How to Make a Rope Ladder

A rope ladder is a very useful tool if you’re stranded in the wilderness and require an escape route. This is because it takes up less room than other structures such as tents or tarps, can be made quickly using natural materials (rope), and will not take up much of your resources when building it. Although there are many ways to construct a rope ladder, this article will only cover one method: The X-style Ladder

A rope ladder is a useful tool that can be used to get up high places, or cross gaps. It is made by using a piece of rope and tying it to another object. You can also make one without wood by using a strong vine instead. Read more in detail here: how to build a rope ladder without wood.

Rope ladder with wooden rungs.

Bryan Black wrote this article, which originally appeared on ITS Tactical.

If you grew up on the second story, you undoubtedly fantasized about how you’d get out the window and onto the ground in the event of a fire, and how great it would be to use a rope ladder to go down. However, it’s possible that your parents never purchased you that ladder and you didn’t know how to create one.

Today, I’ll teach you how to make a rope ladder in such an easy manner that you’ll wonder how you never heard about it before!

What you’ll see here is a field-friendly method for swiftly putting up a ladder in a rescue emergency or finishing out a Pioneering project. This is a really useful method that you should add to your tangled toolkit.

Ladder Securing 

Because natural fiber rope, such as Manila, holds hardwood rungs better, this ladder lashing should be made using it. Because of how it bites into wood, especially rough wood, natural fiber is always preferable than nylon (or even paracord) in lashing circumstances. Natural fiber rope may be soaked in water before lashing to strengthen the grip as it dries in the lashed position.

Another thing to keep in mind about this lashing, which I also explain in the video below, is that there are other, more solid methods to lash a ladder together. The ratings below show that this lashing isn’t very stable under abnormal load. Because the rungs may shift out from beneath a strong weight, this is the case. Even while I suggest rescue uses for this lashing, please keep in mind that this would only be used in instances when swiftly assembling a ladder is essential.

(Difficulty: 1/Strength: 3/Secure: 3/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 3/Difficulty: 3/Difficulty: 3/Difficulty: 3/Difficul

For an explanation of what these ratings signify, please see this page.


  • Expedient Rescue/Climbing in the Field
  • On Pioneering Projects, a ladder is used to access higher levels.


  • Rope with two equal strands
  • For rungs, use wood poles or tree branches.

Instructions for tying:

Checking rope quality.

Begin by whipping the ends of two equal strands of natural fiber rope (dental floss works excellent!).

Two Timber Hitches are tied to a fixed point.

Use a Timber Hitch to secure each strand to a fixed position, as shown in the video and photographs below:

Man binding the rope with pipe.

Man tighten the rope with pipe.

Man tighten the rope with pipe.

Man tighten the rope with pipe.

Man tighten the rope with pipe and securing each strand.

Man pull down rope for checking the tightness.

Two parallel rope tighten with pipe.

Man checking the tightness of the two ropes.

With both hands turned thumbs down, reach towards the two strands. Allow each strand to rest in the groove of your thumb or index finger, allowing your fingers to wrap around them.

Man folding the two ropes in his hands.

Make loops with each hand by turning your thumbs rightside up.

Man making holes of ropes.

Pull the upright portion of each strand through the loop in each hand with your thumbs inserted into the loops.

Fitted the wooden pieces of rungs in two ropes.

For the following phase, you’ll need some solid posts or wood pieces to make as many ladder rungs as you need (the rungs we used are around 16′′ apiece). Insert the rung into the space produced behind the standing section you dragged through each loop with the help of a friend. To make more rungs, repeat the procedure.


*You may execute this approach without a partner, but you’ll need to complete each side one at a time so you’ll have a free hand to hold and enter the rung.

To see all of the steps in action, watch the video.


To see all of the steps in action, watch the video.

ITS Tactical (Imminent Threat Solutions) is a fantastic website maintained by Military Veterans and Special Operations personnel that provides skill-set education, tactical gear evaluations, and DIY projects to help you live better and survive any situation. Check them out and sign up to become a member!



The “how to make a rope ladder for playground” is a how-to article on how to make a rope ladder. The article includes pictures and diagrams of the process.

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