Posted on February 11, 2013
Here are some of the more common uses for paracord we could think of, but the uses are really only limited by your imagination. Keep your eyes open for video demonstrations of the more complicated applications such as making snares and building a raft.
#1 First of all, one of the main questions we get is, "How do you hold up your pants after you've taken apart your PreparaCord Belt?" Well, after you take it apart, you should have 70 to 100 feet of paracord with which to form a makeshift belt or suspenders. (It's best to use a simple knot like a square knot that can easily be undone when you need to pull down your pants. Suspenders are easier, because you just slide them off your shoulders to take off your pants.)
#2 Repair torn clothing with the internal strands which slide easily out of the kernmantle (casing). Use a makeshift needle or be sure to keep one in your first-aid kit.
#3 Repair torn or broken equipment either by sewing or tying the pieces together securely
#4 Rig a makeshift tow rope. A single length of paracord has been tested to handle 550 lbs of weight, so wrap it securely 10 times and you have the ability to pull 5500 lbs.
#5 Securely tie down items to the top of a vehicle, or to protect them from a wind-storm
#6 String up a clothes line. Wet clothes are uncomfortable when you’re camping and dangerous when you’re trying to survive.
#7 Hang a bear bag to keep your food away from critters. This is good whether you’re camping or roughing it in the woods
#8 Replace your shoe laces. Just burn the ends and thread them through.
#9 Replace a broken Zipper pull
#10 Use it as dental floss. Pull out the internal strands and keep up your hygiene even in the woods, or to get that pesky piece of meat out from between your teeth.
#11 Tie things to your backpack with it so you can carry more stuff hands free
#12 Secure an animal to a tree or post, or make a leash
#13 Tie up a person
#14 String up a trip wire to protect an area…rig it with bells, or cans or make a fancier trap
#15 Lower yourself or an object very carefully down from a height. (note: paracord is NOT climbing rope, and is NOT a realistic replacement for true climbing rope; do not expect it to catch you should you fall. For security double or triple the thickness if you can)
#16 Rig a pulley system to lift a heavy object
#17 Make a ladder to get up or down
#18 Tie up a tarp or poncho to make an awning to keep off sun or rain
#19 If you’re hiking in a place where there is danger of avalanche tie yourself to your buddy so you can find each other should one of you get caught under snow
#20 Keep your stuff. Tie objects you're likely to drop around your wrist, ankle, or waist
#21 Make a pack by first making a netting then adding a draw-string
Roughing it in the outdoors…Many of the uses above could be handy in the woods, but here are some options specific to outdoor survival:
#22 Build a shelter using sticks or by tying up the corners of a poncho or tarp
#23 Rig an improvised hammock (in case you haven't sprung for a real hammock)
#24 Make a snare out of the internal strands
#25 Lash logs or other items together to build a raft.
#26 Tie snow shoes. Bend a 1” branch in a teardrop shape. Tie it securely then weave the paracord back and forth across the opening. Tie this to your shoes.
#27 Use it to make a bow drill for fire starting...(note it does take a lot of practice to start a fire with a bow, so don't rely on this unless you've done it before!)
#28 Make a sling to throw stones for protection and food.
#29 Use it for signaling by tying a mirror or colorful cloth to the top of a tree
#30 Use it to make a bola for hunting large birds
#31 Make fishing line by cutting a length and pulling out the internal strands (there are seven of them, each of which comes apart into two, so there's 14 thin lines if you aren't catching really big fish). Just tie them together.
#32 Make a fish stringer. If you’ve just pulled the strings out to make fishing line, the remaining kernmantle (the colored sheath) would be plenty strong enough to hold fish. Otherwise just cut a length, and tie through the gills.
#33 Secure your boat or raft
#34 Make a net out of the internal strands…if you have some time on your hands
First aid uses:
#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 loss of blood
#39 Make a stretcher by running paracord between two long sticks, or fashion a branch drag to move an injured person