How to Butterfly Coil a Rope

How to Butterfly Coil a Rope
The butterfly coil, also known as a backpack coil or climbers coil, is one of the most used coils by climbers because it is relatively easy to make and keeps the rope organized. How to make the butterfly coil should be a part of every climber's and mountaineer's basic knowledge. This coil can also be fitted to a person's back so that they can carry the rope hands-free, enabling them to hike or scramble while carrying the rope.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Climbing rope
  • Climbing rope
Step 1
Flake out the rope on the ground. This way you start with an untangled rope and it is easier and faster to make a butterfly coil. This also provides a time to inspect your rope for any weak spots, cuts, frays or other signs of damage.
Step 2
Pick up one end of the rope and using your body as an object to wrap the rope on, make arm span-length segments with the rope. Do so by holding one end with your left hand and wrapping the rope over your shoulders, behind your neck and grabbing the rope at your right hand.
Step 3
Keep hold of the rope in both hands as you loop the rope back and forth at equal lengths across your shoulders. Leave about 8 feet of uncoiled rope so that you can wrap it.
Step 4
Lift the rope off your shoulders keeping the ends at equal lengths and bend the whole thing in half (about where your neck was). Hang it over one arm and use the loose end to wrap the whole thing. Make 3 to 4 wraps just above the midpoint and leave at least 4 feet or more loose.
Step 5
Use your remaining 4 feet and make a bight through the top of the coil. Tuck both ends through it. From here you can either carry the coil as is or you can use one strand over each shoulder, crossing them at your lower back and then bringing around front and tying at your waist.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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