Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Even you can climb a rope with a Prusik knot

2013 Best Ranger CompetitionOne of the things you should be spending your time learning how to do in case you’re in a survival situation is learning how to tie knots. It’s really cheap (only costs a good climbing rope or even shoestring to practice) and you can learn from lots of websites or books. There are a LOT of knots out there. This post is about the Prusik knot.

So… What would you do if you were faced with a situation where you needed to climb a rope to get out of a situation or into somewhere? Could you climb it with just your bare hands? It’s a lot harder than it seems. What if you had to carry your gear on your back? What if it was a really long rope? What about the other people in your group – could they?

The wonderful thing about a Prusik knot is that it takes a rope and essentially turns it into a kind of ladder. Here’s a quick video that shows how to use a Prusik to climb out if you’ve fallen while climbing and are on a rope. It’s made for climbers but you’ll see how easy it is to climb using this knot.

But how do you tie a Prusik knot? Surprisingly, it’s one of the easiest knots to learn. It does take a bit of practice though to get your lengths correct. If you don’t want to keep two lengths of rope ready (or even already looped), just figure out how long you need it in order for it to all tie up correctly, and then however many fully stretched armlengths you need as a reference so you could cut off rope later on. The nice thing about doing them in advance is that you can also tie in a long, flat knot to step on or even throw a foot’s-width of pvc pipe to step on in the loop. I’ll have to make a video of that some time but you don’t need to do it that way.

Here’s a great video that shows how to tie a Prusik knot.

Here’s how you do it in Ranger School. It seems a bit more complicated but that’s because it’s the Army.

So get ya some rope, sit down with these videos (or order a kindle or a book if you really want to get into knots)

About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.


  1. Thanks. Great information.

  2. Good post GP, I hope people know this knot or learn it! The reason the Ranger School method seems harder is because dead soldiers can’t do their job. I always do it the Ranger way with the figure 8 retrace. Too bad neither video showed what to do with the other end(s), One of the biggest mistakes I see in even experienced climbers is not securing the tails of the ropes coming from the Prusik. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 feet up or 120 feet up if the tail pulls through your butt will accelerate earthward at a rapid rate. For example with a double fisherman’s knot/Prusik loop, a double overhand knot on each tail is the least I ask my soldiers to do. By the way, to your readers, we use it to traverse as well as climb.

  3. Doug Morrison says

    Thank you for your service and this intel…

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