Posts Tagged ‘gear’

The Many Uses of ParaCord

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
detail of inner cordage

detail of inner cordage

Ahh Paracord. I always carry at least 50ft of this whenever I go hiking, you never know when it might come in handy.

10 uses for ParaCord

1. bundle it up and replace that cheap “camping twine” you always carry when you go backpacking. it might weigh a bit more but it also holds up over 500 pounds on a single cord.

2. wrap your hiking stick with it to make it more durable and so you’ll always have some cord when you need it.

3. wrap your knife handle or machete handle with it to soften the grip and avoid blisters.

4. make a bracelet out of it so you’ll always have strong cord with you. a Turks head knot works great for this if you weave in extra knots.

5. use it to hang up your tarp or shelter when camping or in an emergency.

6. use it to hang your bear bag or backpack.

7. use it to do an impromptu rappel into a cave (be extremely careful when doing this – don’t bounce on the end of the cord or anything) or down a steep ledge. Alternately you could use it to help yourself or companions up a steep slope.

8. use the inner cord to make snares and catch yourself dinner.

9. use the inner cord as a fishing line to catch dinner.

10. use a length of cord to hold your camping pad onto your backpack.

The uses of paracord are endless. Don’t be fooled by cheap parachute cord knockoffs. Real parachute cordage has a tensile strength of 550 pounds. As a Kerrnmantle rope type, its interior core (the kern) is protected with a woven exterior sheath or mantle that optimizes strength, durability, and flexibility.

The number of strands in 550 paracord is usually stated as 7, there are actually 14. The strands are twisted in groups of two to form the 7 strands commonly known. A braided nylon outer sheath contains and protects the cordage inside.

550 paracord is rated to hold 550 pounds. Individually, the components of this parachute cord consist of

* The paracord sheath is rated at about 300-pounds
* 14 inner strings, each of which have a rating of about 17.5 pounds
* 7 strands made up on two strings each for a rating of 35 pounds.

So as you can see there are a multitude of uses for paracord and the ones I listed are a very few of the many many things I have personally used it for.  I bought mine from the only drawback I see to ordering from them is you can only buy 1,000 foot spools of it.  They don’t have any smaller lengths, unfortunately.  You can find alot of other places to buy it from, but it might not be the “real” thing.  Alot of sporting goods stores that sell paracord don’t sell the mill spec cord rated at 550 pounds.  When your buying it make sure it has 7 twisted pairs inside the outer sheath as that’s the only sure way to make sure your buying the good stuff.

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