44 Fantastic Uses of Paracord for Prepping and Survival

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My love affair with paracord continues.  Not only is it strong and useful for a myriad of tasks, it is colorful and fun to work with while making bracelets, key fobs, belts and other goodies. I am not the only one that feels this way.

Simply enter the term “paracord” into a search engine and you will be presented with thousands of articles covering everything from what it is, how it is used, where to buy it, and more. It seems like everyone has a stake in the paracord love-fest with preppers leading the pack!

44 Fantastic Uses of Paracord for Prepping & Survival |Backdoor Survival|What Exactly is Paracord?

Here at Backdoor Survival, I first wrote about paracord in 2012. I  described it this way:

Paracord is a lightweight nylon rope that was originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Soldiers, however, found that this miracle rope was useful for far more than their paratrooper missions. In the ensuing years, both the military and civilians alike have found hundreds if not thousands of uses for paracord.

It is available by length, typically 50 to 100 feet (or more) and in a variety of colors. It is also available is large quantities by the spool. Many hikers and outdoor sports enthusiasts make or purchase “survival bracelets” made of several feet of paracord which is woven into a compact bracelets that can be unraveled in the field.

By the way, you will often see paracord referred to as Paracord 550 means that it has a breaking strength of 550 pounds or more. Now that is strong!

Paracord can be used for many purposes such as securing things, removing heavy debris and fixed objects, strapping things together, as a harness to escape a burning building, controlling bleeding as a tourniquet, and the list goes on. You can even unravel the cord and use the individual strands as a fishing line or as thread to sew on a button. Wonderful stuff.

I touched upon a number of uses in the description above but that was merely a sampling.  There is more – a lot more.  Today I share 44 different uses of paracord for prepping and survival purposes.

44 Ways to Use Paracord for Prepping and Survival

  1. Secure a tent
  2. Secure a tarp between trees
  3. Hang tools from your belt
  4. Hang tools from around your neck
  5. Secure things to the outside of your backpack
  6. Make a tourniquet
  7. Secure a splint
  8. Make a sling for your arm
  9. Make an emergency belt to hold your pants up
  10. Make emergency suspenders
  11. Replace a broken bra strap (it happens)
  12. Replace broken or missing shoe laces
  13. Repair a zipper pull
  14. Secure your boat or skiff to a tree
  15. Make a tow line; double or triple up for extra strength
  16. Create a makeshift lanyard
  17. String a clothesline
  18. Hang something up off the ground
  19. Rig a pulley system
  20. Make traps and snares
  21. Replace damaged or missing draw strings in packs, bags and sweat pants
  22. Keep rolled up items secure
  23. Create a neckerchief slide
  24. Tie objects together for easier transport
  25. Make a rope
  26. Make a hammock
  27. Make a sack for carrying groceries or gear
  28. Bundle stuff together
  29. Tie tall garden vegetable plants to stakes
  30. Make a pet leash
  31. Make a pet collar
  32. Secure a garbage-bag rain poncho around your body to keep you dry
  33. Hang food in trees to keep the bears away
  34. Tie stuff down so it will not blow away in a storm
  35. Create a trip wire
  36. Create makeshift hand cuffs
  37. Tie bad guys or intruders to a tree or chair
  38. Tie people together on a trail so that they keep together
  39. Identify members of a group using different colored armbands or bracelets
  40. Use as sewing thread (inner threads)
  41. Use as fishing line (inner threads)
  42. Emergency dental floss (inner threads)
  43. Emergency suture material (inner threads) when there is nothing else available
  44. Make arts and crafts to stave off boredom

The Final Word

Paracord is awesome stuff.  I happen to like all of the various colors and have a number of personal favorites, most notably a keychain (that holds all of my pocket survival gear!) and a lanyard with a whistle attached.


My Paracord Bracelet makes a fashion statement.

Paracord can be purchased just about everywhere these days, including brick and mortar outdoor stores and the veritable Amazon.comJust keep in mind that different colors are priced differently so if you are looking for a bargain, consider various color options.

Tuckers Paracord Leash 1

Tucker the Dog has his own Paracord Leash!

