in: Featured, Outdoor/Survival, Skills, Visual Guides

Skill of the Week: Escape From a Building Using Bedsheets

An important part of manhood has always been about having the competence to be effective in the world — having the breadth of skills, the savoir-faire, to handle any situation you find yourself in. With that in mind, each Sunday we’ll be republishing one of the illustrated guides from our archives, so you can hone your manly know-how week by week.

Tying bedsheets together to make a viable rope seems like the sort of thing reserved for cartoons and action movies. But time and again it’s been proven to be a very real way of escaping from multi-story buildings. A few days before Christmas in 2012, for example, two inmates in a Chicago prison escaped their 17th-story cells by tying bedsheets together. A few years later, a prisoner in a maximum security prison in Australia used his sheets to scale exterior walls and escape. And if you think this tactic is reserved for desperate criminal masterminds, think again. On a warm summer night in Virginia in August of 2017, a 78-year-old woman escaped the flames engulfing her apartment by, you guessed it, tying her sheets together.

Whether you’re a prisoner looking to make a daring escape or a tourist trying to flee from a burning hotel, tying bedsheets together is a perfectly viable way to make a makeshift rope. It’s also a good reason to always buy high-quality sheets, as higher thread counts mean higher tensile strength, which leads to a stronger bedsheet rope.

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

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