Many climbers amass a lot of old equipment, particularly climbing ropes. But just because the rope isn’t suitable for ascending doesn’t indicate you have to discard it. You’ve undoubtedly gone through several climbing ropes if you’ve been trekking for a while 

There are many reasons to resign a climbing rope, including excessive wear, scratches, and falls. So, what to do with old climbing ropes? 

We’ve put together a list of upcycling ideas for old ropes and alternative applications and places to sell or recycle them! The possibilities are unlimited, from a rope blanket to a forest swing made from an old nylon rope. 

What to Do With Old Climbing Ropes
What to Do With Old Climbing Ropes?

How to Repurpose an Old Climbing Rope 

You’ve explored everything, but the time has come for the preferred rope climbing career to end soon. Instead of tossing it away (however, do not), keep it. But, as we’ll see later, there are a few best activities you can enjoy with your faithful buddy. 

You may upcycle the climbing rope and give the rope life in the house or garden by being crafty and imaginative. It may make the best gift for the climber.

1) Rug with ropes 

How to Repurpose an Old Climbing Rope

A rope carpet is a fun and easy way to incorporate climbing into the house. Many videos will teach you how to make a braided rope rug out of an old nylon rope, which is perfect for the restroom or the front door. A huge wooden plank, some nails, a wire, and the pattern are all you’ll need. Use two separate colored old strands for added style points. 

This round variation of a rope rug is a good choice. Because the design is easy to create in a circular shape, you have size options. The round pattern of numerous climbing ropes, with its multi-colored design, provides a unique finish to living areas or rooms. 

You may try your best to make your rope carpet pattern if you’re getting ambitious. There are so many various patterns to choose from, so it’s a fantastic chance to test out new styles! 

2) Clothesline 

Use it as a clothesline if you’re want something less inventive. It is a quick and easy method to give the rope a new lease on life. Llay your garments over the string to dry them in the yard, basement, or balcony. 

If you wish to utilize clothespins, you will need to detach the core of the string and only use the covering. You may even look for some gigantic plastic clips that will fit around the old rope. 

3) Drink coaster 

It’s super quick. There’s no reason you shouldn’t keep a few older rope coasters on hand at all times. Build your own with the help of simple tutorials available online. 

Drink coaster from climbing rope

4) Rope ladders 

A ladder may be required as a fire exit from a balcony to gain entry to a treehouse or simply as a fun element to a play area. 

5) Climbing rope bracelet 

Older climbing rope can be worn in different ways, like necklaces, bracelets, or earrings. Most of these don’t need much in the way of knowledge or expertise, and you may get inventive with whatever materials you have on hand.

Many antique climbing rope bracelets, for example, are rope tied in a beautiful or artistic knot. An easy bracelet fashioned by fusing the tips of two ropes is a stylish piece of jewelry! 

6) Leash for dogs 

Dog leash from climbing rope

The best thing about a dog leash is that it can withstand indefinite abuse. The old climbing ropes may not be strong enough to grab your 20-foot whipper, but they will hold the 70 lb German shepherd. 

The dog leash is simple to create and incorporates a repurposed carabiner. To begin, cut your existing climbing rope 2 feet larger than the length of the preferred leash. Attach the clip to the loop, and you’re done. You will have a leash for your dog. 

You may use this method, which knits together two sections of nylon rope, for a much more sturdy dog collar or if you need a narrower one. 

7) Beer koozie 

Make your beer koozie out of an old rope. 

8) Furniture made of rope 

Creating furniture from the discarded climbing rope can be done in a variety of ways. A small chair with a rope base is an example. 

If you have a bunch of old ropes stacked in a closet and some free time, this will be a fun project to do. 

What’s a Climbing Rope’s Average Lifespan?

Nylon strands are used in ropes, which degrade with time. Strings do have a lifespan. Most of these variables are more evident, like a large fall or severe damage, but others, like the influence of UV radiation or chemical exposure, can progressively damage your rope. 

And, given that the rope is essentially your life, it’s worth learning a bit about how far you can stretch it before it becomes unsafe. 

If you don’t choose the climbing rope and it stays in your cabinet for ten years, it’s time to get rid of it. That’s what most of the brands advise. 

Based on how much you jump on it, the endurance of the nylon rope will be reduced. It is necessary to check it regularly, clean it as needed, and preserve it appropriately. You must inspect the equipment to ensure that it is still suitable to use. Whenever you come home after climbing or cleaning gear are two good moments to do it. 

Don’t delay until you arrive at the cliff to evaluate your rope since you may find that it isn’t sufficient! It may endure up to one year if used once per week, three years if used multiple times per month, and five years if used around once per month. 

how to clean climbing rope

How Does the Rope Lifespan Get Shorter?  

Below are mentioned some of the factors that influence the lifespan of the climbing rope: 


It is discovered that severe wear on rugged or pointed rock edges” produced 85 percent of rope breakdowns. The other damages were caused by corrosive chemicals contaminating the system. 

Absorption power

When a rope is weighted, a part of its capacity to absorb power is lost. However, a rope that has been weighted and then allowed to rest will regain some of its original performance; it can never entirely recover. A rope’s ability to recover is reduced. 

Reduce your resistance 

The rope must be able to endure getting broken during falling. Cutting resistance is determined by the amount of abrasion available. Another aspect of cut resistance is force retention; if the rope can take more energy, the fall load is exerted to the edges is less. 

Furthermore, there are endless possibilities when considering how the climbing rope is stressed, the radius across which it is carried, and the abrasiveness of the edge. 

If any of the following conditions exist, the rope should be retired: 

  • The hazy region has become degraded, and the core may be seen. 
  • The fuzzy part has become so faded that you may detect a large amount of substance has been lost. 
  • If the level of fuzz appears to affect the belay device’s skills to withstand it properly, quit using it. 
  • Avoid using the ropes if it has other undesirable qualities, including being chewy or mushy. 
  • If the rope fails other inspections, it should not be used. 

How Do You Keep the Rope Going?  

If any harm is detected in the first few centimeters of the ropes, you can always cut the tips if you feel comfortable doing so. 

If the rope has a central mark, ensure to remove it or break the same amount of rope at both sides. Another approach is to utilize the ropes for top-roping and rappelling instead of lead climbing as it will absorb fewer shocks. 

It’s a great way to maintain a rope use journal so you may recollect which rope you took for what or how many drops you took with it. In general, use tarps when outside to keep the climbing rope tidy to prevent it from degrading. 

Avoid exposing the rope to the sunlight or soaking it in water since this will gradually degrade the strands and reduce their elasticity, specifically when wet. Furthermore, to avoid huge whippers, keep protective gear at a safe distance from one another. 

How to Cut Your Climbing Rope 

Cut a Climbing Rope

Cutting and sealing the rope’s ends is sometimes the greatest approach to improving the rope’s durability. Head over to our special guide on cutting a climbing rope the right way.

The deterioration of the rope is concentrated near the edges, and that’s what causes the rope to fall. Reducing a meter or so off the tip of the rope, on the other hand, allows you to use it for much longer. 

Rather than Recycling, Upcycle the Old Rope

You may be wondering what reusing is. This description is accurate, and it indicates that you find an innovative way to put something outdated into the new application. Reusability is the polar opposite of recycling. 

The term recycling refers to the process of converting resources and products into lower-quality raw materials. When recycling something, the nylon rope is broken down into little bits and reused.

Upcycling, on the other hand, is making a new item out of older, higher-quality components. Upcycling the rope is better, and you will be able to make something useful for your home.

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