hadn't fail so far.
- I go for cycling a lot. And when I'm done with it, I use the rope for a towing purpose and one of my friends who have a bike, tow me :) And, I know thats lazy!
- I have made a hammock of old rope for me :) During early days of it's use, I used to worry imagining that the rope gave up and I broke my butt, but after 6 months of frequent use on outdoors, it still looks in a good shape.
- Another use is to make Prussik loops and use it on rappel for self locking. I would use it as prussik loops and for static anchoring since breaking strength of rope slings are much higher than nylon / dyneema slings.