High-Rise Dweller Escape Kit

Would you list basic rappelling gear? how many sets are needed for a family? i stay on the first or second floor of hotels, and keep a flashlight in case the electricity fails. you never know! i keep water and protein bars and toilet paper in the car. anything else you recommend? these are silly questions to people with common sense but i have none and would appreciate some advice. many thanks to you.

That’s actually a great point.
I’m by no means an expert on rappelling (and those that are please comment below). I have done it a few times though, enough to know it’s easy enough and you can learn the basic technique in one session.
You’re basically looking at four items you need, at the very least: a climbing rope, harness, carabiner and figure 8 descender. How advanced each item is and how much extra equipment you add is up to you. A helmet for example, would be considered essential safety equipment for climbing.
The good news is that if you want a basic kit, rope, harness, figure 8 and carabiner, you can have a basic emergency set for relatively little money. A harness can cost as little as 29 bucks in Amazon, a rope can go for a little over twenty. This is the cheapest stuff around but it sure beats tying a few bed sheets in a borderline suicidal attempt to escape burning to death. Even this basic kit can make all the difference between life and death.
For those living long term in high-rise buildings I would suggest spending a bit more and buying brand name such as Petzl or Black Diamond, which goes for a bit more money but you can use with confidence, even use once or twice a year in a safe location to properly practice rappelling. For rope, get proper ‘dynamic’ climbing rope.

Black Diamond Momentum Harness $43.80

We recently learned the terrible fate dozens suffered in the tower that burned in London. That example alone is good enough, but there’s also home invasions, terror attacks, earthquakes, or a shooting in your work place, anything that forces you to escape out of your residence or work place.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


High-Rise Dweller Escape Kit — 3 Comments

  1. A dynamic rope is needed for climbing , but not for rappelling or any straight descent work! The dynamic part stretches like a rubber band so when you fall the stop isn’t quite so abrupt.

    Working on a dynamic rope while rappelling can be fun, but it stretches (sometimes quite a bit) and that has to be taken into consideration!

    Folks new to this almost always have trouble going over the edge! Setting up the rope competently helps with this some, but it’s almost always an issue the first few times!

    Proper anchoring is always a big deal! Doing so out of a building is a challenge! Doing so with the building on fire would take preplanning!

    A prepacked rope bag with a loop already tied in the rope end and a locking carabiner or two already attached would be a good start!

    Most anything I can think of in a hotel or apartment wouldn’t make a good anchor! I envision kicking a hole in the wall and looping through a doorway and as much wall as I can grab! Twice around and then clip the carabiner on the end loop back to the rope would make me pretty happy I suppose!

    The rope bags big advantage now comes in as once anchored you can now just throw it out the window/off the balcony or what have you and the rope will play out. Tying the rope bag with a big knot to the other end of the rope will keep you from rappelling right off the end of the rope if you got your rope length wrong!

    Any sharp, abrasive or even abrupt edge the rope goes over could damage it! Padding it with a hotel towel, blanket etc would be prudent! One rope well set will allow as many rappellers as you care to have, but only one on the rope at a time! If you have several that need to escape you’ll need to move! Being able to descend quickly takes practice!

    This is a very viable plan for apartment dwellers or hotel guest that practice and plan ahead! I’ve been off the side of a water fall that’s a 256 feet drop, but gear gets cumbersome and there are other issues when on a rope this long!

    A drop of 150 feet is very doable for someone with a little experience and a 200 foot static rope good anchor options and escape options up to 12-15 floors up (maybe a bit more in the right building or with a different anchor method) without being overly heavy or bulky.

    Someone serious about this could add another 100 feet to this with a bit more effort and slightly different gear. Above this you are likely in the low BASE jumping territory which isn’t my thing!

    SD (A rusty High Angle Rescue Technician)

  2. Sheep dog covered much well. The most common rope related injury/ fatality is from unsafe rappelling. I would recommend a device known as a petsl ID, its about as stupid proof as you can get. Also a ex rescue tech/fireman/ medic. Thanks for your efforts ferfal, I enjoy your blog. Montanalivin

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