The Importance of Cordage in Survival Kits

Cordage is one of those things you could make in the field, at least theoretically and provided you found the right plants. But, honestly, it is so much easier to just pack some in each of your survival kits.

In my opinion, I feel cordage is second only to a good blade in terms of usefulness in a survival kit.

There are just so many tasks that are made infinitely easier with even a shoelace, let alone several feet of good quality paracord.

–Lashing together an expedient shelter.
–Hanging food from a tree to keep it away from animals.
–Tying gear to your pack.
–Replacing broken boot laces.
–Bow drill for starting fires.


As you might guess, I recommend paracord over other forms of cordage. For those not familiar with it, paracord is a truly wonderful invention. I liken it to duct tape in terms of usefulness. Paracord consists of several strands of nylon cord, with each of them made of 2 or 3 even smaller strands woven together. These inner strands are then covered by a sheath, itself made of nylon. The end result is you conceivably have seventy or more feet of total cordage with just ten feet of paracord.

What I think is one of the coolest features of paracord is that in spite of the incredible strength, it is much thinner than you might expect. Seriously, I have shoelaces that are thicker. What this means is you can easily fit a dozen feet or more in even a very small survival kit.

Coupled with having cordage is knowing how to use it effectively. I highly encourage preppers to head to their local library and find a book or two on knots, then practice some of the more useful ones like the square knot, the bowline, and the clove hitch.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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