Now if you are handy and want to make paracord do-dads, free instructions for paracord projects abound on the Web.  Try Instructables for their set free of  Easy Paracord Projects.  I know that  I plan on making some key fobs using their Easy Paracord Key Fob instructions.  (Did I mention that these instructions were free?)

Whatever you decide, be sure to pick up some paracord for your survival kit, your car and your home.  This is great stuff; I just know you are going to love it.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Here is a link to the Amazon Top 20 in Camping & Hiking – Perfect for Preppers page.  Okay.  I added the part about preppers myself. 

By the way, speaking of outdoors, are you thinking of heading out to the wilderness?  Although I like to hike, I usually do not stray too far from the beaten path.  I typically grab my hiking boots, my paracord lanyard and bracelet, a camera, my cell phone, some Kashi bars (protein and fiber bars), water and plus lightweight pack filled with gear.  And one more thing, Tucker the Dog for company.

Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord: You can get 100 feet of Paracord for about $8. This is a real bargain but be aware that price can vary substantially depending on the color.

Paracord Lanyard: My paracord lanyard is in yellow and black. Making my own lanyards in various colors is next on my list of paracord crafts.

Bundle of 3 Premium Paracord Bracelets: This is a great value for a set of three paracord bracelets.  Remember, if you are going to purchase a bracelet (and this one is a lot nicer than the one I made – practice makes perfect and all), be sure to order the correct size.  The Friendly Swede also sells a variety of other items, reasonably priced, including these paracord key chains.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.

Windstorm Safety Whistle: This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.  Although I own a number of cheapie whistles, this is the one I rely on.  I actually own two and keep them on my paracord lanyards.

Emergency Shelter Tent: The Emergency Tent is a lightweight and compact emergency shelter. It is wind and waterproof and easy to set up and is roomy enough for two people. Less than $10.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.



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44 Fantastic Uses of Paracord for Prepping and Survival — 25 Comments

    • Ain’t technology great? 🙂

      I bought some 550 paracord and a lighter one at Wallyworld. I’ve use the lighter cord for many things while working outside. I’ve tied cut brush together so I could move it in one go, tied brush and trash on the back of my Kawasaki Mule, tied firewood in the bed of my pickup, used it to tension a fence where I was putting in a gate. I haven’t had to tie anyone up, yet, but it should hold the bad guys with no problem! I don’t know where I would use the extra strength of the 550, but I’m sure I’ll need it someday!

  1. Oh, come on Gaye, didn’t you learn anything in the 60’s – 70’s? You can remove #11 from your list. 😉
    I actually need to try this 1st, (On my list). Paracord for use to climb up or down is next to impossible due to it’s size. I have thought of tying a large zip tie at intervals for foot and hand holds. These would need to be the large commercial type not the cheap ones we commonly use around the house. Has anyone else already tried this?

    • Its possible to use as repelling. Just make sure you use leather gloves and proper technique. But it’s been some 🙂

  2. I’m glad you’re obsessed with something new 😉

    Your flashlight obsession really helped this past winter because I picked up a bunch as Christmas gifts & we used them during our ice storm/blackout.

    So now I need to get some paracord for a few projects.

      • Suggestion – For those that have whistles, (Which should be everyone). Have several pairs of ear plugs with the cord attaching the two. put them around your neck. If you are ever trapped somewhere, you will want them when you blow your whistle.

        • Earplugs for whistles?
          Are you kidding?
          I guess my ears aren’t that sensitive.
          Loud sounds have ruined them, I suppose.

      • Ha! I have two whistles I’m thinking of selling. One is a WWII miltary whistle, the other is a regular run of the mill metal whistle you don’t (or, at least, I don’t) see too often these days.

        I’m having a pang of wanting to get rid of a whole lotta stuff I’ve scrounged for when SHTF. I feel like I’ve got waayy too much Stuff.
        I read about somebody facing a storm or something and their husband couldn’t find an item when they needed it.

        I can relate.

        I wrote out a list of what I wanted to sell off, and showed it to The better half.
        She wrote the word, “No!” alot on my list… with a threat of, there will be consequences if I sell her stuff!

        What’s a prepper to do?

        … If Only I had a chicken coup with a basement.

        In the background, the song, “Going Mobile” is playing.

      • We do have a few whistles. You can definitely tell the difference. I used to work as an aide at a school & all of us would compare our whistles. (We blew them to have the kids line up) I swear by the nice metal ones you can get in the sporting goods section made for coaches/referees.

