a paracord bracelet

20 Awesome Uses For Paracord

By Brandon Hunt

I first came across paracord, or 550 cord as it is sometimes called, when I was in the military. This was before paracord became mainstream. At the time I thought it was this cool rope that was very useful, but still just another piece of gear.

I quickly discovered the versatility of paracord. We used it all the time from securing loose objects, hanging equipment, emergency repairs to rifle slings, and so many other applications. 

If paracord was a superhero, it would put Superman to shame, as far as usefulness goes ---and even in strength.

Paracord is capable of holding 550 lbs. Not bad! It’s incredibly strong and durable for such thin looking rope.

Paracord has been around for a long time. It was first used in World War 2 for parachutes, and after landing, paratroopers quickly found other uses for it. Ever since then paracord has become a standard part of gear for every type of military unit out there.

And over the years paracord has cemented its place as a survival essential in all walks of life. It’s simply one of those items you have to keep around. So, with that said... 

Here are 20 of my favorite uses for paracord. I haven’t tried them all, but some of them seemed quite useful...or fun.

  1. Dental Floss: Forgot your own dental floss? Use the inner strands to clean your teeth (or fangs).
  2. Field Wrench: If you need to loosen a stubborn nut, wrap paracord around it counterclockwise and give it a good yank.
  3. Sling or Bola: Make a sling (like David used on Goliath) or a bola for hunting or as a weapon. Though I have never made these yet, I imagine they require some practice to use accurately.
  4. Bow Drill: Use the paracord for the bow and make some fire.
  5. Tourniquet: With a stick and paracord make a tourniquet you can tighten and loosen with ease.
  6. Fishing Lines: The inner strands become handy fishing lines or even a net.
  7. Emergency Sutures: Close a deep wound using the inner strands as sutures.
  8. Perimeter Tripwires: Fun for children and adults. Set up an alarm system around your camp to hinder intruders and give you warning.
  9. Bundle Firewood: I hate gathering firewood in my arms. There’s always one stick that falls because I try to carry too much. Bundle firewood with paracord. How simple!
  10. Fire Starter: Great for emergency tinder.
  11. Steering Wheel Grip: Keep some paracord in your vehicle simply by wrapping the steering wheel with it. 
  12. Shelter: So useful in shelter construction, securing tents, tarps, and logs.
  13. Bore Snake: Find the right thickness of inner strands to clean firearm barrels.
  14. Survival Bracelet: Another convenient way to keep paracord on hand...literally.
  15. Bootlaces: Guaranteed to last longer than your current laces, but also useful in an emergency.
  16. Belt: Hold up your pants and look stylish, all while wearing enough paracord around your waist to build a small bushcraft shelter.
  17. Emergency Sewing Thread: Stitch your clothes back together with the ever indispensable inner threads of 550 cord.
  18. Gill Net: Create a net for catching fish.
  19. Monkey Fist: Give yourself an advantage in a fist fight...if it comes to that. Still, it's a pretty cool self-defense weapon.
  20. Make-shift Saw: Use paracord to saw through zip ties or other small cordage.

The possibilities for paracord use could go on-and-on. Some sites display lists of 85 or more uses. The only limit on paracord is your imagination.

Needless to say, paracord is essential to survival preparation, or other outdoor activities. Before every hiking trip I go on, I like to buy a new roll, because I end up using it at some point on our hike.

Next time you're shopping grab an extra roll or two of paracord. Even if you don’t use the paracord, add it to your survival storage. Have fun with it too. There’s a lot of great videos out there showing how to braid and create bracelets, keychains, monkeyfits, jump ropes for kids...and so on.

Oh, yeah! Paracord also makes a great stocking stuffer too. 

So, grab some paracord and discover it’s 1001 uses.

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