Did you ever think about rope and survival in the same sentence or scenario?
Well, if you didn’t, you should from now on because one of THE essential items in any respectable survival kit or bug out bag is a strong, solid piece of rope. What kind of rope should you use, though?
To tell you the truth folks, the old-school rope used by our ancestors to drag stones, tie up vindictive wives and hang total strangers is almost obsolete; paracord is the new kid on the block for good reason but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Now, if you were wondering about what type of rope you should buy, and why, for your BOB or your emergency survival kit (because there are lots of choices on the market, believe me), this article is about to enlighten you.
Let’s start with the most common types of outdoor/survival ropes commercially available and later in the article we’ll concentrate on the best choice. You’ve probably already guessed which we think is best but let’s play it by the book and give you your options so you can decide for yourself.
The twisted rope aka laid rope looks like a spiral and it’s usually made of three strands (polypropylene wire most of the time) twisted together, hence the name. This is not the strongest nor the best rope design out there but nevertheless, it has its uses – it’s impervious to water and it also sinks, unlike many others types of rope – and it’s dirt cheap.
Definitely not a good choice for a survival rope, though. It rots quickly and isn’t agile. Also, it’s bulky and the individual strands aren’t that useful alone. In this case, you get what you pay for but it’s better than nothing in a pinch.
Braided ropes are built by weaving fiber strands and come in 2 types: hollow and double braided. This kind of rope is very popular in marine applications but for survival, we would stay away from this beast. Braided ropes rot quickly, they stretch and they don’t unbraid well. They are fairly strong when new, though.