With 550 tensile strength, this special rope is extremely durable and features a 7-strand inner core.
This is definitely the most diverse piece of equipment to have on hand in emergency situations. Below is my selection of 20+ uses for your 550 paracord in critical situations divided into 3 categories.
A) 10 Emergency & Wilderness Survival Uses
1. Hanging Your Own Food
This may save your life:
When you are out in the wilderness, the last thing you want to do is go out foraging and come back to discover that animals have just eaten all of your food. A rope can be tied to a tree and have your food fastened to it so that it is elevated off of the ground.
This will keep small rodents and even bears away from eating your supplies. Simply throw the cord over a branch and make a knot around your bag and shorten it as needed!
2. Tie Down Your Tent
Wind and rain can lead to your tent falling over at night or even flying away in severe conditions. If you are going to the stream to gather water, you can use a cord to anchor your items so that they will not become lost in severe windy conditions.
Not only can you ensure that your tent stays in place, but you can tie down other items as well.
3. Make a Snare Trap
You can use the strands of the cord to create a snare. The idea is to use them to make a noose that will grab onto an animal and pull them into the air. You will also use it to make the rope that will be fasted to the tree (this is needed when snaring).
By creating this kind of a trap, you will have something that will provide you with food and no active hunting will be necessary!
4. Creating a Hammock
When rain hits, you cannot sleep in the mud or on the wet ground. If temperatures are lower, this can cause hypothermia or other ailments that may cause you to lose a limb or can even be fatal. Furthermore, you will be right in the path of wildlife and the lower you are to the ground, the higher the chances of critters or bugs interrupting your sleep.
Hammocks can only be made with larger cords. This is done by having 2 or 3 long pieces of wood wherein the rope is tied and crisscrossed several times to create a hammock. Finally, you will also use the same cord to tie it to a tree.
Pay attention: While easy to make, you will need an immense amount of cordage!
5. Build Snow Shoes
Snow shoes will allow you to maintain traction when walking in the snow and are so easy to make that it is nearly impossible to pass up if you are in a snow-filled area. What you will want to do is:
- Find a bendable branch.
- Bend it so that it is curved in the middle and the two ends are pointing toward you.
- Tie the paracord in a crisscross pattern several times ensuring that your boots will have a place for traction.
Essentially, you will want to create the bottom portion of your shoes. Now, put it under your shoe and attach! The bottoms of your boots will resemble a tennis racket at this point, but these will add traction so that walking up or down a snowy path is easier.
Extensively used in war, these ropes are great for climbing and perfect for descending. The goal is to tie it very tightly around some secure anchor. This should be a tree or a massive boulder wherein your weight will not be a factor. This is a major precaution because while the cord will not break, the anchor may which will result in serious injury or potential death.
If secured properly, you can use it to descend to water source or to get down a pathway. Remember, you can use it for climbing, but you should also use it as a safety rope that is attached to you in case you slip while doing so. However, you will want a belt for the utmost safety.
7. Making a Throwing Weapon
Weaponry is a necessity for self-defense as well as killing animals to eat. Sometimes, you will want weapon that is not up close and personal, and a paracord provides this. One of the best and easiest things to create are throwing weapons.
You can do this by:
- Finding a rock the size of your first or larger.
- Wrapping the rope around it several times so that it is fully covered.
- Allowing a piece of it to be able to be swung above your head. Two feet will more than suffice and 18 inches will work just fine as well.
Now, you simply grab your throwing weapon and spin it quickly above your head in a clockwise motion before letting go and hitting the target. This may seem primitive, but these types of weapons have been used extensively throughout history.
8. Creating a Provisional Ladder
Ladders are ideal when sleeping in a tree or having to descend down frequently. The best part?
All you will need are thick pieces of wood that can hold your weight. You will simply:
- Loop the paracord so that the two ends are facing you.
- Wrap the line around the pieces of wood so that they are horizontal and secured in place.
You can use the original loop to hang the ladder if needed. The longer it is, the greater risk of failure.
9. Making a Knife Extension
Cutting through brush can sometimes be dangerous. Snakes and other animals or insects can be hiding in it waiting to ambush and bite you. You can create extension for your blade by using a large tree branch. Simply tie the knife to its end and ensure that it is securely in place.
Now, you can:
- Kill prey at a distance.
- Reach for high up food sources.
- Cut them down.
- Cut through brush, thorns or other foliage.
- Use the knife as a spear for primitive fishing or piercing game.
This will allows you to remain at a safe distance from danger and be prepared for the unexpected.
10. Repairing Your Broken Equipment
Broken equipment can often be repaired using a paracord. Handles of knives coming apart can be corrected, broken rifles, electronics and even shoes can be mended with it. Backpacks that have holes in them or even leaking canteens can have a piece of plastic held in place thanks to the paracord.
