Would you know how to climb up or down a rope during an emergency? (Survival technique)

Sometimes, the only way to safety is by either climbing or rappelling a rope. But doing so using the gym method (i.e. relying solely on your hands’ strength), or using the military technique (i.e. relying on your legs and hands’ strength), takes a-lot of energy, will probably leave you exhausted, and may lead to injuries or worst.

In this post we’ll learn a survival rope method for climbing and rappelling that will enable you to create a makeshift ladder from a rope, and thus eliminate the need to be super fit in order to use it.

Click the image below to watch the video:
How to Climb a Rope in an Emergency








Do we need any special equipment for this technique?
We do, but fortunately, there’s not much to it. As a part of your EDC you should already have your paracord bracelet with about 7ft (2m) of paracord. This technique requires more paracord, so you’ll need to add about 100 ft (30m) of paracord to your EDC backpack, which can be weaved into a belt, or rolled into a compact pack.

Another thing you’ll need, which should already be a part of your core gear, is some type of boots that have a distinct groove in the center of the sole.

Do we need any special preparations before performing this technique?
We found that taking a few minutes to prepare the survival ladder beforehand, goes a long way. It will save you the effort of trying to adjust the loops on the go and thus make the entire endeavor a lot safer (not having to let go of the rope). So let’s get to it, here’s how to prepare the ladder:

  1. Cut the paracord into 1 yard sections (1m). The number of sections depends on the length of the ladder (discussed in the next steps).
  2. For each section, tie both ends together, using a double square knot, to form a loop. Each loop should be about 0.5 yard long (0.5m).
  3. Tie each section to the rope, using a Prusik Knot:
  4. Tighten the Prusik knot, to make the loop firm in its location.
  5. Place the first loop at the height of your foot when you raise it so your knee is at about 90 degrees (this is a friction knot, so all you need to do is loosen it a little in order to adjust its location).
  6. Place the next loop about 1 ft (30 cm) apart from the first one and so on until the end of the rope (optimally), or space the loops equally apart according to the amount of paracord you have. If you only need to rappel down, you can space the loops at 1.5 ft (0.5m) apart since it’s much less labor intensive.

Now that our ladder is ready, here’s how to climb up or rappel down:

  1. Place your foot in the first loop – the string should be in the middle groove of your boot.
  2. Hold on to the rope with both hands, step on the string and lift yourself up.
  3. Find your balance, place your other leg in the next loop and step on it so you move up the rope.
  4. Repeat and keep climbing up, one foot at a time, and move your hands up as your legs push you up.

Important tips:

  1. Practice makes perfect – the first step is the hardest since you’ll have to stabilize yourself on the rope, and balance your center of gravity.
  2. When stepping on the string, point down with your toes – this will keep your center of gravity above your legs and put less strain on your hands.
  3. After straightening your leg, lock your knee – this will make you more stable.
  4. Keep the rope close to your body, using your hands – it will help you with your balance.
  5. If you’re able to, you can use one of your hands to help place your foot into the next loop, or just use your foot to gently kick the loop into place.
  6. If you need a rest – take it! Don’t push yourself too hard, as it may put too much strain on your muscles, which may result in falls and injuries.
  7. It’s recommended to secure yourself to the rope when climbing or rappelling, but it will require you to be able to hold yourself with only one hand, when you make the safety adjustments – you can attach a carabiner to your belt and then attach it to the loop at its level each time you lift yourself. Or you can use some paracord to secure your belt to the rope using a Prusik knot. Your pants and belt should be strong enough to hold your entire body weight, so it’s always recommended to wear a cobra buckle and tactical pants.
  8. If you only have the paracord bracelet, you can create 2 loops and move them up or down the rope to create the ladder as you go, but this technique requires a lot more practice, balance and strength.

To Sum Up:
Using the survival rope method will allow you to climb up or rappel down a rope without having the fitness level of a SEAL operator. All it takes is to carry some more paracord in your EDC, and have a strong pair of boots with a groove in their sole. It’s very important to practice this technique, in order to get a feel of using a rope, and how to balance yourself on it – you DO NOT want an emergency to be the first time you use this technique, or any other technique for that matter!

Did YOU ever have to use a rope in an emergency situation?
Tell us your story, we’d love to hear it!

Please leave a comment below – I love getting your feedback and I read each and every single comment!

Coming up:
Being taken hostage and tied up is one of the most frightening situations – in the next post we’ll learn how to break free when your hands and legs are bound by zip-ties and give some more information about how to handle being taken hostage.

I can’t wait to share all of this with you,

So until then – Stay Safe!!

Your friend always,

Roy Shepard

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