35 Reasons Why People Love Paracord

Outdoor use, EDC, Survival or SHTF the possibilities are endless... So, what is paracord? It has several names including parachute cord, Military Type III cord and 550 cord. Whatever name you use to refer to your cordage is up to you, but it is made of a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes. The outer nylon sheath is braided from 32 strands and the core contains multiple woven strands of two-ply yarns. The type of cord determines the number of strands in the core. The "550" comes from the fact that its rated for 550 lbs.

35 Reasons Why People Love Paracord


Paracord is perfect for people in all walks of life, not just outdoorsmen, its versatile and its uses are only limited by the imagination.

The cord was strictly used in the military, but after World War II it became available to civilians as military surplus. Since its release to the public, paracord has been used for a variety of survival, retention, and rigging applications. Paracord was even used by astronauts to help repair the Hubble Space Telescope. This cord is useful for many tasks and is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. So here are some uses to help spark your imagination!

Everyday, Outdoor, Survival and First Aid Uses:

#1 Repair torn clothing with the internal strands which slide easily out of the kernmantle (casing). Use a makeshift needle or be sure to keep one in your first-aid kit.

#2 Repair torn or broken equipment either by sewing or tying the pieces together securely

#3 Rig a makeshift tow rope.  A single length of paracord has been tested to handle 550 lbs of weight, so wrap it securely 10 times and you have the ability to pull 5500 lbs. 

#4 Repair or replace a knife handle by wrapping paracord around it. It makes it easier to hold onto, and you can add extra paracord to your sheath to hang it around your neck, or add extra to the butt of the handle for easy access as well!

#5 String up a clothes line. Wet clothes are uncomfortable when you’re camping and dangerous when you’re trying to survive. 

#6 Hang a bear bag to keep your food away from critters. This is good whether you’re camping or roughing it in the woods

#7 Replace your shoe laces. Just burn the ends and thread them through.

#8 Tie things to your backpack with it so you can carry more stuff hands free

#9 String up a trip wire to protect an area… rig it with bells, or cans or make a fancier trap

#10 Lower yourself or an object very carefully down from a height.  (note:  paracord is NOT climbing rope, and is NOT a realistic replacement for true climbing rope; do not expect it to catch you should you fall. For security double or triple the thickness if you can)

#11 Rig a pulley system to lift a heavy object

#12 Make a ladder to get up or down

#13 Tie up a tarp or poncho to make an awning to keep off sun or rain

#14 If you’re hiking in a place where there is danger of avalanche tie yourself to your buddy so you can find each other should one of you get caught under snow

#15 Keep your stuff. Tie objects you're likely to drop around your wrist, ankle, or waist

#16 Make a pack by first making a netting then adding a draw-string

#17 Build a shelter using sticks or by tying up the corners of a poncho or tarp

#18 Rig an improvised hammock, so that you can sleep off the ground

#19 Make a snare out of the internal strands

#20 Lash logs or other items together to build a raft.

#21 Tie snow shoes.  Bend a 1” branch in a teardrop shape. Tie it securely then weave the paracord back and forth across the opening. Tie this to your shoes.

#22 Use it to make a bow drill for fire starting...(note it does take a lot of practice to start a fire with a bow, so don't rely on this unless you've done it before!)

#23 Make a sling to throw stones for protection and food. 

#24 Use it for signaling by tying a mirror or colorful cloth to the top of a tree

#25 Make fishing line by cutting a length and pulling out the internal strands (there are seven of them, each of which comes apart into two, so there's 14 thin lines if you aren't catching really big fish). Just tie them together. Or check out paracord lures in our article on fishing. 

#26 Make a fish stringer. If you’ve just pulled the strings out to make fishing line, the remaining kernmantle (the colored sheath) would be plenty strong enough to hold fish. Otherwise just cut a length, and tie through the gills. Get everything you need for survival fishing, in the Paracord Survival Grenade Fishing Kit.

#27 Secure your boat or raft

#28 Make a net out of the internal strands… if you have some time on your hands

#29 Tie straight sticks around a broken limb to make a splint.  

#30 Tie a sling to hold your arm

#31 Sew up a wound using the internal strands.  For thinner thread untwist one of the internal strands

#32 Make a tourniquet to slow loss of blood

#33 Make a stretcher by running paracord between two long sticks, or fashion a branch drag to move an injured person

#34 Make a Monkey Fist (weighted ball on the end of a strap that is used like a medieval flail mace) for protection

#35 Use the internal strands as dental floss!

The list could go on and on, but I hope this gave you reasons to love paracord, and hopefully you'll add it to your EDC list and Bug Out Bag, if you haven't already!

Thanks for some of these awesome ideas SurvivorGeek, and Everyday Carry...

Happy Trails! 

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