What are the survival uses of paracord?

Ingenious soldiers quickly found that parachute cord, also known as paracord or 550 rope due to its 550-pound breaking strength, could be used for hundreds of other things, including bootlaces, when it was first used for parachutes during World War II. Cotton and leather boot laces cannot compare to paracord’s breaking strength, high knot strength, and durability, either then or now.

Paracord became more popular as time went on among regular people. These items are simple to find anywhere these days. It is disposable, cheap, and portable. Since it is a useful item in a survival scenario, you should always have a few yards or more in your bag. You will be pleased you have it when you need it.

Benefits from one of the best braids ever made

1. Cut Through Zip Ties

Imagine being taken hostage and being shackled with zip ties! You are lucky that your paracord laces do more than simply keep your boots on. You can make a saw out of those laces. Working 550 cables perpendicularly over a zip tie will progressively deteriorate the plastic until it snaps. Remove your 550 laces, then knot them all together to form a single, long string to make your escape. Then, on either end, tie a loop big enough to go around your feet. Through the zip tie, thread the cord. Put one foot in each cable loop and rock back and forth with your feet as if you were pedaling a bike. This will cause the plastic to heat up and become hot enough to melt and split when the cord is sawed back and forth on the zip tie.

2. Burn It Up

In a survival emergency, a paracord with a combustible core produces an even better fire starter than a paracord on its own. You can tell the paracord is fairly flammable if you burn the cut ends (which is a wonderful method to prevent it from unraveling). Whether your cord is comprised of nylon or polyester, if they become hot enough, they will both burn. Nevertheless, “sort of flammable” was not sufficient for one innovative firm. The core of their 550 FireCord product features an extra red stripe that is combustible. The red strand of a cut piece of cordage can be removed to provide combustible tinder, or it can be left in situ to aid in the better burning of a 550 strand. Remove the red strand from a small portion of FireCord for optimal results. Use it as a tinder to ignite other fire-starting supplies, such as a bundle of dry twigs and dead leaves. Light it with an open flame.

3. Keep Bears at Bay

Hang your food supply high using a parachute cord to keep ravenous bears and other camp marauders away. When need to suspend my food cache high in a tree, to utilize 550 cables for this purpose. Hanging food on a tree downwind of camp can keep it out of reach and prevent nightly animal prowlers near your tent in remote places where bruins and other animals desire your food. To hang your food, attach a rock to one end of a 100-foot length of 550 cables, hold one end, and toss the cord over a strong tree branch. When the branch is at least five feet from the tree, untie the rock, work the cord down the length of the branch, and then secure one end to the food sack. Lift the bag so that the cache is at least 12 feet above the ground and 5 feet below the branch before letting it dangle. After that, tie the cord’s free end to a separate tree and recover it all the next morning.

4. Make A Fire 

Paracord may still be used to construct a suitable bowstring for the bow and drill fire-starting technique even if it is designed to decrease outside friction. It is advised to use two strands of cord twisted around one another for a bowstring due to the 550 cord’s intended slickness. This gives the drill additional stability and facilitates using the kit. Choose dead, dry softwoods like cedar, paw paw, or willow for your drill and board to give it a try. And if you want a single strand for the bow instead of a two-ply rope on your bow drill, consider the Arctic model. You can increase the traction on the drill by wrapping the rope twice or three times (without overlapping).

5. Build A Survival Bow

Paracord makes a good survival bow string and other improvised archery gear. Consider bow-and-arrow hunting if you find yourself in a survival situation when you need to locate food. It is simple to construct the instruments you require in the field that are effective for killing small-game animals. A bendable sapling, some paracord, some feathers, and a sharp fixed-blade knife may be used to create your archery equipment. For your bow, choose a dead, dry hardwood stave, and for the arrow shafts, choose some shoots or sucker growth. To fletch the arrows, take a portion of the cord’s seven-strand core from a cut piece of cord. As soon as the arrow shafts are the desired length, nocks are cut into each, the arrows are sharpened to a point, and the “same side of the body” feathers are used to fletch the arrows while keeping the right and left wings apart. Unstring your bow after stringing it, observing how it bends, and then carve the belly of the bow to match the bending limbs. When the bow is to your satisfaction, untie one end of the bowstring and twist the paracord to make it tighter and less elastic. You may now shoot after retying the cord, which is now under strain from the twisting.

6. Try a Paracord Trap

Trapping is the next level of competence after using basic archery equipment for hunting. In a survival crisis, setting traps may be a helpful backup plan for obtaining food and frees up your time to do other activities. A strong 550 rope strand may be used for snare nooses and triggers. However, keep in mind that you may cut the inner cord strands off and use them for smaller trap components, such as the string on a Paiute deadfall trigger mechanism.

7. Go Fish

While a thick, white fishing line will not often catch a cunning fish in clear water, employing one of the seven-strand core of paracord’s strands could give you a chance. A catfish or other “non-picky” eater may be caught using stink bait, a sharp hook, and a 550 core line. This set-up is suitable for hand-line fishing, although tangles are unavoidable. Sit back and perform some traditional worm dipping while your line is attached to the end of a sapling pole for greater luck and reduced blood pressure.

