Paracord is a shorter name for parachute cord. Parachute cord is originally used to tie a parachute to a backpack while skydiving. Paracord is different than normal rope – the main difference is that it is made out nylon and not cotton like other rope. Since nylon is a form of plastic then it will melt under a flame. This can be useful to secure the loose end of a knot by melting or fusing the loose end to the knot itself. Another difference is that the most common cord, which is 550 paracord, has seven smaller strands on the inside of it. Other types of paracord like 440 paracord have a different number of strands at the core. Because of this you have more than one length of rope in the space of one. The numbers mean the minimum strength of that type of paracord – so a length of 550 paracord can hold 550 pounds. Be careful when you buy paracord though; some of it is fake and won’t have the strands on the inside. Paracord has more uses than just tying a parachute!
Ten Handy Uses For Paracord
Tying A Splint
If you are camping or hiking far away from help and your friend trips and breaks an arm or a leg you can tie a splint with paracord. All you need is a straight stick and two lengths of cord. You can place the stick parallel to the broken limb and then secure it with at each end with your paracord.
Tying A Tourniquet
It someone has a snake bite or a cut that won’t stop bleeding and you are far from help you can tie a tourniquet with paracord. A tourniquet is used to slow or stop the flow of blood to a limb. This helps slow the venom or stop the bleeding. To tie one–tie a length of paracord just above the snake bite or wound. Though there is a drawback – if you leave it on too long the cells in the limb will start to die and then the limb might have to be amputated. A tourniquet should only be used if you are more than a day’s journey to the nearest hospital.
Paracord can also be used to make a shelter if you are lost in the woods and are without a tent. If you tie the ends of two large sticks to a tree so that they are leaning against it, you can tie a blanket or tarp around the sticks to make a makeshift tent.
Making A Strap
If the strap on your bag breaks you can make a new one with paracord. All you have to do is create a braid out of paracord for the length that you need. This can be helpful as well – in case you need paracord in an emergency you have it right on your strap.
You can rappel with paracord if you need to get out of a burning building. If you have enough paracord you can cut a piece long enough to loop around your waist for a harness. Then tie the rest of the rope to an anchor object like a support beam so it will hold your weight. Then tie a loop around your waist with a smaller loop in the front. Then run the long piece through the loop a few times. From there you could descend the building.
Securing A Tent
You can use paracord if you don’t have tent stakes to secure your tent by tying the corners of your tent to four trees. You can also use paracord for extra tie downs on a windy day.
You can use paracord as an improvised shoelace if you need to. Just melt the two ends of the paracord and then run it through the loops in your shoe. This will help if your shoelace is too short or breaks.
Hiking Stick Grip
If you have a hiking stick that is too rough for your hand then you can tie a grip for it. A grip is a length of rope wrapped around the hiking stick. The easiest way of tying a grip is called French Whipping. Basically you just tie a half hitch over and over again around the stick. There are a ton of other ways to do too. This will help keep your grip on the stick and is a good way to carry your paracord.
Making A Pouch
You can tie a pouch for your knife or phone with paracord. You can use a weave or a braid to do it. There a ton of different videos and books on making a pouch. It’s a good way to store your knife and your paracord.
Making A Bracelet
Another project you can do with paracord is making a paracord bracelet. There’s a ton of different designs and ways to make one. Some even have fire starters in them. My favorite and probably the easiest one is called the Cobra weave but there are a lot more. Paracord bracelets make cool gifts and are great way to carry paracord with you.
There are much more uses and projects for paracord, like making snow goggles or even making shoes made out of it.
What is your favorite way to carry paracord? Have you ever made anything out of paracord? How did it turn out?