        Back to paracord – I of course searched Amazon and saw a few kits to make bracelets and saw some really fun colors, so I’ll be ordering some

  3. Oh, I forgot to mention, the whole reason I was commenting.

    #41. Use as fishing line (inner threads)

    I’m not for sure, I haven’t tried it, but it seems to me (as a former river rat) the whole thread of the paracord would be great for didy-poles or running a trot line. Jug fishing, too.
    All of those are survival uses, imho. Quite effective, and lets you be, ‘under the wire’, so to speak.

    I only wished that stuff was available to me when I was a young person, I’m certain I could give you ten extra uses for it. That stuff is great.

  4. This is a great article, Gaye! Thank you for posting it!!

    Paracord is awesome stuff, to be sure. There are thousands of possible uses for it.

    You can even use the inner threads to remove a wedding ring stuck on a swollen finger.

    Start with a 6 foot long piece. Feed about two feet of thread under the stuck ring, leaving about four feet hanging down from the finger-side of the ring.

    Tightly wind the the four foot section around the finger below the ring. Keep winding until you cover the knuckle. This should help reduce some of the swelling.

    Then pull the two foot end (palm side) of the thread to “unwind” the ring off of the finger.

    It’s a trick they do in ERs all around the world. I’ve seen it work with dental floss, and the elastic strap to an oxygen mask.

    I’ve written an article describing this trick, with a few videos showing it in action (and an “epic fail” video of how NOT to do it! lol). And there’s another article showing how to make a paracord rock sling for hunting small game.

    They’re both on my site.

    Please stop by and say hello, Gaye!


  5. I have seen the inner cords tied together to form netting. Tie the netting over a sappling formed into a circle and you have an effective dip net. Of course there are countless other uses for netting.

  6. I tie up 25 foot lengths of paracord 550 in what is called a ‘reusable rapid release’ bundle. This allows me to keep several of these available and they don’t get all tangled. Once I have used one, it’s a simple matter to tie it back into its rapid release format.
    I’ve found sgtknots to be all around the best prices on paracord etc. in all manner of lengths. To make the bundle, take a 25 ft length. Tie a small bowline loop at one end. Spread the fingers of one hand wide apart. Put the loop over thumb OR little finger. Then loop back and forth between thumb and little finger. Make the loops in a figure eight pattern. When you have about 5 feet left, slip the bundle off your hand. Then wrap the remaining cord around it like you see a clothesline when you buy one. Slip the free end under a last loop to secure it. To use, loosen the free end and pull the loop end. It will unravel quite nicely.

  7. There are a lot of different kinds of para cord out there. I would recommend true military grade 550 para cord made in the USA. There should be six or seven inner white strings and one black and white twisted string. Other types are not as strong and could be unsafe when used for stress situations.

  8. While not an emergency use, I find paracord useful in my gardening. I grow tomatoes on my deck in 5-gallo buckets. I put six on the top of a picnic table, 3 on the bench and 3 on the deck… total 12. I had a problem once with strong winds blowing over the buckets on the top of the table. So I looped a 25 ft length of paracord around a bucket and secured it to the raiing, then continued to the next bucket. I ended up using about 50 ft. and have not had the tomatoes blown over since. I also use 30 inch lengths to help support the vines when the tomatoes cause them to start drooping. I tie them to the tomato cage. In the fall I take the ties and soak them in some soapy water to remove the tomato ‘flavor’ and hang them in the garage to dry. Then I stash them in a gallon milk jug until next year. YAY for paracord!

    • Duane – I have been using “your” method of making a coil of paracord. My little bundles look like small clotheslines :). I really need to share it on the Buzz!

  9. These item can be use by rescuers, if they are going to rescue people that are trap in the flood. Thank you for your effort on putting all these these together. It was very helpful.

  10. Or, you could use dental floss for dental floss, and fishing line for fishing line. Proper climbing rope for climbing, and string for string. Macremed bracelets of paracord are cute, but if the line between life and death is or ever will be a bracelet of pink or camo cord, well …? There are real tools that solve real problems, and pretending that a few hundred feet, or a bracelet, of paracord will replace proper tools is a joke.

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