How to Make a Prusik Cord
A quick note before the instructions: if you don’t want to make your own prusik loop from cord you can buy one presewn into a loop and ready to use. Both the Sterling Ropes Hollow Block and the BlueWater Ropes Sewn Prusik Loop are good choices. For use as an autoblock to back up a rappel choose a prusik loop around 20 inches long. For general purpose climbing and rappelling the 7mm diameter version is good.
Buy Accessory Cord for Making a Prusik Loop
Step 1: Purchase 6mm or thicker nylon accessory cord. Spectra/Dyneema is not recommended due to it’s low melting point.
Get Together the Equipment for Making Prusik Cord
Step 2: Get out scissors or a knife, a lighter, a tape measure, and (optionally) electrical tape.
Cut Cord to Length
Step 3: 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 by about 10″ (25cm).
Use a Fisherman’s Knot to Connect the Cord Ends
Step 4: Using one end of the cord, tie a double fisherman’s knot around the other end. Use a triple fisherman’s knot on 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.
Finish Securing the Prusik Loop with a Second Fisherman’s Knot
Step 5: Tie a double (or triple) fisherman’s knot in the same way on the other end of the cord. Again, 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.
Pull the Fisherman’s Knots Tight Against Each Other
Step 6: Pull the cord until the fisherman’s knots are tight against each other.
(Optional) Finish the Prusik Loop with Tape
Step 7: Tape the tails to the loop so that they don’t get snagged and so you and other climbers can tell which prusik loop is yours.
Step 8: 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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