Paracord for Function and Fashion

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paratroopersI first fell in love with Paracord while configuring my survival gear kit.  At the time, I was familiar with ropes and lines used by mariners since after all, I boated in Puget Sound for over twenty years.  I can not tell you how many times that I would be out at some remote anchorage in need of one more line to secure this or that to the side of our vessel.  And then there were the other little emergencies.  A broken shoelace, a forgotten belt, a strap that shredded . . . the things that can go awry while out there in nature are endless.

Bringing us forward to current times, in addition to hiking, boating, camping, bike riding and other outdoor pursuits, we have basic survival skills to think about and plan for.  After all, if the SHTF in a big way, without the proper gear we may all be up a creek without a paddle so to speak.Evening on Puget Sound 1913

Enter the miracle of paracord.  This is very useful stuff that is also very inexpensive.

What Exactly is Paracord?

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 escaping 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.

And it can be fashionable too.

I was recently contacted by the folks at Cobrabraid 550 Paracord Gear and asked if I would like to take a look at some of their paracord products.  Are you kidding?  Of course I said yes.  I was especially excited because I had previously purchased a paracord bracelet for my pocket survival kit that was a bit large for me so this would give me a chance to get something a bit more suitable for my small wrist.

Look Ma!  It is Adjustable

 Cobrabraid_01Cobrabraid_02Cobrabraid_06
Paracord Survival Bracelet and Key Chain from the folks at Cobrabraid

The first thing I noticed when my bracelet arrived was the Velcro strap.  This meant two things:  I could adjust the size to fit exactly the way I wanted and also, I could put the bracelet on and take it off with one hand and without fumbling.  This would be an especially important feature for someone with arthritis or simply very cold fingers out in the wilderness.

The second thing I noticed was the quality.  Sitting side by side with the other bracelet, you can see the difference.  The finish work is nicer and the paracord itself seems to have more heft.  I don’t know for sure but I wonder if that is because the CobraBraid bracelet is made from 100% US made paracord which is stronger and of higher quality than the Chinese made product, which isn’t 550 paracord ( it is usually about 200-300 pound break strength).

 A Belt Like No Other

Cobrabraid_09Although the bracelet was nice, the true piece de resistance was the paracord belt.   What is neat about the belt (which you see being worn by Survival Husband) is that it is not simply woven paracord – it is a real double-ply nylon belt that has abut 60 feet of  USA made 550 paracord woven and wrapped onto the belt along with a super strong and attractive buckle.  The really cool thing is that in a survival situation you can remove the paracord from the base and still have a belt left to hold up your pants.

SurvivalHusband provided me with some feedback on the paracord belt:Cobrabraid_07

First impression:  The belt is really well-constructed with a quality metal buckle (not flimsy and not plastic)

Very fashionable:  Great with jeans and other casual pants.  He is thinking of getting a few more in different colors or perhaps even with a base and a contrasting trim color.

Lots of Paracord:  He likes the idea that the belt has about 60 feet of paracord to be able to use in an emergency and also for practical things such as tie downs.  While hiking, if necessary, he could use the paracord with tree branches to create and emergency splint after a slip and fall incident.

Strong but light weight:  This speaks for itself.

CobraBraid, the Company

Doug and the team at CobraBraid are a family operation in central New York.  They build their products right there in their own facility using paracord that is produced by a military contractor with a break strength above 550 pounds.  They offer their paracord items in more colors than you can imagine and if you are so inclined, they will make up a custom color-combo just for you.

Doug is a veteran and is committed to great customer service.  A heck of a nice guy too.

The Final Word

I asked Doug about his top-selling items.  He indicated that the top sellers are the custom bracelet (you can choose up to 3 colors and buckle or Velcro closure), the DIY bracelet kit, the belt products and the dog items (leases and collars).

And me?  Next on my wish list is a lanyard (or two or three) to match my outfits.  Because after all, being prepared does not mean that I can not look good as well!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye

From the Bargain Bin: Interested in more Paracord stuff?  This will get you started.

FREE A Long-Term Survival Guide – 101 Uses For Paracord:  You can download this FREE 49 page eBook from Scribd. It is a pretty cool guide and as I said, it is free.

DIY Paracord Bracelet: If you have the time and interest, you can easily put together your own Paracord Survival Bracelet. Check out this kit which will make it easy.

Rothco Type III Commercial Paracord: You can get 100 feet of  Survival Gear Checklist   15 Items to Get You StartedParacord for about $8. This is a real bargain but be aware that price can vary substantially depending on the color.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: You are going to need a knife to cut your paracord while out in the field.  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 at about $23.

Adventures in Paracord Black and White: Survival Bracelets, Watches, Key chains and More:  If you prefer a printed book rather than an eBook, this is a good choice.  The projects in this book are all fairly easy to do and fun too.  Here is a hint:  old backpacks and laptop/camera cases are great places to scrounge side-release buckles and other metal findings that you can use when creating your paracord items.

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