Something that often gets left out of survival kits is a good amount of proper cordage. The moat versatile and therefor the best cordage for survival is 550 paracord.
550 paracord is a nylon rope that has an outer layer (sheath) with 7-8 strands running internally for added strength. It has 550 in it’s name because it has a 550 pound tensile strength. Each strand is made up of two twisted yarns that are rated at 17.5 pounds apiece. The sheath is rated at over 300 pounds It resits mildew well and dries quickly. It was originally used in WW2 as parachute cord. Today it is one of the most important items to include in your survival gear.
550 paracord is the most versatile cordage that exists. It can do so many things that it is invaluable in survival kits.
You Can Use 550 Paracord To:
- Tie down a tarp.
- Make a tourniquet.
- Replace laces for boots and shoes.
- Make thread for repairs.
- Make a bow drill for fire starting.
- Make snares and traps.
- Wrap around a knife handle for a better grip
- Make a lanyard.
- Secure gear to your pack.
- Make a shelter.
- Hang food out of reach of animals.
- Catch fish.
- Make a ridge-line for a tarp shelter.
- Repair equipment.
- Make a anchor line.
- Make a clothes line.
- Tie down items to your vehicle.
- Tether rafts.
- Make a trip line to alert you about strangers walking into your camp.
- Make a splint.
- The inner strands can be used to make a net.
- The inner strands can be used for dental floss.
Your creativity is the only limit!
A great feature of 550 paracord is that it looks great when you wear it. Wearing it not only adds style to your gear; it adds function. It is available in about a dozen colors and can be made into all sorts of functional items.
You can use it to make:
- Weapon slings.
- Hat Bands.
- Water bottle jackets.
- Cell phone carriers.
- Key fobs.
Here is an excellent video showing how to make a 550 paracord bracelet:
By having the 550 paracord made into functional items you will always have plenty to use in an emergency situation. If you don’t have it made into these items then carry a minimum of 100 feet with you in your survival kits.
To make sure you buy military spec parachute cord, make sure there are at least seven interior strands. The newest 550 paracord has eight strands but seven is still fine to work with. It is available in lengths from 50 to 1000 feet.
Image courtesy of: Jayel Aheram