No bug-out bag or survival kit is complete without paracord. Its importance is in its multipurpose functionality which is the foundation of most survival equipment. Every military installation utilizes paracord in many different areas.
What is Paracord?
Paracord was originally designed for paratroopers in World War II. They acted as the suspension lines that held on to the parachutes. Its versatility was on full display when used to repair the Hubble Space Telescope during the 82nd space shuttle mission.
Types of Paracord
|Type Of Cordage||Strength In LB||Min Elongation||Min Length Per LB||Core Yarns||Sheath Structure|
|1||95 lb (43kg)||30%||950 feet||1||16/1|
|1A||100 lb (45 kg)||30%||1050 feet||0||16/1|
|2||400 lb (181 kg)||30%||265 feet||4-7||32/1 - 36/1|
|2A||225 lb (102 kg)||30%||495 feet||0||32/1 - 36/1|
|3||550 lb (249 kg)||30%||225 feet||7-9||32/1 - 36/1|
|4||750 lb (340 kg)||30%||165 feet||11||32/1 - 36/1 - 44/1|
What does 550 Paracord Mean?
By far the most popular paracord among Preppers is military spec 550 cord. 550 means that the Paracord can handle 550 pounds of weight under stress. With military-spec paracord the outer sheath is nylon. Some paracord is constructed of polyester. However, nylon has more elasticity and holds up better than most polyester versions of cordage.
Most military-spec 550 paracord will have 7 interwoven strands comprising the core or the guts of the cord. Each of the seven interwoven strands will be comprised of 3 woven strands. So in 1 foot of Mil Spec Paracord you technically have 22 feet of usable cordage at your disposal.
How Thick is Standard Paracord?
Type III or standard paracord measures, on average, about 4mm in diameter. But, there is no military spec requirment for paracord thickness.
Uses for Paracord
What are paracords used for? You’ll see videos around the web touting dozens or hundreds of uses of paracord. Our goal is to show some of the uses in order to get your creative juices flowing. WE WILL NOT Waste your time with 275 ridiculous regurgited uses that you can figure out on your own. Instead we will show you some basic uses of your cordage and, more importantly, some useful ways to store your paracord.
A single strand of the inner cordage is more than strong enough to sew jeans, canvas, or most materials used for shelter.
Each of the 7 inner strands of military grade 550 paracord should be the equivalent of 50 pound test fishing line. That is more than enough strength to fish most bodies of water in a survival situation. In this video, the prepper uses 7 ft of paracord and uses a sheet bend knot in order to preserve your cordage.
If you happen to remove the inner strength of your paracord do not discard the outer sheath. It can be used as emergency boot laces or tie downs. Never throw the stuff away.
TOP TIP – After cutting your paracord, seal the end by searing it with a lighter. This will help preserve your cordage by not allowing more inner strands to be accidentally discarded. It will also help extend the life span of the outer sheath.
Have you ever been anywhere and forgotten a belt? What a pain in the butt! Having to deal with that type of situation when in a SHTF situation can be distracting. Just cut one or two strands of paracord and tie them through your belt loops. Simple and effective.
Wrap Your Knife, Pistol and Rifle Handles
This is a great way to store your paracord while adding comfort to your weapon grips.
The inner strands of your 550 cordage is ideal for a rabbit snare. Check out this video on just how to do it.
Hanging Bear Bags
Keep those pesky bears away from your food. Everyone knows to do this. Paracord is ideal for this because it is very strong and much lighter than conventional rope.
If you’re lost or stranded for an extended amount of time, believe me, you’re going to appreciate having clean choppers. Especially when SHTF. Most preppers will have a life supply of cordage but forget to store floss. It’s actually more important than brushing! When you pull the strands of 550 out, each inner strand should be comprised of 3 smaller strands. These are ideal for floss.
The post was greatly inspired by the one and only SensiblePrepper. Subscribe to his channel for some of the best Prepper Tips on YouTube.
As stated earlier, the purpose of this post is to jog your creativity. At the end of the day, that’s what survival is all about – staying calm, being decisive, and being creative. If you have any feedback or ideas regarding paracord uses, please share in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.