How to Rappel in an Emergency

If you’re ever caught in a rocky situation and need to rappel down a cliff, the proper technique is important for both your safety and rate of descent. Learn how to rappel safely with these tips from local mountain rescue teams.

An emergency rappel kit is a tool that allows you to rappel down the side of a building or cliff. It can be used in situations where it isn’t safe to use a rope.

Poster by Art of Manliness regarding how to rappel in emergency situation.

Rappelling, in an ideal circumstance, is a deliberate, well-secured action that follows a successful ascent. Not only should such a setting be safe, but it should also be enjoyable. Rappelling, on the other hand, isn’t often the last ride after a long day of climbing. It’s sometimes an essential survival tactic to help you get out of a tight circumstance. Climbers who go into the bush or climbers who find themselves at the top of a cliff with no defined path down need to know how to rappel with just a rope. Rappelling on the fly is simple if you have a strong rope and a solid anchor. Here’s how to execute the “expedient rappel,” as it’s also known.

1st, choose an anchor. Wrap your rope around a strong, deep-rooted tree or a sturdy rock or boulder.

2: Toss both rope ends over the edge of the cliff. Make sure they don’t become twisted and reach the bottom.

3: Lie down on your back and straddle the double rope. Pull the rope over your right thigh and across your chest diagonally. Over your left shoulder, over your back, and to your right hip, thread the rope.

4: With your left hand, hold the rope in front of you, and with your right hand, hold the rope behind you. As you go backwards over the edge, lean on the rope.

5: Reverse your steps down the cliff, feeding the rope over your body until you reach the bottom.

6: Pull one end of the rope from the anchor after you’ve reached the bottom safely.

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Ted Slampyak created the artwork.



Rappelling is a technique used to descend from a height, using control lines and anchors. It can be done using a single rope or by using two ropes that are braided together. To rappel with a figure 8, the climber will tie one end of the rope around their waist, then tie the other end around their foot. They then take this line in hand and wrap it over their shoulder and under their arm before tying it off again at their waist. Reference: how to rappel with a figure 8.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you rappel without equipment?

A: You use a rappelling device. It is not possible to rappel without equipment because the friction from hand over rope would cause it to slip and you could fall, likely injuring yourself or someone else below.

How do you rappel out of a building?

A: You would either break the windows with a hammer and then slide out, or you could rappel down from the top.

Can you rappel with a tactical belt?

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