Coiling & Storing Rope

Coiling - Wrap 2 H

Here are a few ways to coil and/or store your ropes.

This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are *many* others… 🙂

See the Picture & Text sections below for some pros and cons of the various options.

Storage - Chain Stitch H

If you have the space and privacy, consider just hanging your rope over a dowel rod.

You will only want to do this if you have a rod that is a little wider so that you don’t kink your rope too sharply.

For the ropes I use every day, I hang them in my closet just like this!

Storage - Hanging

If you don’t want to hang your rope, it is useful to keep it in convenient bundles, called “hanks”. 

One of the more useful ways to do this is in a Figure-8 pattern. By doing this, the hank will be less likely to become tangled. 

This technique is good for coiling rope for short/mid-term storage or for travel. 

For longer-term storage

If you will be storing your rope for more than a week or two, do one more thing…  This helps protect the bight and is better if you are going to store your ropes for a longer time.

When you are ready to use your rope…

This approach is very stable; however, I personally don’t often use it.  If you leave your rope stored in this way for a while, it tends to be a bit kinky when undone.  ::Pauses for the obvious joke::   I prefer my ropes to be straight, so I don’t use this for long-term storage.

That said, this can be a good choice when you need to wash your ropes.  Put it into a loose chain stitch and throw it into a laundry bag.  This will allow the water and soap better access than the above options would.

Uncoiling & Use

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  1. I’ve tried lots of ways to store rope but never loved any style I used and would sometimes not even bother properly storing them right away… Like laundry on the floor next to a hamper, so sad… I even tried some ways based on rocking climbing and various styles they use (Which are better suited to 70 and 80 meter lengths of 9-10mm ropes, unfortunately).

    Finally though I discovered a way I really like and it hasn’t failed to keep the ropes put away yet because it’s just so fast, simple, and clean. So, what you do, based on your preference of starting with the tail or bite end, (I prefer starting with the bite even if it means I open my rope back up by holding the tails and throwing the bite side out and then have to “chase” is down and switch the rope around).

    So hold the rope out in front of you pulling it through your hands and forming 22-24 inch long coils or bends of the rope until you have just enough rope left to do a simple coil wrap somewhere around the middle and then just pull it taunt through itself and the last wrap you make.

    No need to mess with trying to make 10, 12, or 20 bends of rope only 8-10 inches long and then trying to keep them clean and wrap them up too.

    I picked this up from marie.sauvage on one of her insta vids.

    Oh I also like wrapping and finishing from Bite to tails too because I can flake it as I coil and it’s a little more wear on the rope where you do your storage wrap and the ends of rope aren’t where you put a lot of regular load, use, and wear and tear. Versus the bite side though where you know a lot more regular use is happening so hopefully by using the tail side to finish you are spreading that stress out.

    1. Very cool! Thank you for sharing that with us! And good thought about the wear on the bight end, I’ll have to give that some thought…

  2. The biggest problem I’ve had with the chain stitch is my rope ends up holding a twist/self coil after a while making tie harder during a scene.

    1. Agreed. The only time I use that technique is when I am washing my rope. (Then I dry it under tension to make it straight again). That said, some people really like that technique.

  3. I do like chain stitching. Clip a carabiner through all your rope bights and then hang them. 🙂

  4. Hi, very useful stuff!
    I would like to see here also a bit about washing the ropes and general rope maintenance.


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