Friday, August 6, 2010

101 uses: Paracord 550

Samwise Gamgee ,from “The Lord of the Rings” said “No rope! And only last night you said to yourself: “Sam, what about a bit of rope? You'll want it, if you haven't got it: Well, I'll want it. I can't get it now.” Rope was a gift for him from the elves later on. Tom Hanks said “We need more rope!” to Wilson in Cast Away”. Connor, the Irish avenger in “The Boondock Saints” (excellent movie by the way) told his brother Murphy “You know what we need? Some rope.”
Even 5000 year old Otzi the Iceman had a stone knife, bow, quiver and some arrows, a very cool looking axe… and a 20-feet coil of rope.
Rope is just a practical thing to have during emergencies and outdoor activities, and it hardly gets more polyvalent than mil spec 550 Paracord, the one with the 7 strands in the core. These can be removed easily from the inside when you need thinner string.
Paracord 550 lbs Nylon Cord Rope- BLACK
Rothco 550Type III Paracord

Warning: 550 Paracord is rated to break at 550 pounds, that’s it breaking point not its practical use weight. This isn’t even close to climbing rope which has at least 10 times the resistance of Paracord. While it may hold your weight, as soon as you start moving the tension increases significantly and it will probably break. Other than a certain death, don’t try using these to climb down from any height.
Having said that, the uses for Paracord are countless:

Building shelters or rafts

Bow string, bolas and other primitive weapons

Shredding the fibers with a knife, it can be used as tinder

Fire bow drill string

Improvised gun sling or pants belt



Nice improvised knife handle


The inner strand can be used as a fishing line

You can build a fishing net or bird net for traps with enough patience

Some people make baskets and other containers with it

Cord 550LB NYLON 100 Ft / Safety Orange

While the OD green and black colors are nice, Orange Paracord makes for more visible lanyards in case your tools fall in high grass. Its more visible to anyone trying to rescue you so that’s the color I’d go for emergency kits. Better yet, get some of each color. It’s cheap enough an terrific stuff. Remember to burn the tips when you cut it so it doesn't come appart.
Final tip. Get the good stuff made in USA, dont try to save 70 cents and end up with poor quality cord that willlet you down when you need it the most.



Joseph said...

If you are going to climb or lower yourself from a height, get rope made for the purpose. It isn't cheap, but it's a lot better than having a rope break 30 above a street. Your life is literally on the line, it should be worth a few extra bucks.

Anonymous said...

Hi FerFAL,
Saw this article concerning the cold weather you are having in BA these days and it made me think of how you were describing the slow degradation of society. Here is the link from Bloomberg:


The paragraph that caught my eye:
“The situation is getting worse, because the shortage period is growing every year,” Gerardo Rabinovich, a director at the General Mosconi Energy Institute in Buenos Aires and an adviser to the opposition Radical Party, said in a telephone interview. “When this started in 2004, it lasted for about a week, then it was two weeks and now it’s more than a month.”

And another describing how government rations are hurting business (and wages, taxes, epmloyment, etc):
Dow closed a polyethylene plant in July and reduced operations at another facility to minimum capacity after gas supplies were rationed by the government, said Soledad Echague, a spokeswoman for the Midland, Michigan-based company in Buenos Aires. The cuts were more severe than the company had expected, she said.

On another note, 550 cord is excellent, especially in the woods. That reminds me....I need to get another roll!

Cuidade FerFAL and may you travel to the US soon.

Anonymous said...

If you don't have it, get it. For more reasons than the inner strands every one mentions, Paracord is wonderful to use.