We have mentioned paracord as a bug out tool in several of our articles as being a resource of nearly limitless usefulness. There are entire web sites and forums devoted to listing its many uses and it has attracted a following among preppers and DIY enthusiasts that approaches Duct Tape in reverence. This is for good reason. There are a great many situations in survival that call for a reliable, strong, and lightweight cord and paracord fits this profile perfectly. In this article we will discuss why paracord is so great, some of its more practical survival applications, and proper paracord storage so that your tool is as compact and accessible as possible.
What is Paracord, why is it so great?
Paracord is also known as parachute cord and 550 cord. Its origins are from the parachute suspension lines in WWII era parachutes. It consists of a woven nylon core covered by a woven exterior sheath. It is particularly well suited for many purposes because it is durable, small in diameter, lightweight and has a very high breaking strength for its size. Paratroopers who had access to paracord quickly found that these qualities made it useful for a wide variety of applications such as affixing gear to their rigs or fastening camouflage netting. From these simple beginnings paracord spread to all branches of the military as well as civilian use.
Paracord Storage Tips
So you understand the usefulness of paracord and have picked some up for your home, bug out location, and bug out bag. A problem frequently encountered when dealing with any rope, cord, or wire in quantity is that it often gets tangled to the point that it is unusable. Anyone who has opened up a tackle box to find a nice fat pile of knots knows exactly what we mean. The way to avoid this is through proper paracord storage techniques. We will go over proper paracord storage both at home and in a pack here:
A Paracord Jig
- Paracord should never be stored without being coiled and wrapped first. This can be done around your arm or using a jig (or chair legs as in the video below). This is the first step in proper paracord storage as it avoids 90% of tangles right off the bat. Take a couple extra minutes when you are done using your 550 cord to coil and wrap it.
- When storing paracord in a bug out bag or box it should always be put inside a smaller container to avoid snagging on other items. There are plenty on items within a BOB such as a hatchet or pry tool that are easily entangled with loose parachute cord. Putting your coil in an empty water bottle, tupperware, or even a zip lock bag will prevent this from happening. One of the features we discuss in our How To Pick The Best Bug Out Backpack article is having multiple compartments of various sizes to store and access your gear. Following this rule will eliminate the entanglement factor from your paracord storage setup.
- Another option for paracord storage is to wrap it around something. This is an alternative to coiling and wrapping and is an even better manner of avoiding entanglement. You may wrap your 550 cord around a tool, water bottle, or bundle of clothes. If you wrap it tightly, there will be nothing loose to get caught on your other gear.
- Also consider hanging your paracord coil off of the exterior of your bag inside webbing or attached to a carabiner. This will enable you to rapidly deploy it if required.
- No matter if you are planning your paracord storage for home or a bug out bag be sure to consider ease of access, prevention of entanglement, and quickness of deployment.
Uses for Paracord
One of the reasons why paracord use has spread so widely is that there are a great many situations that call for lightweight cordage. In a survival situation paracord can be used for the following:
- Affixing gear to a bug out bag
- Lashing bags to a vehicle
- Splinting a broken bone
- Tie a sling to rest that broken bone
- Tying on a bandage or making a tourniquet
- Building a shelter
- Lowering or raising equipment
- Climbing or descending steep inclines
- Restraining hostiles
- Tripwire around your camp
- Building a snare to catch animals
- Making a fish trap
- Make a hammock
- A makeshift hinting bow string
- An excellent string for a fire bow
- And many more…
Additionally, the core and sheath components that make up a strand of paracord can be separated to be used for more specialized tasks:
The core strands can be separated to use for:
- Fishing line
- Sewing thread
- Suture thread
The sheath by itself can be used for replacement shoe/boot laces or just about anything else that needs something without a lot of elasticity.
With all these uses there are a lot of people out there that have a desire to carry a bit of paracord around with them regularly. This may mean having a coil of it in the back of a vehicle or inventing creative ways to make lengths of paracord into unobtrusive wearable items. People have woven paracord into replacements for or additions to a variety of every day items such as:
Paracord Gun Sling
Paracord Drink Coozies
Paracord Knife Handle Wrap
Paracord Dog Leash
Paracord Pet Collar
As you can see there are a lot of things you can create with paracord that make it easy to carry around with you. If you want more ideas for projects you can check out YouTube further. If you want a hard copy of project instructions with pictures to refer to check out this book and project starter kit:
|Paracord Ideas Book
|Paracord Projects Starter Kit
A you can see there are a great many things that you can do with paracord to make it accessible when you need it in a survival situation. Taking the time to address proper paracord storage will make it an asset instead of a liability when you need it most. Whether you decide to wear a paracord bracelet or coil up a couple hundred feet in your bug out bag, having some on hand will come in handy when you least expect it.
Do you have an innovative use for paracord that we didn’t cover here? Do you know of a great paracord storage solution? Please let us know in the Comments Section below! If you thought this page was helpful please Like, +1, or Tweet it using the social media buttons at the top of the page, thanks!