SO, WHAT IS PARACORD USED FOR?
Excellent question. If you were to do a quick search on the term "550 cord" you will find that the uses are endless. Parachute cord is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during WWII.
The components of all-nylon Paracord make it weather resistant, meaning it will not rot or mildew. The strength of this compact cord gets the 550 term from its ability to withstand 550 lbs. of weight.
Paracord is used in survival situations, emergency situations, self defense, and every day uses. This type of cord has been utilized by NASA, the military, and normal folks-alike. The number of Paracord projects are never-ending and many are easy to do, but today we want to try and focus on how Paracord can help you in a survival or emergency situation.
We will explain different scenarios in which Paracord survival may help you and how to utilize and tie the cord should you ever need to.
PARACORD FOR SURVIVALISTS
Ravenox has done some pretty extensive research on the many uses of Type III Paracord, and it seems as if the word survival rises clear to the top. Not many of us have found ourselves in a dire survival situation (one would hope) but we do know one thing for sure: owning Paracord is never a bad thing.
Whether you store it in your hiking gear, keep it hooked onto your keys as a Paracord Monkey Fist Keychain, or wear one of those stylish Paracord bracelets: 550 cord is a great tool to add to your survival gear. You may have seen (or even own) one of these Paracord accessories that seem to be popping up everywhere. You can find Paracord items in your local chain stores and even clothing stores, it doesn't have to be in the camping section of a sporting goods store.
It can be worn or found in many ways. Some examples are as a Paracord lanyard, a knife handle, hatchet handles, a Paracord belt, or as a survival bracelet. These items are a great and convenient way to have cord around. Ravenox also has a pretty good selection of 550 cord that you can buy by the foot (wink wink.)
Let's say that you're on a hiking trip and you look up only to realize the rest of your group is gone. Maybe you became too preoccupied looking around for those Morels and haven't paid much attention to your surroundings and now you've lost your bearing. Maybe a storm is rolling in, the foliage suddenly becomes too thick, and nightfall is coming soon. You probably want to find a safe spot to hunker down until they find you, and chances are they will before too much time has passed. But... if you find yourself spending more than 24-48 hours alone in the forest, you will want to take some measures to stay alive.
You are lost and find yourself near a body of water, now let's use your Paracord to catch some food.
You can use this 550 cord at any time, no matter where you are. It's easy to carry, and the uses for Paracord are endless. Ravenox knows that food is essential for long-term survival, so we have divvied up a few ideas on the ways these inner strands could possibly save your life.
If you need to acquire food in a survival situation like the one mentioned above, having Paracord around can help assist in this challenging wilderness endeavor. It's a great way to create a fishing line or trotline and you can even create a lure or cast a line with the finer strands from the core. If you are feeling extra crafty and a fishing line won't suffice, you can use the inner strands to tie a fishing net.
Ravenox's Type III 550 Paracord contains seven core yarns (also known as the guts) and when the finer string is needed you just break the melted ends open and then gently peel it apart.
With a simple knot known as a sheet bend knot, you can tie 10 feet of cord from a survival bracelet into 80 feet, or even 200 feet of cord, by tying the loose strings together. Keep in mind though, the longer the length, the less weight that the parachute cord can withstand.
For more information on how to tie survival cord, this Ravenox Scout Pioneering-Knots & Lashing blog should do the trick.
If you find yourself in the wilderness without food and do need to create a fishing line, you will have to hone in on your imagination as far as the hook and bait goes. Something as simple as a pop can tab can be used as a hook, or you can carve one from wood or you could use metal from your clothing.
If you find yourself needing more bang for your buck, a trotline would increase the odds of catching more fish. You would use the same method as the fishing line by tying your fishing lines together, adding small drop lines about 2-3 feet apart with hooks attached to each of these trot lines. This will allow you to save time needed for scavenging and gathering in other areas without having to babysit your single fishing line and stick.
Another time-saving technique for catching game is to set out some snares. How does a snare work? Typically a loop of wire is suspended from a branch or small tree and the snare catches an animal by the neck as it is walking along the trail. In this situation you would replace the wire with Paracord.
As the animal continues moving forward, the snare pulls tight, trapping the animal. This is one way to catch animals using Paracord, but keep in mind-you will want to set multiple snares and you will have to most likely wait a few days for your scent to dissipate from the area before you start to see results.
All you need to use for this snare is your Paracord, a rock, and a few sticks. Take your cord and tie a slipknot using the inner strands of the Paracord. These will need to be set small enough for your targeted animal’s neck, typically small game. (Think rabbit.) Attach your newly created slipknot to the hook and the hook to the leader line. You can also use your inner strands as the leader line attached to the tree sapling used for tension.
Keep your eye out for small burrows in the ground or game trails and you can make and use your snares in these locations. Make sure you always mark your snares. If you have any additional Paracord around you can mark a tree nearby, this will help you to remember where you set them. And remember-set multiple snares up!
One key to survival is to never give up. If after a couple of days, your cord snares are not productive, relocate them.
Once you've caught yourself some food to eat, you can start a fire using the bow drill method, if you haven't already started a fire that is. The bow drill method, also known as the fire drill, is where friction is generated to produce heat. Find a base board made from spruce, cedar, balsam or tamarack. Any sort of non-resinous wood will work, and the drier the better. Attach your Paracord string to a bow by wrapping it 2-3 times, then the string of the bow will be wrapped once around the spindle. The spindle will be used to drill directly into your base board. Keep some small dry debris on the baseboard so that as the drill creates dust it will catch fire. Apply downward pressure and speed, and remember: FRICTION CAUSES FIRE.
Whether it's building a better shelter, preventing someone (or yourself) from bleeding out due to a wound, or saving yourself from drowning in water or quicksand-the survival uses of Paracord is one helluvaway to come to the rescue.
Use Paracord to rig a better shelter by improvising with some fabric. This strong cord will help build a more dependable structure. To keep animals away from your food source near your shelter, it's easy to use Paracord to tie and store your food in a nearby tree.
Ravenox has scoured the Internet looking for various ways to use cord in different emergency situations and we've found several.
- Across stream guide
- Trail markers
- Hanging food/game
- Trotline/fishing net
- Fishing lure/fishing line
- Tethering yourself to your own bug out bag
- Stone throwing sling
- Sturdier sleeping structure
- Rescue line (drowning/quicksand)
Honestly, the list goes on and on. The only thing preventing you from using one of the ways that Paracord can help is your own imagination.