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?

  • 2
    Ropes can be very useful when camping
    – Amine
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 21:31
  • 1
    Some people weave old climbing ropes into rugs. Apparently it's not hard to do, but time-consuming.
    – user2169
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 21:41
  • This site shows some additional uses for retired climbing rope (furniture, art, and fashion)
    – DudeOnRock
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 18:03
  • 2
    Look up Green Peak Gear, they recycle old climbing equipment xxx
    – user2593
    Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 18:50

4 Answers 4


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...

  • 5
    I love your link! Those are all great ideas! As a climber though, just keeping the old rope around (unused) can be a little dangerous. You or one of your friends might grab the wrong rope one day. It's best if the rope is clearly labeled as old, or used in an art project. Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 16:51
  • 1
    @theJollySin Good point there, not being a climber that's not something I really considered - but yes, making sure you can't grab the old rope is of paramount importance!
    – berry120
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 18:27
  • 2
    @theJollySin Yes, I'm thinking that the best alternate uses for an old rope might be those that require the rope to be cut into small pieces (making it useless for climbing and avoiding someone using it accidentally).
    – Roflo
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 21:38

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.

  • another game to play is Cob-Web
    – WedaPashi
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 10:18

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:

So You Want to Make a Rope Rug Eh!

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.

  • 2
    I'd even say that a harness that is too old or damaged should be made unusable (by cutting the waist and leg loops completely) before throwing it out, just to make sure nobody "rescues" it and endangers themselves. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 9:16

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.