If you slice your skin open in the outdoors, and you can’t get to an ER, you’re going to need to know how to stop the bleeding and patch yourself up, or you won’t be coming home.
How to Make Stitches or Sutures with Paracord
Most quality paracord has at least 7 strands, which form the guts of the material. These inner strands provide great strength to the paracord and have a breaking strength of around 50 lbs each when split down to their thinnest component.
One of the great uses in an SHTF situation is to take one of those inner strands, to use as a suture.
They are thin enough to thread through the eye of a needle and if you have an open wound that needs to be closed up, you can use this to do so.
1. First Open up the cord
First, you want to unbraid your paracord and then choose and end where you want to pull the threads from.
2. Separate the inner Paracord
Once you pull apart the threads you can arrange them so they are thin enough to fit through the hole of a needle.
Most first aid kits will not have a suture kit, so adding paracord, and a needed is a good idea.
3. Putting in Stitches
If you have a needle and paracord ready, sterilize them with alcohol.
Or, if alcohol is unavailable, just sterilize the needle by placing it in a fire for a few seconds. If you have it, the fishing line makes some of the best-improvised sutures.
To make stitching easier and less painful (the stitches will be shallower), bend the sharp end of the needle so the needle resembles the shape of a “J”.
Thread the string through the eye of the needle and, starting on one end of the cut, stitch the skin together by pulling the thread tight as you go.
Do not pull too tightly in order to prevent the thread from breaking.
Another option is to use dental floss in lieu of thread. Dental floss is strong, resistant to moisture (the waxed versions), pliable, compact and, like paracord, has a number of uses in emergency situations.