According to Home Guard Instruction Manual No.51, Part III a toggle rope is six feet long and made from hemp of one and a half inches’ circumference. Spliced to one end is a wooden toggle, six inches long and one inch in diameter. At the other end is a spliced eye, described as “four inches”. Since the eye must fit over a toggle I suspect this dimension is the internal width. I will note here that most toggle ropes that appear in photographs appear much thicker than a circumference of one and a half inches would suggest. See here for more on how to construct a toggle rope.
The toggle rope is more an item for a soldier than for an individual such as a hiker or survivalist. A single toggle rope is useful, but its real strength is that it can be combined with the other toggle ropes carried in a unit. I will save descriptions of some of the ways a toggle rope could be used for a future post. Just to whet your appetite, here is a bridge made from toggle ropes.
For a modern version of a toggle rope a number of questions need to be addressed.
The first question is “how long it should be?” A storey of a building is about nine or ten feet high, so a three metre rope may be more useful in such an environment.
“How thick?” is another question. The rope needs to be thick enough that a soldier can climb it, but not so bulky it becomes a serious encumbrance. Is it practical to carry the rope with an overhand knot tied every half metre or so? If so, this may allow for an overall thinner and lighter rope. B-720 suggests: “If your mission requires long ropes, consider the use of 1″ [climber’s] nylon tubing instead. It is lighter, more compact, and just as strong.”
Rather than a toggle it may be more useful to have a large loop at one end and a smaller loop with a carabineer at the other. The larger loop should be wide enough for a booted foot to be placed in it. Two ropes can be joined by using the carabineer as a toggle in a sling toggle knot or toggled bight and eye.
Should the toggle rope actually be a rope? Would one inch webbing work as well while being more compact. This line of thought suggests at least one man in the squad should carry an etrier rather than a toggle rope.