red nylon rope


In my experience camping, there is nothing worse than not having the rope you need when you need it. That being said, there are a variety of ropes available on the market. It is easy to get something you don’t need or find out it is pretty useless for your purpose. Here I take a look at some different types of rope that will have use on your camping trip.


This type of rope is also called laid rope. It normally comes with 3 strands is very inexpensive. It also tends to kink up and doesn’t have the strongest design. I like to have this rope around because it is so cheap and has a variety of uses around the campsite. It is not something you want to use for anything that requires a lot of strength.


Climbing ropes are designed for climbing. They have a design that is made of 2 sections, the core and the outer jacket, also known as a kern mantle design. The outer jacket is built with abrasion resistance while the inner cord gives strength. Even if you are not climbing, this kind of rope has other uses. I find that it is very good if you need to tie something to a vehicle roof if you are stuck for something to use.


I consider parachute cord the duct tape of the outback. If you are going to get your hands on some parachute cord, make sure you are getting the real thing. 550 parachute cord has military specifications giving it a 550lb breaking strength. More than that, parachute cord has so many uses around the campsite. I’ve even tied a broken roof rack to a 4WD with parachute cord and it held strong for the whole trip back. It is worth having some around.


Guy cord is very similar to parachute cord but is not as thick and as strong. I like to keep some around just in case I need to replace or lengthen a tent line. I go with guyline cord that has reflective materials that light up against any beam of light at night. I also use it for when I want to tie anything up inside my tent such as a light or a flashlight.


This rope is more a material that a particular type of rope. It looks like a natural cordage. It is pretty strong but be careful with it in your hands. The best thing about this cordage is that it is very inexpensive and you can use it for just about anything around the campsite once and throw it away if you don’t need it anymore.


VB cord is my favourite. It has so many uses and will last forever. VB cord is a braided nylon. It is extremely cheap. You can get 90m of VB cord for under $10. From tying roof racks, to replacing tent cords, VB cord does it all. VB cord is the best general purpose cord to take with you on any camping, fishing or boating trip.

It is important to get to know what you really need when camping. For example, I have seen people outlay serious cash on climbing rope they don’t really need. Sure, it can be used to lash items down on a roof rack but that is only a secondary purpose. Climbing rope is expensive because it is designed for climbing.

When it comes to general camping, I believe VB cord is simply the best solution because it is so low cost and is very strong. Unless you are hiking the mountains and testing out your survival skills across the Australian Alps, there isn’t really any need to concern yourself with purchasing expensive ropes. As far as I am concerned, smart camping is about having what you need and spending less to own it.


Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Bill Matthews
Bill Matthews

Bill is as green friendly as they come. He's travelled the world, loves kayak fishing and camping.