Rope Ladders for Recreation and Emergency Use
Rope ladders are offered in many styles and sizes both for fun recreational use and for emergency use. They may be combined with wood or plastic to create sturdy rungs or they may simply be made of solid rope. Cargo nets occasionally fall into the category of a rope ladder depending upon their intended use. Various types of rope are used to create rope ladders and some will not withstand being left in the elements for any extended period of time.
Uses for Rope Ladders
There are many uses for rope ladders, and the primary use for young boys is to use them to climb up into a tree house. Once inside they can be rolled up and stowed easily in the small space and access is denied to any "intruders". Emergencies are a time when rope ladders may be used short term. Due to their light weight and strength they may be used to lower rescuers to retrieve people particularly in narrow spots and in the water. Fire is not a good location to use rope ladders as the rope may either burn or melt too easily. Choosing various types of rope ladders for marine uses is another prime example of their adaptability, although this generally requires frequent testing of the rope or a rope made from synthetic rope. Rope ladders may be used to gain access to lofts and for other fun and recreational uses.
Types of Rungs and Rope Used in Rope Ladders
Generally the rungs of a rope ladder will be made either from the rope itself, or enhanced with wood, metal or plastic. The metal and plastic rungs will have some texture to increase the friction and allow the climber a sturdier ascent or descent, they will often be flattened on the top as well. The wood may be rounded or squared when cut, and most generally the wood and plastic will also be supported with the rope rung.
The type of rope most commonly found in a rope ladder will be synthetic although cotton and other natural materials such as hemp may also be used. Due to the superior strength and resistance to rot and mildew the synthetic are almost always used in marine applications as well as any place that is exposed to the elements. Natural rope tends to deteriorate over time and will be accelerated by sun and water especially if exposed to salt water. Synthetic rope will burn or melt easier though and must be kept away from flammable sources.
Shopping for Rope Ladders
Shopping for rope ladders will be fairly difficult locally except possibly at a hardware store or marine store. Choosing them online will present many options for various applications as well as in different lengths and weights. Glow in the dark rope ladders are available and are not only fun but also would be beneficial depending upon the application. Companies that produce play sets that originally provided rope ladders are an excellent source for finding replacement ones.
Shopping for rope ladders for boating or marine use can be accomplished through many marine supply sites as well as through some military supply websites.
Pricing Rope Ladders
Rope ladders vary in price according to the materials and strength that are required. Choosing a basic rope ladder from a custom rope ladder shop which offers synthetic rope with wooden steps begins at $13.50 a linear foot for white Poly Dacron rope and is more expensive in black at $14.50 for the same item. A playground rope ladder can be found beginning at $18.90 and goes as high depending on the materials and look desired as $80.00. The prices will vary somewhere between these two for most ladders, such as pilot rope ladders and ones designed with more than two ropes or made from sisal, cotton or synthetic materials.
Rope ladders may also be made at home for some purposes. The cost of the materials will vary and knowledge of knot tying will be necessary to accomplish the project. Basic instructions can be found online as can the materials needed to build rope ladders.
Rope ladders have been used extensively for hundreds of years, they were used by ships carrying supplies and people to distant shores due to their ease of use and convenience in storing. They have earned their way into everyday life more for child play and for use when boating. Stowing a small rope ladder in a boat will not require much room and makes it much easier to climb in and out when necessary.