5 Reasons You Should Carry Paracord

ParacordNylon parachute cord (or paracord, or 550 cord) has been used by the military for many years, but it has recently exploded into popularity with survivalists, outdoorsmen, and casual weekend warriors.

This comes as no surprise when you take into account the strength to weight ratio and versatility of 550 cord. With how useful the cord is, and how packable it is, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t carry it along with you on each and every outing.

A survival bracelet (a bracelet woven from¬† 550 cord) is a good way always to ensure that you have some paracord with you. A bracelet can contain 10 or more feet of paracord, depending on how long the bracelet is. There’s typically about a foot of cord per inch of bracelet.

If you’re not into wearing your paracord, a lanyard might be more your speed. A lanyard can be as long or as short as you want, depending on how much cord you want to carry. Lanyards can be attached to the outside of your pack, giving you an extra place to clip gear for easy access.

Another option for carrying paracord, is to just toss a bundle of it into your pack. This might not be as satisfying as a paracord bracelet or lanyard, but you still have cord when you need it. Here are some ways that you can use 550 cord:

  • Paracord is great for gear maintenance. There are all kinds of things that can go wrong on the trail, but you don’t want to bring an extra set of everything. However, 550 cord can be used for everything from replacing a pull tab to fixing a drawstring, and the inner threads can even be used for sewing. There are even stories of people melting paracord to plug small holes in gear.
  • Unless you’re roughing it in the truest sense of the word, you probably brought a tent, or at least some type of shelter, but paracord can be used to build or improve a shelter. String a line between two trees and you can hang a tarp for an a-frame shelter.¬† Or, lash sticks together to make a sturdy and stable shelter structure. If you brought a tent, paracord can be used to create tie downs for a tarp or a rain fly.
  • Most folks probably don’t have this skill set, but paracord can be used for gathering food. You can use it to build snares, and the inner strands can be used as fishing line. You’re probably better off just bringing food, but if worst comes to worst, you know you won’t be high and dry.
  • Paracord is ideal for hauling equipment. If you need to tie a tent to your pack, or need an extra tie down for a canoe, paracord fits the bill perfectly.
  • Paracord can be handy in emergency situations too. Obviously, you don’t want to find yourself in the type of situation where paracor dcan save your life, but if you are in that situation, you will be glad you brought some cordage. Paracord can be used for things like making splints, or aiding in climbing or lowering.

The tensile strength of paracord is 550 lbs, so it’s pretty stout for it’s circumference. However that doesn’t mean that a 550 pound man could dangle from a strand of paracord and be OK. The working strength of paracord is 55 pounds, so if you have to put weight on it for any reason, you should use as many strands as you can.

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