Never leave paracord out of your survival and emergency gear list. Find out why and how here!
All About Paracords: A Prepper's Best Survival Tool
What Is Paracord, Anyway?
Paracords are a lightweight nylon rope initially used to suspend lines during WWII. The smooth texture of the rope is ideal for multiple uses due to its lightweight and elastic nature.
Paracords are also a prepper's best friend. Also called a parachute cord, it is strong, versatile, inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to carry.
Hikers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts sometimes use “survival bracelets” made of several feet of the rope which are woven into a compact and wearable form. Such bracelets are meant to unravel so when you need a rope for whatever purpose, you got it.
These uses include securing cargo, lashing together poles, fixing broken straps or belts, assisting with water rescues, controlling bleeding with a tourniquet, etc.
You can also use the inner part of the rope in survival situations such as fishing wire or as a heavy-duty rope. In addition to purely utility functions, paracords also make good and practical fashion accessories.
Everyday Paracord Uses
The uses for 550 paracords are virtually endless. From clothing to furniture to tools and self-defense, there's a project to fill just about any survival need you can imagine.
It comes in so many colors, that we can't possibly name them all. There is also an infinite number of cool projects you can make from this nifty, strong survival cord.
Due to its super practical applications and versatility, paracord is one of our favorite items to keep in our survival gear.
- You're out camping and you realize you didn't bring any of the tools needed to set up your tent…
- Your car breaks down and you need to tow it, but don't have any rope or chain…
- Someone in your party breaks a limb and you need to make a splint…
- You're on a fishing trip and realize you forgot a stringer…
All these situations and more can be a great opportunity to use paracord. It is known for its flexibility and durability, making it an ideal survival tool for any situation or terrain.
Once you realize how many uses this material has, you won't want to leave home without it.
Click here for our list of 80 Uses for Paracord, and check out the video below for a more thorough rundown of what it is, how it works, and what it can be used for
The History of 550 Paracord Strength
The term paracord comes from the cord used on soldiers' parachutes in WWII. The term 550 simply means that it has a breaking strength of 550 pounds, giving it the name of 550 paracords, or 550 cord.
When soldiers landed on the battlefields, they would cut the cord off their parachutes and pack it up for later use. This particular cord would come in handy for soldiers during battle.
Whether it was used to strap gear to humvees, build shelters, or as sewing string, the cord could be used in endless ways. Learn more about the history of 550 cord here.
So what is the big deal with paracord? What makes it different than regular nylon rope? You can’t read about survival lately without reading about paracords and projects using them.
RELATED: Paracord 101
Survival Paracord Bracelet
A paracord survival bracelet is a great tool for any prepper to have around. We have seen more cool survival bracelets than we can think of, and it is difficult to say which one is the best to have around.
We just prefer to keep an assortment on hand. You can make or buy a paracord bracelet with a fire starter buckle, or add a custom emblem (like survival straps).
Add decorative items to your bracelets like shotgun shells, a compass, and many other useful items. You can even add a watch face to your bracelet and make it into a watch band.
Keeping your emergency survival bracelet around your wrist and ready to quickly deploy in the case of an emergency situation is a simple way of being prepared no matter where you are.
How to Make a Paracord Bracelet
There are tons of different ways to make a survival bracelet out of paracord. Here are some of our favorite tutorials. Check them out and try making your own survival bracelet.
Favorite Paracord Projects
1. How to Make Paracord Survival Bracelets | 16 Cool Projects
With all the different types of paracord bracelets on this list, you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. We think you will find several paracord projects you love.
This goes way beyond personalizing your bracelet with colors. We have 16 options that not only look different but serve different purposes. Check out the different paracord bracelet weaves and pick one that works best for you.
2. How to Make a Paracord Bracelet
Ever wonder how to make paracord bracelets? Here is a list of different paracord bracelet projects for you to make at home.
All you need are a few simple supplies and you will be making paracord bracelets for your friends and family. Not to mention your personal outdoor use.
There are many different weaves, patterns, and knots you can try when braiding the bracelets.
