Making Rope

(Bellingham, WA, U.S.A.)

The most basic rope is made from bark. I find disceduas trees tend to work the best. The less branches on the tree, the better. You need to cut into a section with your knife until you get through both the inner and the outer bark to the center stiff wood.

Work your knife between the bark and the rest of the tree and cut 3-6 up and away from you self. Then pull on the bark tab you have created until the bark pulls a long strip off of the tree. The goal is to get the strip of bark as long as possible so if you can climb, climb and pull until the strip comes completely off.

Depending on the type of tree the inner and outer barks can be separated to make more flexible ropes. Currently, it is an extremely rough rope. It can be cut into thinner strips and braided or woven. This part takes a long time though and isn't as good of quality as what you can get at the store for relatively cheap. So unless you need real ropes an can't set al for the lower quality rough bark rope it's made from, I don't advise this last step.

Before you head for the backcountry.

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