B) 5 First Aid Uses
In an emergency situation, you can use your rope to create an improvised splint. The cord can help keep it in place to prevent further injury.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Long and short branch.
- Twisting stick.
- Ankle wrap.
The long branch should be placed on the outside of the injured leg, while short one on the inside. Make sure that you choose sturdy and height appropriate sticks to create the splint.
Once you’ve assembled it, you can wrap the rope around the leg and branches to secure it into place.
12. Sling Tie
What is more, this line can be used to tie a sling and hold an injured arm in place. Obviously you’ll need a cloth as well. A bandana, scarf, towel or any large piece of fabric will work. Simply tie the rope to each end of the fabric and wrap around your shoulder.
In a pinch, you could use just the paracord itself as the sling to hold the arm, but this won’t be quite as effective.
In a survival situation, anything can happen. If you or someone you’re traveling with is injured and losing blood, your 550 paracord can act as a tourniquet to help slow the bleeding. Wrap it around the wounded arm or leg approximately two to four inches away and in between the wound and the heart. Do not apply directly to the cut.
Remember, this should only be used as a last resort when pressure is not enough to stop blood-loss and the person is in danger of bleeding to death.
Note: Some people recommend using this rope as a makeshift Band-Aid, but wrapping it directly around the wound will only wind up creating an accidental tourniquet, which can worsen the injury.
14. Making a Provisional Stretcher
If an injured person is unable to walk on their own, an improvised stretcher can be created to help carry them to safety. Simply run the paracord between two oversized sticks. Make sure that you choose two sticks that are large and sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the person.
If you have two or more ropes, you can wrap them in a crisscross fashion to make a more secure stretcher. You may need additional a lot of them for this purpose.
15. Sewing up a Wound
If a wound needs stitching, the inner strands of a paracord can be used to sew it up. You can use these as a thicker thread, or you can untwist it for even thinner stuff. Just be sure that you have a needle on hand from your first aid kit.
The biggest concern when using it for this purpose is sanitation. Make sure that both your thread and needle are as clean as possible before using them for stitching yourself up. Otherwise, it could lead to a serious infection.
C) 7 Uses for Catching a Fish
16. Fishing Line
The thinner inner strands of a paracord can be used as improvised line. There’s a good chance that you probably won’t be carrying one with you in your emergency kit.
If you find yourself stranded by a lake or river, you can use it to create a makeshift thread and catch some meat. You probably won’t have a pole on hand, so you’ll need to tie it to a stick and use it as an improvised fishing gear.
17. Securing Fish Hooks
In a pinch, these strands can also be used to secure fish hooks to your line. Simply wrap them around the hook and attach it. If you happen to have a real one, you can still use your cord to fix it to your fishing thread.
Depending on the size of the hook, you may only need to use the inner threads to do this. If not, the thicker sheath can also be used if necessary.
18. Fishing Net
Although this is not the most efficient way to use your cord, you can create a net with it. Ideally, you would use the sheath as the border and the inner strands to make the netting itself.
You will need close to 100 feet of rope to build this, but the end result will be similar to a gill net. If you already have one, you can use its inner threads to make repairs if necessary.
19. Harpoon Lashing
For survival fishing, you can use your rope to lash a harpoon to a spear shaft. While there are several different lashing techniques, the basic idea is to secure the weapon to the long shaft for fishing purposes.
The simplest and most basic way to do this is to position the harpoon on top of the spear shaft and wrap the paracord around the two to fixate them into place. Make sure that the wrapping is tight and that you tie the end of the rope.
20. Fish Stringer
If you’ve used the inner strands of your cord to create a line, you can re-purpose the colored sheath to make a durable fish stringer. Use your survival knife to make a small slit under its lower jaw and feed the rope through the hole.
Depending on its length, you can string several fish on your line.
21. Build a Raft
[Pay attention: 15+ Emergency & Survival Uses of Shemagh Tactical Scarf]
With just a few sturdy logs and your trusty paracord, you can build a raft. To build your own, line these up vertically. The number of logs you’ll need will depend on how wide you want it to be. Generally, 4 to 6 is enough. Make sure that they’re all approximately the same length.
Set two additional logs on top of your base horizontally. One should be at each end. Depending on how long they are, you may need an additional log in the center to prevent it from collapsing. Using your line, you want to lash these together to create a secure raft.
22. Securing a Boat
If you have a boat, or a makeshift raft, you can use your paracord to secure it in place. You can tie or lash two boats together, or you can fix your boat to a dock or a tree. You can even use your rope to attach anchor to a boat when you’re fishing.
Before you head out on your next camping trip or pack up an emergency bug-out-bag, make sure that you include a 550 paracord in your supplies. You never know when you might need an extra line, a make-shift stretcher or fishing net. For survival purposes, you can find hundreds of other uses for this special rope in a wilderness or critical situation.