Paracord – Essential Survival Gear
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Paracord has become an essential item for outdoor, camping or survival use. Any survivalist worth their salt would have a length of paracord in their backpack or bug out bag! The reason for this is that the uses for paracord in the outdoors are many and varied. But before we take a look at it’s use, lets take a look at what comprises this utility cord.
What is Paracord?
As the name suggests, paracord, or parachute cord was initially developed to connect the canopy of a parachute to the harness of the parachute. For this purpose, the construction of paracord required it to be both lightweight and strong.
Soldiers that parachuted in to battle, found that there were many field uses for this cord, and would often, once they had landed, cut the cord from the chute and take it with them to use in the field.
The usefulness of the cordage resulted in it being adopted as a standard item for survivalists and for general use outdoors. It was even used during one of the space shuttle missions to repair the Hubble Telescope!
The cord is constructed of 7 or 9 (depending on type) strands of 2 or 3 ply nylon ropes, wrapped in a nylon braided sheath.
Due to paracord being constructed from nylon, it does not rot or develop mildew.
The most commonly available version of this utility cord for outdoor or survival purposes is 550 paracord. Basically this is means it has a minimum rated strength of 550lb, or 249Kg.
Uses for Paracord
Your imagination is the only limitation for finding uses for parachute cord! In it’s normal form, it can be used for, amongst others, the following tasks:
- a ridge line for a tarp
- securing gear on your backpack
- lashing branches together for a shelter or a raft
- tying a hammock to a tree
- a trip wire
- making impromptu snow shoes
- water rescue line
- making a bow drill to start a fire
- wrap it around a knife handle to improve the grip
- String for a survival bow (link to survival bow post)
If you de-construct the cord, the inner strands can also be useful. Some uses can be:
- survival fishing line
- sutures for a laceration
- making snares for trapping small game
- use as thread to fix clothing
- dental floss
As you can see, uses and applications for this product as a utility item are many and diverse!
How to Carry Paracord
There are many ways you can carry this utility cord. You can simply roll it up neatly and tuck it into your backpack, and while that is the best option for carrying a large length of this cordage, there are many other innovative and fashionable ways of carrying usable amounts of paracord so that you can have it with you at all times.
- You can wear a paracord bracelet, some of which come with survival gear cleverly hidden in the clip or the woven in the cord.
- A woven belt
- A key fob packed full of survival goodies
These options make it easy to have this essential survival gear as an everyday carry item!
So what are you waiting for? Get some paracord today and find an innovative way to have it with you at all times!
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