3. How to Make a Paracord Watch Band
I love my paracord watchband because it serves a dual purpose. I like knowing I have a durable timekeeping accessory and also like knowing paracord can be a lifesaver in a crisis.
This is a super rugged and stylish watchband, and also a bit unique. In this project, I used two colors of paracord to create my watch band. (You can also follow these same steps to make a bracelet with a side release buckle.)
4. Easy Paracord Vapor Pen Lanyard
Vapor Pens are all the rage these days, but they can be awfully expensive. If you’re prone to being forgetful or clumsy, this Vapor Pen lanyard will keep your loving chemical brother safe and snug around your neck.
Even better, you won’t have to dig through your pocket every time you want to use it.
What Is A Lanyard? A lanyard is a strap or a cord used to hold items and worn around the neck, wrists, or shoulders.
5. 10 Coolest Paracord Survival Bracelets
Preppers may not be known for their fashion sense, but bracelets can mean the difference between life and death. Paracord survival bracelets, that is.
Each bracelet is made with between eight to twenty feet of woven paracord, which can be taken apart and used in various survival situations. Did we mention you can store essential survival gear in these bracelets?
6. Braze Bar Quick Deploy Paracord Bracelet Tutorial
When you are in a survival situation, every second counts. This blaze bar paracord bracelet is designed to quickly deploy.
How quick you ask? Under 20 seconds! Follow this tutorial to make your very own blaze bar, a quick deploy paracord bracelet and be at ease knowing you’re a little more ready for an emergency situation.
7. Cobra Survival Weave for Paracord Bracelets
A paracord survival bracelet is a versatile tool that can come in handy for a number of emergency situations.
Whether you are a survivalist, frequent hunter, outdoorsman, or just value the need to be prepared at all times, paracord bracelets are a great tool to have on you at all times.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to make the Cobra Survival Bracelet. When made correctly, this Cobra weave will quickly deploy to about 10 feet of paracord!
8. How to Make a Paracord Keychain
This paracord keychain is a perfect place to keep matches, cash, and other essentials with you wherever you go, and to carry it safely and discreetly.
Best of all, it's easy to make yourself. Click here for the DIY tutorial.
9. How to Make a Paracord Survival Bracelet: Tire Tread
A paracord survival bracelet is a versatile tool that can come in handy for a number of emergency situations.
Whether you are a survivalist, frequent hunter, outdoors person, or just value the need to be prepared at all times, knowing how to tie a paracord bracelet is an important skill.
A paracord bracelet is a good thing to have on hand at all times.
10. How to Make a Paracord Bracelet: Oat Spike
It’s better to know how to tie a paracord bracelet more than one way. Try this Oat Spike paracord bracelet!
Knowing how to tie several is even better than just one.
Paracord Knots, Hitches, and Braids
In order to make something useful out of paracord, you need to know what sort of knot is right for the job.
With a little help from our friends over at DIY Ready, we've compiled some tutorials to help you master the art of paracord knots, braids, and hitches.
These tutorials will help you find the right technique for using your 550 cord in any situation. Just remember–practice makes perfect!
1. Survival Knots and Hitches
What an insanely useful item for preppers and off the grid living! Make strong knots and hitches with this amazing rope.
Our friends at DIY Projects made an awesome list of all the best knots and hitches.
2. Four Badass Paracord Knots
Sometimes knowing the right knot could save your life. Case in point – you need to escape a POW camp and have a pile of bedsheets in your room (It’s a five star POW camp).
What knot would you use to tie the bedsheets together so that you can still take the bedsheets with you to keep you warm during your trek through Siberia? By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly which knot to use.
3. DIY Four Strand Braid
This bracelet is made with 550 paracords. The working cords were guttered so that it would give it a flatter, more feminine look and feel.
But, it works just the same without gutting the cord. The middle core is not gutted. This way gives the braid a more rounded look.
Click here for the full tutorial.
Paracord for Emergency and First Aid
Paracord is a vital tool in an emergency situation. Its durability and flexibility make it strong enough to perform all kinds of tasks. Here are just a few:
…#35 Tie straight sticks around a broken limb to make a splint.
