How to Make a Boy Scout Rope Ladder

How to Make a Boy Scout Rope Ladder
A basic field construction skill taught to many an avid outdoorsman in the Boy Scouts is how to make a rope ladder. In its most basic form, making a rope ladder requires nothing more than a length of rope. No tools beyond your own hands are really necessary. Once the ladder is made, it can be used for everything from tree houses to scaling overhangs to use on boats and swimming platforms.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape (optional)
  • Pocket knife (possible)
  • Weights (optional)
Step 1
Lay the rope on a table or the ground so that it forms a big, even "U" shape.
Step 2
Take one end of the right-side rope and run your hands down to pull out roughly one foot of rope. If you do not have a measuring tape, run down the length of your forearm.
Step 3
Make a form shaped like a squashed "S" at the end of that section of rope you just pulled out.
Step 4
Take the left side of the rope and start threading it through the S. First, run it through the eye in the first, left bend of the S, and then up and under the bottom curve. Wrap the rope around all of the S shape three or four times, and then tie off the wrapping by bringing the rope through the eye of the second, right bend of the S shape at the end. This completes the first rung of your Boy Scout rope ladder.
Step 5
Repeat steps 2 through 4 to create successive rungs until you have the rope ladder of the desired length. Trim off excess rope if you think that is necessary.

Tips & Warnings

In many applications, it is a good idea to tie some 2- to 4-pound weights to the bottom of each leg of the rope ladder.
Just because you have a well-tied rope ladder does not mean it will bear your weight. Make sure that you have chosen rope that is rated to bear at least 250 pounds for general use and heavier if you anticipate that the rope will bear greater-than-average loads.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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