I have mentioned before that I am a fan of paracord on many occasions. I have even shown what to do with paracord by teaching how to make a paracord belt differently than everyone else has, because you could unravel it by untying a single knot and pulling straight out, in a video. In today’s post, I wanted to give you a list of the things you can do with paracord for survival. The idea here is that you should be able to print this off and keep it in your pack, or wherever else you store your paracord, and you have a quick reference guide in the event of a survival scenario.
First, I want to discuss the benefits of paracord over other cordage. Remember that I am talking about mil spec, 550 lb paracord with 7 3-ply inner strands.
- Paracord is very strong. Just a small 1/8” in diameter cord has 550lb capacity before it breaks.
- It has great durability. It can be used over and over again, with very little wear to the cordage.
- It is very lightweight, which is great for a backpack. Part of the mil-spec is that paracord of 225 feet in length, must be 1lb or less.
- It is water and mildew resistant. This is mostly due to the synthetic nylon makeup.
- The inner strands can be removed which gives it infinitely more uses than just the rope alone.
Now for the real meat of today’s post. I have a bunch of ways paracord can be used in survival. I tried to stay away from getting to a specific number, because I didn’t want to give you most of the ignorant suggestions, like tying it together to cups for a phone, or other nonsense. You can find this information in many locations online now, but I will keep it in a format that you hopefully can print out, which is my main reason for this post. The first group of suggestions is for wilderness survival scenarios.
- Braid it for more strength
- Support tents or shelters
- Clothes line
- Tow line
- Tarp, tent, or shelter tie-down
- Fasten gear to backpack
- Boot/shoe lace
- Fire bowdrill string
- Wrap around things (like makeshift knives) that need handles
- Inner Strands can be used for:
- Sewing torn clothing
- Fishing line
- Fish Stringer to hold your catch of the day
- Trapping and snares for passive small-game hunting
- Dental floss
- Emergency sutures after it is boiled for sanitation
- Guy wire for poles
- Paracord Belt
- Hair tie for the ladies in the heat
- Tie off a hammock, or even weave one (uncomfortable one though)
- Headband for dew rag for neck shade.
- Leash other members in group so you don’t get separated
- Weave a net
- Pulley system to lift heavy objects, like large game.
- Rappelling in extreme emergencies. 550 breaks at 550 tensile stress in ideal conditions, practical applications are lower. Don’t risk it if you don’t have to.
- Tie two ends down creating handles for carrying big or awkward objects.
- Makeshift Gun Sling
- Make a Rope Ladder
- Tie down items during high winds like the recent Oklahoma tornados
- Fashion a Sling for injured arm
- Old-style slingshot, the type you twirl, not the elastic kind.
- Weave in a u-shaped branch for snowshoes
- Lash a tarp to branches to make a stretcher.
- Secure a Splint for broken bones
- Fasten things to your belt or loops
- Neck lanyard for your compass or other items
- Travois for hauling supplies
- Tripwire for traps or for alarm systems (when used with cans)
- Water filter, although I have no experience in this.
- Zipper pull
- Secure your boat or raft
- Hang stuff up off the ground to keep animals away
- Replacement for draw strings, such as on your hiking pack
- Tie rolled up items (like tents and sleeping bags)
- Marking a Trail (brightly colored paracord tied to branches)
- Lashing weapons together, such as a makeshift arrow to a wooden spear
- The fibers burn easily. Use a knife to shed the fibers from the rope.
- As a signal. Brightly colored shirt or something tied to the paracord, then twirled in the air, kinda like using an old slingshot.
- Makeshift backpack: Wrap materials with tarp, lash tarp to A-Frame made from sticks, tie shoulder straps to the a-frame.
- Rope to hang water over a fire for boiling.
- Tether your knife, or similar items to your wrist, so it isn’t lost.
- Making a primitive Gig (4 pronged spear)
- Gear sling
- Tying pack off in an elevated location to a tree for ease of reaching
- If you are good enough to use it, make a bola (rocks and paracord)
- Firewood Bundles
Since I tried to keep all of it wilderness survival related, now we can expand it a little to a few other nice uses:
- Tie glasses to your head
- Handcuffs for the bad guys
- Tying up bad guys and zombies
- Layout your square foot garden grid with paracord
- Neckerchief Slide… for a boy scout style neckerchief.
- Tie veggies (like tomatoes) to stakes
- Fasten together a tripod (something I have done for a video of mine) from 3 sticks
- Suspenders to hold up pants
- Tie down to a vehicle roof rack
- Cinchstrap in place of metal hose clamps
- Keeping you attached to your parachute! PARAchute CORDage
There are a million uses for paracord. Sometimes, I like to get creative on ways to carry paracord, or how to make carrying easy, with you so you will have it on you.
- Paracord Belt
- Watch bands
- Dog collar
- Dog leash
- Key fab
- Shoe or Boot Laces
- Or just keep a big bundle of rope in your pack
So, remember… Print this off and place in your pack, so you have a paracord reference.
If ANYONE has other good ways to use it, please comment so it can be printed as well. Thanks.If you like this and would like more, do the easiest thing,Subscribe to my Email Updates, so you can get the updated content AND be notified of any specials that I may be running specifically for email subscribers or follow my RSS Feed, and you will get updated content daily. You may also try to connect with me by following the link to my connect to the community page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ken Jensen is an American, Ex-Military Patriot that is knowledgeable and experienced in Electronics and Industrial Electrical design and maintenence. Ken is also an experienced Nuclear Reactor Operator and also worked on nuclear instrumentation. He grew up hunting, camping and spending time outdoors. In adulthood, Ken has spent many years learning wilderness survival and, eventually, urban survival.
Ken is the author of a book, The Honey and The Bee and is the main author and contributor to The Clever Survivalist Blog, Survival Guide and The Prepper Podcast, Survival Podcast