#36 Tie a sling to hold your arm
#37 Sew up a wound using the internal strands. For thinner thread untwist one of the internal strands
#38 Make a tourniquet to slow the loss of blood
#39 Make a stretcher by running a paracord between two long sticks or fashion a branch drag to move an injured person
See more Emergency Uses for Paracord via SurvivorGeek.com
More Paracord Info and DIY Tutorials
We've only scratched the surface of the many possibilities of paracord. The truth is, there are tons of projects you can do with this versatile survival material.
From phone cases to dog collars, to lanyards and even furniture and shelter, the only limit is your imagination. Check out more of our favorite paracord articles and tutorials:
1. Paracord Projects | Solid Gear Wrap
Make this paracord weave for all sorts of survival gear and tools. This grip will make your tools, gear, and weapons more comfortable and easier to handle.
2. Homemade Paracord Knife Grip
This paracord knife grip from our friends at DIY Ready is an awesome addition to your survival gear.
3. 36 Paracord Projects for Preppers
Want to know how to make cool paracord projects? We picked 36 of our favorite 550 cord ideas for you to try out.
Our selections offer everything from paracord lanyards and belts to whips and weapons–even a cool paracord keychain with a secret hidden compartment that makes a super tiny survival kit.
Click here for the full list.
4. Cool Paracord Projects
We love 550 paracord projects, and there are so many to choose from these days–survival bracelets, belts, watches, monkey fists, lanyards, gear wraps, and hundreds of other creative and cool ideas.
The wallet pictured above is super stylish, and the woven cord makes it super strong and especially durable.
We had not thought of making a wallet before and can't wait to try this one in the color combination of our choice. We will be sure to post pictures when we do.
If you make one, please make sure to share photos with us. We would love to see them!
5. How to Make a Paracord Dog Collar
There are so many fun projects out there. Right now, our favorite one is this DIY paracord dog collar. It’s the ultimate dog collar made with about 40ft of 550 cord.
This DIY dog collar is your best bet if you are looking for a stylish collar that is also super strong and durable. You can make this collar in any color combination you wish, and the same weave can also make a matching, super strong, and durable dog leash.
If you’ve been following our paracord projects, then you know the Cobra weave is one of the more popular weaves. For this paracord dog collar, we are going to take it one step further and do a King Cobra weave!
This weave is super strong and even adds thickness and padding to the original Cobra weave, making the collar more comfortable for pooches of all sizes.
6. How to Make a Snare Trap
These instructions and tutorials will show you how to use paracord and sticks to create a basic snare that will increase your probability of trapping in the wild.
It is not nearly as difficult to catch a game as you would think it might be–albeit primitive, this trap is effective and a great project to know for emergencies.
Let’s get started on this cool paracord project that is one of our favorite survival DIY ideas!
7. How to Make a Paracord Belt | Instructions
These paracord belt instructions and easy-to-follow instructions show you how to make a DIY paracord rescue belt, my favorite of all the paracord belts I tried.
Paracord bracelets can come in handy but only have 8-12 feet of rope, while a belt can have up to 50 feet or more of 550 paracords.
In extreme survival situations, 50 feet of rope would be a lot more useful to you than 8-12 feet. However, this 550 cord belt gives you at least 50 feet of rope that is quickly accessible.
And, depending on your waist size, up to 100 ft of strong cord. It is super quick to deploy, you can unravel it in seconds.
This particular DIY belt is made with Slatt's rescue weave and is our favorite one for survival.
Watch this video from Survivalkraft to find out how to tie a snake knot!
Now you know those paracords aren't just accessories you can look cool in. They are also survival gears you can feel safer and secure with.
Learn to make more DIY paracord projects for your own use and perhaps to give as survival gifts to your family and friends.
Do you have an awesome tutorial that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below!
- 36 Awesome Paracord Projects For Preppers
- 15 Important Survival Kit Items You Need To Prepare
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 20, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.