One of the most important items to have in your survival kit is an ample supply of paracord. While it is certainly possible to use various plant fibers to make cordage, and that is a skill you should learn, paracord, also known as 550 cord, is in a class by itself. It takes up little space and adds almost no weight to your pack to have even as much as 100 feet of paracord.
Paracord is indeed my first recommendation for cordage for your kit. It is incredibly strong, yet very thin. Paracord consists of several nylon strands encased in a braided sheath. Because of how it is constructed, you can pull out one or more of the thin nylon strands to use independently, such as for expedient fishing line. To avoid fraying of the end of the cord, I suggest you melt any cut ends by using a small flame. Paracord is thin enough to be used as shoe and boot laces and, in fact, many military service personnel do this very thing so as to always have a supply of paracord with them.
Lately, paracord bracelets have become very popular as more and more people recognize just how incredibly useful paracord is. Most bracelets contain about one foot of cord per inch of bracelet. That’s a lot of cord in a very small package.
What are some of the uses of paracord?
–Lashing items to your pack so they don’t get lost.
–Attaching lanyards to whistles, compasses, knives, and other small objects.
–Securing camo netting in camp.
–Lashing together branches when making an emergency shelter.
–Thread with beads to make a pace counter.
–Replace broken shoe or boot laces.
–Weave into a belt to keep your pants from falling to your ankles.
–Keeping your gear off the ground in camp.
–Combined with a ball bearing, you can make a monkey fist which is a potent self-defense weapon.
–Using branches, you can make snowshoes.
–For first aid applications, you can use it for a tourniquet or to tie splints around a broken limb.
–Start a fire using a bow drill.
–The inner strands can be used for fishing, sewing, or making traps for game.
–String it between two trees for a clothesline to dry wet gear.
And those are just off the top of my head. I’m sure my readers here can come up with many more uses.