What is paracord? “Paracord“, also referred to as “parachute cord” or “550 cord” is a flexible, lightweight nylon rope. It was originally used during World War II by U.S. Paratroopers as suspension lines. It is very strong for its weight and has many uses. It is comprised of an interwoven nylon sheath with numerous nylon strands inside. The sheath and the strands may separately be used for different applications, for example, you could use the outer sheath as a shoelace, while you could sew up a hole using the inner threads. Two ends can be melted or fused together using a lighter or candle.
It can be used to secure items to a backpack, used as fishing line, or attaching a tent or other shelter to tree branches. Its uses are endless.
Paracord comes in different specs, each based on how many threads are contained and how much weight it is rated to be able to support. Most military spec paracord can hold a minimum of 550 lbs, hence the term “550 cord”. Different versions are available for civilian use, and is usually rated for less weight and contains fewer strands.
For accessibility and portability paracord can be braided into “survival bracelets”, belts, keychains and watch bands. Since the knotting and braiding decreases the size of the overall cord, several feet of paracord can be carried around the wrist as a bracelet. There are several patterns and styles of braiding, but generally, for every inch of braided paracord, it can be unbraided to about a foot. The availability of different colors adds some flare as well.
However it is carried, paracord should be an essential addition to your survival gear.
Many colors and lengths of paracord can be purchased here.
For instructions on making your own survival bracelets and many other projects, see: Decorative Fusion Knots: A Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to New and Unusual Ornamental Knots