Paracord – NEVER leave home Without it!

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

NEVER! If there is one “miracle” survival product it is paracord. It can handle so many jobs, it can be packed efficiently, it can be used, reused, re-purposed, reconfigured, and depended upon in almost any situation, it is the friend-zone of materials – always there, always ready, expects (and gets) nothing in return.

No matter how many ways one lists to use paracord they will be as far short of all its uses as a politician is of getting something, anything done.

Paracord - NEVER leave home Without it! - The Prepper Journal

If you see a bug-out bag without paracord in it walk away, disown or unfriend the bags owner, and put some distance between you and them. At some point, they will be the comic-relief in the horror movie who surly gets eaten and you do not want to be in their “collateral damage” zone. You could try and correct their ways but this might take hundreds of years and cost millions of dollars, though, seeing that light bulb light up in their brain, realizing you may have, perhaps for the first time, made two of their contiguous brain cells work together, could be rewarding. Your call.

Cinching together lean-to or shelter materials, securing a Mylar blanket to a shelter to reflect back campfire heat and light and not depending on dumb luck and no wind to not bring things crashing down. And don’t get me started on “making stuff” – a belt, a bullwhip, a lanyard, a rifle sling, a monkey fist (ouch!), snowshoes, hammock, trap ring/snare (varmints roasting on an open fire), bow sling, bottle harness, knife handle, dog collar, survival donut (we LOVE efficiency), grab handles (for a vehicle, for bags, for water jugs, for panicking people), the list is endless.

Learn how to cut and cap it off properly with a lighter. As a sailor I like to also duct tape (aka combat tape, safety tape, field-medical tape, keep-grandma-in camp tape, and all its other names) the end but it really isn’t necessary for paracord, while it is for larger nylon ropes. If you do “duct tape” go for dull as opposed to shiny, though with the variety of colors available in both paracord and duct tape, one could get creative.

Paracord - NEVER leave home Without it! - The Prepper Journal

Is color important? Bright orange can easily be seen. A plus when taking down a camp, a negative if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. Black, or any of its variant, great for camouflage, not so great for taking down tree branches and such lashed together and used for a shelter, in the rain, in the dark, at midnight.

For the purist, I always recommend the Mil-Spec (C-5040H) for the tough jobs as you usually don’t need a lot, the price difference isn’t that big, and you know what you are getting, if you read the spec. Also, the 4 simple visual tests to verify Mil-Spec are easy to perform. Cut off an end, and push back the sheath and count 7, 8, or 9 inner strands. Good. Less than 7, not Mil-Spec. On the inner strands unravel one, if it is NOT 3 strands wound together it is not Mil-Spec. If the inner strand is NOT even twisted strands then again, not Mil-Spec. Finally, if one of the inner strands is not colored, it is not Mil-Spec. These colored ID strands, called “Manufacturer’s ID Strand” are required and a registered marker of compliance.

Paracord - NEVER leave home Without it! - The Prepper Journal

Just one more point, I said I was a purist, but I am also rational to a fault, so, to be clear, 550 Type III Commercial Nylon Paracord, not Mil-Spec, is an excellent product. It is excellent for building all the things mentioned above, and readily available from multiple sources and it will meet all your needs. This is rated with a tensile strength of 550 pounds, so unless you are trying to air-lift Michael Moore out of Krispy Kreme, you are good!

Paracord - NEVER leave home Without it! - The Prepper Journal

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A former rocket scientist (really) who has traveled the world, father, freedom lover, hates to stay indoors, and loves wild places, people and things. PC challenged, irreverent but always relevant and always looking to learn new things.

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Ben Leucking

Good article!
I concur that paracord is one of the most essential tools that you can have in your kit. The uses are virtually limitless. Personally, I carry 100 yards of it in my Bug Out Vehicle, and keep 100 foot uncut lengths in each of my get home and bug out bags. I would only rate paracord behind water, food and firearms as a vital tool.

Uncle George

Paracord is great, but other cordage that is very useful is bank line. Bank line is tarred nylon cord that you can burn just like paracord to keep from unraveling. I use the 36#. It is fairly inexpensive and is perfect for those times when strength is less important, but having a good supply is important.


Awe some post Thank you for sharing


Always having some is good, and more is better. At a minimum, have 10 to 20 feet woven into something useful or innocuous even “in town”. This can be a bracelet, belt, lanyard, wrapped around something, “key fob” and so on. But make sure the weave is “fast deploy” (cut or unknot one place then pull). The most common, cobra weave, is attractive, but it is essentially a series of knots, each of which needs to be untied; it takes forever to deploy.

Inah Solomon

I now appreciate paracord more than ever. Thanks for this article. Will definitely stock up on paracords now. Looking forward to more helpful posts.


Informative article.Through all the pictures, everything is well understood.Thank you so much for giving us so beautiful articles.

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