Storing a long rope correctly is not that complicated – you just have to follow some ground rules.
Cleaning it up correctly, tying it the right way, and storing it in the right spot will ensure that the rope retains its strength and remains reliable.
But what is the right way of cleaning a rope? Will any knot keep the rope from getting tangled?
How to store a long rope correctly?
I’ll answer those questions and more in this post.
How To Store A Long Rope (The Right Way)
Step #1: Clean It
Before you get to tying the rope for hassle-free use the next time, you must clean it properly.
Regardless of how you use the rope, dirt, salt, or other waste will eventually work their way into the rope’s fibers.
These substances will damage and weaken the rope – not immediately, but over time.
You don’t have to use soap. Rinsing with fresh water a few times will usually do the trick.
However, if you have a climbing rope at hand or your rope is really dirty, you can use some mild soap to clean it.
Do not use detergent! It will damage the fibers and weaken the rope.
After cleaning it with water and soap (if required), you must let the rope dry. But there’s a right way and a wrong way of drying the rope.
The wrong way is to leave your rope in the sun. The heat and light from the sun weaken the rope.
The right way is to let the rope air dry in a spot out of direct sunlight. Let it dry out entirely before you tie it.
Step #2: Tie It
There are several knots that you can choose from to make sure your rope doesn’t get tangled.
The Buntline/Gasket coil is both easy to do and keeps your rope from getting tangled.
To do it, grab one end of the rope and place it between your left thumb and forefinger. Grasp the rope with your right hand, and create a distance of roughly three feet between your two palms.
Don’t let go of the rope, but adjust your right hand, so you’re holding it with your thumb and forefinger, just like you are with your left hand.
Bring your right hand to your left hand, close enough that the tips of your thumbs meet. A loop will have formed. Slip the loop in your left hand, and run your right hand down the working end of the rope again.
Try to get the same length of rope between your hands as you did the first time. Bring your hands together and make another loop. Repeat making loops until roughly three feet of rope remains.
Use the last of the rope to wrap the rope. When less than a foot of rope remains, pull the end through the closest loop and tie it in place.
If you tie this coil right, you will be able to grab the end you wrapped with and throw the rest of the rope away from you – it will unroll itself.
A chain sinnet coil is slightly more complicated to tie, but it’s an excellent way of ensuring that a super long rope never gets tangled.
The first step to making the “daisy chain” coil is to find the middle of the rope. You can make this easy by holding the two ends of the rope together and running you hands down the rope till you find where it’s bent.
Tie a knot there to mark the middle point of the rope, and step on the two ends of the rope – it’s easier to make the coil if the rope is taught when you’re working it.
Slip your left hand through the knot you made, and pass roughly two feet of the rope to it with your right hand.
Pull the working end of the rope through the knot with your left hand, and let the weight of the rope carry itself down. You will now have the new loop in your left hand.
Slip your left hand through the new loop, pass some rope to it with your right, pull it through, and let the weight of the rope carry it down.
Repeat till you have roughly one foot of rope left to work with. Tie a simple overhand knot with the remainder of the rope to finish.
If you’re confused, don’t worry – ITS Tactical has a clear video tutorial that you can follow to make this loop.
You can store the chain sennet rope anywhere you like without worrying about it tangling.
If you want to open the knot, grab the end you tied the final overhand knot with, open the knot up with the two rear ends of the rope in your left hand, and drop the rope from your right hand. It will untie itself.
Step #3: Store it
Storing the rope in the right spot is perhaps the most critical part of the process.
You can work with a slightly dirty or a tangled rope, but once it’s weakened due to the conditions it was stored in, you cannot use it.
Keep your rope away from chemicals, since they can damage it and cause it to break under tension.
If you notice any chemical spilled on your rope, throw it away. Do not use it under any circumstance.
Store the rope away from the sun, since the sun’s UV rays damage the fibers over time.
Also, don’t leave it in the garden or around wet surfaces, since the fibers shrink when wet, causing the rope to stretch more than it should when in use. It will snap when used the next time.
A closet, shed, or garage is the right spot for rope storage. Lay it on a flat surface, or hang it on a hook/nail.
You now know how to store a long rope – excellent!
But before you use any rope, even if it’s one you’re sure you stored correctly, visually inspect it for fraying.
I’d also recommend going the extra mile and tugging on the rope to find weak spots.
The longevity of the rope is a priority, but safety always comes first!