8. Lure Them In 

Short pieces of paracord may look like garbage, but with a little work and a sharp hook, they can transform into surprisingly beautiful fishing lures. Slide a portion of the outer jacket down and snip off a short bit of paracord to reveal more of the white core strands. When the eye of a fishhook appears after being inserted through those strands, melt the cord’s end around the eye using a lighter. Your lure is prepared for the water when you shred the exposed white threads.

9. Make A Bola

Although the bola is technically an impact weapon, it also has the amazing ability to entangle a target. If you hit your target with this weapon just right, it could stun (or even kill) it, but if not, the ropes might hold it for long enough for you to rush in with a blunt instrument or knife and complete the job. Large birds like geese are frequently hunted using bolas that have three, four, or five weights because their hollow bones are particularly sensitive to hits and their wings are prone to tangling. Use an overhand knot or a figure-eight knot to connect three to five cords to create a powerful bola. There should be two to three feet of cord in each part. Gather stones for your weights next. Each one should weigh between six and eight ounces. The ideal stones are those that are round since they are less prone to pierce the covering. Wrap your stones in moist rawhide or leather. Make a few small holes in the rawhide’s edges, then attach each rope to a weight. Allow the rawhide to completely dry if you’re using it. Your weight will be held firmly in place as it contracts and hardens. Utilizing the weapon is the last stage. Whip the weights above your head and throw them in the direction of the goal while holding the knot connecting the ropes in your dominant hand. You can feed and defend yourself in the wilderness with the aid of survival weapons.

10. Build A Better Shelter

Making a shelter out of paracord is another way to put it to use. This sturdy cable will assist you in constructing a solid structure, whether you have forgotten to bring your tent guy line or are improvising a tarp shelter from a piece of parachute or sail material. This rope performs effectively in most circumstances, whether it is being used to guy lines or fasten poles together. Additionally, if you want to remove the 550 cord’s core, you may increase the number of strands you have to perform additional shelter-tying tasks.

survivor cord strands

Emergency Paracord Uses

Originally used as the suspension line for parachutes, paracord is today employed in almost every circumstance where cordage is required. Because of how crucial survival paracord is, young Boy Scouts are even taught about it. To survive, paracord is frequently used for things like:

Paracord Uses for Survival/Shelter

  • Rescue Line. There are a variety of natural circumstances when survival paracord may be required for urgent rescue. Paracord will keep you sufficiently away from danger while giving you the leverage you need to pull a victim to safety, whether they are trapped in quicksand, drowning in water, or have fallen a ravine. Put the rescue line in a figure-eight knot, maintain your balance, and throw it at the person in need.
  • Shelter. You could be required to spend the night outside in the wilderness in some survival circumstances. If you have access to tree branches, you can quickly assemble a paracord emergency shelter. The seven inner core strands of roughly ten solid, appropriately sized branches should be removed before using the guts to make knots that will hold the branches together. If you have a lightweight tarp on hand, you may build a basic hammock by tying the ends of the paracord to two trees and threading them through the tarp’s eyelet.
  • Firestarter. The “bow” fire-starting technique may be used to start a fire by tying a paracord to the ends of a bending branch to act as a bow and a stone to act as a socket. It may be used as a Tinder by less experienced survivalists as well.
  • Hauling. The 550 cord’s capacity to move massive weights is among its finest uses. Paracord may be knotted around almost anything for more effective transportation, whether you need to drag your prey or carry firewood more quickly.
  • Rope Ladder. Use two parallel ropes to make a rope ladder to climb up difficult terrain, climb a tree for a better view, or escape from the bottom of a ravine. This will help you get back to safety.

Paracord Uses for Food

  • Fishing.  There are several ways to utilize paracord if you are hungry and stranded in the wilderness. Create a lure and cast a line or use it as a trotline to catch fish while doing other duties. If that is your preferred approach, you may also take the yarns out to make a net.
  • Bear bag. A bear bag is intended to hoist your food to deter animals from attempting to steal it. To attach your paracord to your bear pack, use a tiny carabiner to connect it to the branch using the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) technique.


Paracord Uses for First Aid 

  • Tourniquet – Paracord can be used as a tourniquet if you are bleeding profusely and are unable to reach a hospital right away. To exert pressure and reduce blood loss, tie it above the wound.
  • Splint – In an emergency, make a splint out of survival paracord for fractured bones. To mobilize the bone and stop additional injury, place a stick-on top of or next to the shattered limb and secure it with the rope.
  • Sling – Paracord may also be used as a sling to safely carry a weapon or other survival gear in addition to treating wounds. To construct a survival, sling out of paracord:
  1. Lay out soft materials such as jackets, shirts, or socks for cushioning beneath the limb you want to split.
  2. To support the damaged limb, choose a hard item such as a branch or walking stick.
  3. Put a wrap of your survival paracord around the limb, padding, and hard object. Make a knot that will hold firmly but will not restrict blood flow by not tying it too tightly.
  4. Tie knots above and below the shattered bone, or above and below the injured joint in the case of joint injuries.
  5. You may double the wrapped cord or braid your paracord for survival to increase its strength.


In conclusion, paracord’s adaptability is very amazing. Paracord has established itself as a crucial weapon in several survival circumstances, beginning with its usage as a parachute suspension line in World War II and continuing into modern times. Always keep a few yards of paracord on hand. You will be pleased you have this clever and versatile tool available when you find yourself in a difficult circumstance.