Climbing Rope as Sleeping Pad?

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Home Forums Gear Forums Multiple Use Gear Climbing Rope as Sleeping Pad?

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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    kristen buckland


    Locale: Colorado

    Basically what the title says, has anyone had success using a climbing rope instead of (or supplementing) a sleeping pad? Maybe throw a 1/8" CCF pad on top of the rope?

    Comfy? Warm? Stiff?

    For use on a climbing trip where you have to backpack in thus you already have to bring a rope.

    Billy Ray


    Locale: the mountains

    I did it. Once. on top of snow. It was NOT comfortable, rather it was survival :)


    Jeff Jeff
    BPL Member


    Depends on your definition of success. I don't recommend it if you have a choice in the matter.

    I take a 3/4 pad and supplement under my feet with my pack since it has a little bit of padding. Works great.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    Why don't you just try it out for yourself at home (or the nearest park…) ?
    That at least will solve the "comfy or not" bit.

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Poor insulator and as lumpy as all hell.
    Survival for a sit-bivy on a ledge – sure. If you have to.


    Matt Dirksen
    BPL Member


    Locale: Mid Atlantic

    And not a great way to take care of your rope, either.
    Any dirt that got itself stuck in the rope would simply get mashed into it, likely breaking the rope down more quickly.

    In other words: not good for your back, and not good for your equipment.

    kristen buckland


    Locale: Colorado

    Thanks guys, pretty much what I figured.

    Allen C
    BPL Member


    I did this my first two trips up El Cap, before I knew better. It is not comfy at all but definitely better than sleeping directly on rock or dirt. A Z-light or Ridgerest is a much better option however, and you could still use the rope or your pack under your legs if you bring a short pad.

    Dave @ Oware
    BPL Member


    Locale: East Washington

    I tried it sleeping below the Dana Couloir for a night. There was some forest duff under it anyway so I slept warm enough. It adds some warmth, but no protection from wetness like a foam pad.

    Gregory Stein
    BPL Member


    Locale: Upper Galilee

    Can you throw some sheet of poly (or cuben if you’re UL) on the rope? You can even “wrap” the rope when it is snake-folded. This will trap more air in-between the loops and provide more insulation. As for comfort – you can bring some thin pad like those of GossamerGear and save the weight of the full-length thick pad.

    Don’t give-up on your ideas. Even if people here say this is a totally weird idea and it won’t work. THe key-concept is develop it through trial and error. Practice as much as you can at home first.

    Richard Mock
    BPL Member


    Locale: The piney woods

    Better than nothing, I have also heard of climbers wrapping rope around their torso as insulation i an emergency situation.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Australia

    Scanning old articles and came across this – I’ve made a comfy bed using rope only, but this was in the valleys and assuming you can find two long poles, I strung the rope back and forth between the poles to create a stretcher rope bed.  Poles propped on a fallen tree one end and hill the other.  6’x6’  nylon fly as a shelter using sticks as tarp poles, sticks as stakes, kept my “patient” dry and reasonably comfy he reckoned inside a mylar sheet on a full stretcher bed during an unecpected  overnight stayover 20years ago in remote bush in really bad weather, after that person had an accident and we had to wait for help (the other 2 had gone out that night to raise help).
    but not something you’d find in the mountains when climbing admittedly.

    Brian H
    BPL Member


    Had to sleep on a rope as a last option in the Palisades on an unplanned bivy.  It completely sucked until the sun came up.  I would never want to plan on that option, although it was better than laying on a cold chunk of granite.

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    Everyone should try this once. If someone says they’ve done this twice, well then I’m not sure how to interpret that…

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Seems better as a pillow (with some padding on top), than a pad.  Unless you go to the effort to do something like this:

    I’ll weave cordage into a Turk’s head when I’m bored, but just 3 feet of shoelace, not 50 meters of rope.

    John Vance
    BPL Member


    Locale: Intermountain West

    I did it out of necessity once.  Not very effective or warm but better than rock and ice.   I kept my pack on for warmth and a back rest but it may have been more useful under me and the rope at my back.  Don’t expect to find myself in that situation again at this point in my life.

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