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.
Enter paracord into your search engine and you will be treated to a ton of stuff – what is it, how is it use, where to buy it and more. It seems like everyone has a stake in the paracord love-fest.
What Exactly is Paracord?
Here on Backdoor Survival, I first wrote about paracord in May 2012 in the article Paracord for Function and Fashion. I described paracord 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 my description above but that was merely a sampling. There is more – a lot more. What follows are 44 different uses of paracord for survival purposes.
44 Ways to Use Paracord for Survival
- Secure a tent
- Secure a tarp between trees
- Hang tools from your belt
- Hang tools from around your neck
- Secure things to the outside of your backpack
- Make a tourniquet
- Secure a splint
- Make a sling for your arm
- Make an emergency belt to hold your pants up
- Make emergency suspenders
- Replace a broken bra strap (it happens)
- Replace broken or missing shoe laces
- Repair a zipper pull
- Secure your boat or skiff to a tree
- Make a tow line; double or triple up for extra strength
- Create a makeshift lanyard
- String a clothesline
- Hang something up off the ground
- Rig a pulley system
- Make traps and snares
- Replace damaged or missing draw strings in packs, bags and sweat pants
- Keep rolled up items secure
- Create a neckerchief slide
- Tie objects together for easier transport
- Make a rope
- Make a hammock
- Make a sack for carrying groceries or gear
- Bundle stuff together
- Tie tall garden vegetable plants to stakes
- Make a pet leash
- Make a pet collar
- Secure a garbage-bag rain poncho around your body to keep you dry
- Hang food in trees to keep the bears away
- Tie stuff down so it will not blow away in a storm
- Create a trip wire
- Create makeshift hand cuffs
- Tie bad guys or intruders to a tree or chair
- Tie people together on a trail so that they keep together
- Identify members of a group using different colored armbands or bracelets
- Use as sewing thread (inner threads)
- Use as fishing line (inner threads)
- Emergency dental floss (inner threads)
- Emergency suture material (inner threads) when there is nothing else available
- 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. You might even say I have become a collector. You can purchase paracord at most outdoor stores as well as online, most notably Camping Survival (a Backdoor Survival sponsor) and Amazon (of course). Just keep in mind that different colors are priced differently so if you are looking for a bargain, consider various color options.
Now if you are handy and want to make stuff, free instructions for paracord projects abound on the Web. Try Instructables for their set 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 you home. You are gonna love it!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Bargain Bin: I can be such a dunce sometimes. For example, I just learned about the Amazon Top Sellers pages featuring the top selling items by category. When I looked at the camping and hiking category, I found a lot of items I already own. Pretty cool.
Anyway if you want to check out some top sellers, here is a link: Amazon Top 20 in Camping & Hiking – Perfect for Preppers.
And 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) and water and plus lightweight pack filled with gear. 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.
Paracord Survival Adjustable Velcro Bracelet: This is the paracord bracelet I purchased for myself a number of months back. 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.
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.
Kaito Electronics Portable Dynamo & Solar-Powered Radio and Cell Phone Charger: This one has it all and a very reasonable price given its features. It will operate from any one of four different power sources including hand crank and solar and includes a radio, lantern, cell phone charger and more. It can be used with 3 AA batteries or an optional AC adapter. It is perfect for receiving NOA alerts and the LED flashlight on its side turns into a flashing red SOS for emergencies. There is even a USB port for charging a cell phone which I have tests. It works.
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency. You will be amazed at how small and portable these are; a packet will easily fit in a back pocket.
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.
Emergency Sleeping Bag: Another low cost item designed to keep you warm in an emergency situation.
Swedish Firesteel: Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version. About $11.
Want to help support Backdoor Survival? Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
Like this and want more?
CLICK HERE to receive Backdoor Survival Posts by Email (usually on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday)
CLICK HERE to sign up for the new Backdoor Survival Newsletter! (Periodically)
CLICK HERE to visit Backdoor Survival on Facebook (updates posted every day or so)
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.