If you find yourself needing to tow a car or boat or drag something heavy out of a bad spot, you may find that the rope you have isn’t strong enough to manage the job. If you can scrounge up some 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch rope, you can quickly braid yourself the equivalent of an 1 1/2-inch cable in no time at all. Here’s how it works.
Lay out three lengths of rope side by side. With cord or duct tape, wrap the three ropes together at one end. If the ropes are longer than just a few feet, you’ll need a helper to work the three ropes at the loose ends.
The helper at the loose ends takes the rope to his right and lays the end between the center rope and the left rope. As he does so, the person working the wrapped end of the rope will lay the same strand over the middle rope. The person at the wrapped end will need to pull his end while the person at the loose end pulls the three ropes in turn. Next the person at the loose end will take the leftmost rope and lay it over the new center rope, between it and the one that is now on the right. Again, both will pull their ends to straighten the ropes as the person at the wrapped end will form the braid and keep it pulled tight. Keep laying the rope strands right over to the center, then left over to the center till the braid reaches the end.
You can make a tow loop in the end of your braided rope by bending the rope over and lacing the last 8 inches of the loose strands at the end into the shaft of the braided rope. At the point where the ropes come together, pull up the center strand of the shaft and tuck the center shaft of the loose end under. Then, tuck the loose right strand under the right strand next to the center one you just tucked. Next tuck the loose left strand under the left strand in the shaft. Continue lacing the loose ends over and under the strands on the shaft till all the strands are tucked. Wrap light cord or duct tape over the frayed rope ends at the throat of the loop. Repeat at the other end and you have a handy tow loop at both ends that will keep the braid from unraveling.
Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.