The Outdoor Knots Book

Whether you camp, climb, sail, or paddle, ropes and knots figure into the equation. Follow these tips for proper rope care and maintenance.

  • Don’t just take the rope out of the bag and go! Unroll the rope from its coil first, and stop kinks before they happen.
  • Ropes can, and do, shrink. Measure yours at least once a year to make sure it doesn’t come up short.
  • Protect your ropes from sharp edges and abrasion. Avoid them if you can, and use a rope guard if an edge just can’t be gotten around.
  • Dry your ropes before storing them, and keep them in a cool, protected place. Shelter them from sunlight, moisture, and chemical exposure of any kind.
  • Check your ropes for damage by applying tension and feeling the length for any weird lumps, bumps, depressions, or stiff sections.


--Adapted from The Outdoor Knots Book by Clyde Soles (The Mountaineers Books, $14.95 paperback).


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