by Tree Climbing Instructor Tim "Tengu" Kovar 

A "Tengu Tip" might be an article about a new climbing technique, a note on familiar techniques, news about gear development,

or a tip from other climbers. It could be anything noteworthy that Tim wants to share having to do with climbing trees,

tree climbing gear, or facilitating others into the canopy.

Tip #3: Double Daisy Rope

A no-frills lanyard

November  2006

The Double Daisy Rope setup is a great way to fine-tune your position in a tree. Use it when rigging up a Treeboat, a pulley, or your camera, or for setting up a comfortable spot for your next pitch. The Daisy Rope is like a third arm and it will become your best friend in the canopy. You can create this simple lanyard using just a 25-foot hank of rope, a couple of knots, and a couple of carabiners.


To create the Daisy Rope, you will tie two Figure Eights on a Bight, and a Slip Knot. Tie one Figure Eight on a Bight on each end of the rope, creating a rope eye at each end. Use one carabiner to clip one eye to your harness, i.e. to the floating D on your New Tribe saddle legstrap bridge. As close to that as possible, tie a slip knot, pulling through a giant loop, known as the Floating Bight. Clip your second carabiner onto this Floating Bight.

Tying a Figure 8 Follow Through onto your saddle

I highly recommend that your Daisy Rope be a different color than your climbing rope. This will give you visual confirmation that you are working with the system that you intend to be. My DR is permanently attached to my saddle and I don’t climb without it. Since it is always on my saddle, I prefer to connect it to my floating D with a Figure Eight Follow Through knot (see photo) instead of a Figure Eight on a Bight with a carabiner. This eliminates a carabiner, saving $$ and one less link in the chain. It also brings the Slip Knot closer to my saddle so I can get closer to the object I am drawing towards.


Throw the Floating Bight, with the carabiner, around the branch you want to get close to. Grab that carabiner and clip it to your Delta Screw Link and pull down on the free part of the rope that is hanging toward the ground (the down rope). This will shorten the Floating Bight and cinch you closer to the branch. To descend, reach above the Slip Knot and pull the "down rope" back up towards the branch. This takes some practice, but with time this maneuver will become second nature.


The Daisy Rope in place and ready for advancement.

Notice the location of the DR carabiner.

Advancing on the DR. Be sure to pull on the section of rope

that is running through the Slip Knot and above it. With

your other hand pull the slack out beneath the Slip Knot.

This simple lanyard is worth learning, even if you’re a seasoned veteran tree climber. It is so simple you can actually create it with your climbing rope while you are climbing. This is known as the In-Line Daisy Rope. To create the In-Line DR, pull up about 20’ of your “down rope” below your friction knot, tie a Figure Eight on a Bight and clip it to the floating D on your saddle. Right in front of this Figure Eight, on the long end of your down rope, tie a Slip Knot and pull through a big loop. This becomes your Floating Bight.  Place a carabiner into the Floating Bight. Now you are ready to toss your Floating Bight over the branch you want to snug up to. With the In-Line DR you can make the Floating Bight as large as your rope allows.

Creating the In-Line Daisy Rope using your climbing rope. Two carabiners are required for this alternate DR.

Reaching for the carabiner. The Daisy Rope is ideally

used for short movement within the canopy.

Clipping the Floating Bight carabiner to the delta as the

anchor carabiner is clipped to the floating D.

Ready for the switch over.




I started out using my DR clipped to the side Ds of my old industrial work saddle. It always seemed to be a little awkward when advancing with a lanyard in that position. I then tried connecting it to my clip-in point and have never gone back to the old way of connecting my lanyard to the side Ds. It is nice to have side Ds as an option, but I find I have more control and strength for adjusting the lanyard when it is in front of me than when the system is out to my side.


Like the trees in a forest, we are all different beings with different trunks and limbs. What works well for me may need to be tweaked to work comfortably for you. Play around with different clip-in points to see what works best for you. Just make sure that the part of your saddle you are clipping into is designed for life safety. And be sure to practice low and slow.


Because this is a dynamic climbing system there will be some friction on the branch where your Floating Bight is running. To help protect the branch I make a rope sleeve by threading a piece of 3-inch tubular webbing over the Floating Bight.

Once you start using a lanyard you won’t want to go back to climbing without it. The nice thing about the DR (especially the In-Line DR) is that there is nothing extra to buy. Most of us have a couple of extra carabiners on our saddle and we can use our climbing rope to create the lazy-man’s lanyard. Making better use of what we already have is smarter than depending on a bunch of extra stuff that we could drop, leaving us helplessly stuck. Keep it light, keep it tight.