Are you one of the many suffering from cabin fever during the pandemic? It’s time to pull out the sleeping bag and tent for a backcountry camping trip. Along with your sleeping bag and tent, don’t forget to stuff plenty of paracord in your backpack. There are more paracord uses than you think. When you are camping in the rain, a tarp and paracord can keep your gear dry. There is much more to paracord, though, so let’s explore a few more reasons to put paracord in your backpack.
1. Light That Fire
Since the paratroopers in WWII first started using their parachute cord to lace up boots, we keep finding more and more ways to use paracord. It is so popular now that paracord comes in various colors and is used to make almost anything a survivalist would need.
You may not know it, but you can use 550 FireCord to start a fire. FireCord is paracord with a visible red thread running through the cord. You can peel the red thread off and, with an open flame, light it on fire. It’s great for setting a small pile of kindling or dry leaves on fire. You can impress the children with your fire-starting ability and, at the same time, teach them how to get a flame going with FireCord.
2. Paracord Bling
You can take paracord anywhere you go if you are wearing a paracord survival bracelet. Many bracelets are made with 550 paracord and come complete with accessories like a compass, fire starter, whistle, blade and watch. These accessories are built into the bracelet itself.
If you are serious about your survival gear, you will want your paracord to be of the 550 variety. There are cheaper alternatives, but they tend to break easily. The 550 numeral is in reference to how many pounds the paracord can hold before it breaks. You can get paracord in different diameters and up to 1,200-pound tensile strength, but 550 is the least you will want.
3. Paracord for Hunting
Paracord gun slings can come in handy in sticky situations. If you are ever caught on a mountain in bad weather, you can strip off long runs of cord from the gun sling. A hasty shelter is much stronger when lashed down with paracord. It’s also great for making a drag to pull your game out with or to tie your harvest to your all-terrain vehicle.
There are many uses for paracord in the hunting world. Hunters of all types will use it to wrap the handle of their knife or will strap gear to their backpacks with paracord. Bowhunters often use paracord wrist slings on their bow or paracord pull ropes to get their gear up the tree. Even a paracord lanyard or keychain can be a life saver in the right situation.
4. Shelter in Place
No matter what type of camping you are into, chances are you will need paracord for something. It’s common for those camping in the rain to throw a tarp over a leaky tent and use paracord to pull the tarp tight. If you are caught by unexpected weather, a poncho can be stretched between trees and tied off with paracord to make a lean-to. Even glampers can make a clothesline with paracord and a couple of trees.
Experienced campers who frequent bear country know not to keep food where they sleep. Instead, they eat a little way from camp and use paracord to keep their food hanging high off the ground. Little things like this that are fun to teach the children and something they won’t soon forget.
5. Survival Cord
If you’re on a scouting trip, family camping trip or solo backcountry camping trip, it’s always fun to improve your survival skills. A paracord survival weekend is fun for everyone and maybe a lifesaver someday. You can use 550 paracord to make a bow drill and practice making a quick fire. Paracord is just slippery enough to make a good string for the bow drill. You may want to wrap the drill with a couple of wraps of cord for extra traction.
If you’re going to be near a stream, river or lake, you can make a fishing net from paracord. All you need is paracord, small diameter rope, scissors, lighter and, with a little patience, you can make a net in no time. Using a modified snake knot/bull hitch knot will make the net strong enough to catch or trap fish. To keep the cut end of the paracord from fraying, melt the end for a couple of seconds with a lighter. This step will not only keep your paracord together, but it looks much neater as well.
You can always buy paracord gun slings, bracelets, necklaces and keychains. If you’re looking for a pandemic project for the family, you can also make your own. It doesn’t take long, and even young children can get the hang of it. Starting on small projects is best until you learn the different knots and how to keep your lines straight. Before long, you can take on larger projects; paracord makes a great hammock.
Paracord for Every Occasion
There are many occasions to use paracord. Paracord is an essential tool for the survivalist on a backcountry camping trip, for the scout troop camping in the rain, or for parents trying to teach survival skills to the family. It’s wise to keep paracord in your trunk, toolbox or backpack or on your wrist. You never know when a fun family excursion will turn into an emergency. Having paracord on hand can save the day.