How to Make a Prusik Cord


How to Make a Prusik Cord

1. Purchase 5mm nylon accessory cord. Spectra/Dyneema is not recommended due to it’s low melting point unless specifically designed for this application. You’ll also need scissors or a knife, a lighter, a tape measure, and electrical tape.

Equipment for Making Prusik Cord

How to Make a Prusik Cord

2. Cut a length of cord about 60″ (152cm) long. This will produce a Prusik cord of about 20 inches in length. This is a good length for a general purpose cord for use as an Auto-Bloc for rappelling. Longer Prusik cords are also sometimes used in other applications.
Loop the cord around so that the two ends are overlapping. Overlap the cord by about 10″ (25cm).

Cord for Making Prusik Cord

Cord for Making Prusik Cord
3. Using one end of the cord, tie a double fisherman’s knot around the other end. Use a triple fisherman’s knot with cord with a slippery sheath. Be sure to leave about a 1 to 2″ (2.5 to 5cm) tail coming out of the knot. Make sure the knot is very tight.

One Triple Fisherman’s Knot in Prusik Cord

One Fisherman's Knot in Prusik Cord
4. Tie a double (or triple) fisherman’s knot in the same way on the other end of the cord. Be sure to leave about a 1 to 2″ (2.5 to 5cm) tail coming out of the knot. Make sure the knot is very tight.
Two Triple Fisherman’s Knots in Prusik Cord

Two Fisherman's Knots in Prusik Cord

5. Pull the cord until the fisherman’s knots are tight against each other.

Fisherman’s Knots Together on Prusik Cord

Fisherman's Knots Together

6. Tape the tails to the loop so that they don’t get snagged.

Finished Prusik Cord

Prusik Cord


7. You now have a Prusik cord. Have an experienced climber check it before use.

Looking for more rock climbing how to’s? Check out How to Wash a Climbing Rope.

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5 thoughts on “How to Make a Prusik Cord”

  1. What is the minimum caliber or gauge recomended (cord) to use for a prussik cord used on a life line for a 250 lbs person?

    1. Five millimeter cord is commonly used for a prusik rappel backup for normal climbing purposes (not search and rescue or guiding when the cord may have to support multiple people). It will support a 250 pound climber but if you’re worried about it go with 6mm cord.

      Rock Climbing: The AMGA Single Pitch Manual recommends 6mm for guiding as “A thinner cord will grip better, but below 6mm in diameter, the cord will be too weak for many rescue applications.” I’m not sure I’m understanding what you mean by “life line” so you may need something else if the application is not rappel backup.

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