Paracord is the common name for parachute cord or 550 cord. It is lightweight, nylon rope that was originally used in World War II for the suspension lines of parachutes. With a tensile strength of 550 pounds, it is tough and it won’t rot or mildew.
Drab green may have once been mil-spec, but today paracord comes in a variety of colors. Paracord is probably one of the more useful items to have on hand after Mother Nature decides to relocate your roof to the next county or if your ATV breaks an axel out in the middle of nowhere. There are literally hundred of uses for paracord—secure a tent, make fishing line or hang your supplies out of a bear’s reach. Paracord may look decorative, but it can also save your life. Here is some truly cutting-edge survival gear that is designed with paracord.
1. Mission First Tactical Battlelink Minimalist Stock
An 8-foot braid of paracord spans from the toe of the buttpad to the forwardmost sling attachment on the Battlelink Minimalist stocks from Mission First Tactical (MFT), so they won’t snag on your gear or the environment you’re in. The paracord can be removed for trail tasks and even used in emergency situations for a makeshift sling. Designed for AR-platform rifles, the BMSNRAT model fits commercial buffer tubes and the BMSMILNRAT is made for mil-spec buffer tubes. The stocks are constructed of a tough, lightweight polymer and feature an angled, non-slip, rubberized buttpad. The MSRP for both is $85.
2. Rothco Paracord Survival Pry Tool
With a 3.5-inch, 420 stainless steel blade and a handle wrapped in 8 feet of para- cord, the Rothco Paracord Knife with Fire Starter provides some of the essentials you need to make a temporary campsite in the backcountry. Use the cord to hang a tarp and then use the magnesium fire- starter to build a roaring fire. The MSRP is $19. (rothco.com)
3. SOG Throwing Hawk
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools’ Throwing Hawks are one-piece, steel tomahawks with paracord-wrapped handles. Available in a pack of three, these 10.75-inch hawks are a campsite tool able to clear brush and chop through firewood, and the spiked end puts holes in just about anything. Use the included cordage to se- cure a temporary lean-to on the go. The MSRP is $64. (sogknives.com; 888-405-6433)
4. 5.11 Tactical Boot Laces
Unassuming, tough and always there when you need to tie up loose ends, the replacement boot laces from 5.11 Tactical are made of mil-spec 550 paracord and have clear plastic tips for easy lacing. The laces are available in 63-, 72- or 84-inch lengths in either black or coyote. Need to lash together a broken canoe paddle or hang a makeshift shower? These laces can bind, tie and hang to suit any bug-out need. The MSRP is $9.
5. Fremont Farson Blade Survival Tool
The Farson Blade Survival Tool from Fremont Knives is designed after an ancient tool found at an archeological dig in Farson, Wyoming. The tool’s unique design allows it to cut, chop, slice and skin game, and it’s constructed from 4r15 stainless steel. The handle is wrapped with 8 feet of rugged paracord. The Farson Blade’s overall length is 6 inches yet it has a cutting edge of 7.75 inches. Use the cord to catch a fish, then use the tool to gut it and cook it over the fire. The tool can even be lashed to a short piece of timber to make an improvised hatchet. The MSRP is $50.
6. Tough Grid BackBone90 Paracord Rifle Sling
If getting dinner means shooting an elk and dragging it back to camp, then the BackBone90 Paracord Rifle Sling will come in handy to lash the quarters to the ATV or hang the meat out of a hungry grizzly’s reach at camp. The BackBone90 uses 90 feet of mil-spec Type IV paracord in a boa-style weave to make the strap flat for comfortable wear. The sling is 46 inches long and features mil-spec swivels on both ends. The MSRP is $80. (toughgrid.com; 435-792-4380)
7. Timberline Survival Belt
This heavy-duty belt from Timberline Knife & Tool will not only keep your pants up, but there are two strands of paracord that can be unwoven and used to secure a shelter when it rains. The ultimate low-profile survival accessory, the Survival Belt comes in four sizes, allowing it to fit waists from 26 to 48 inches. It also comes in three colors: olive, black and coyote. The MSRP is $60. (gatcosharpeners.com; 800-548-7427)
8. Paracord Galaxy Glow In The Dark 275 Tactical Paracord
Leave the four-strand, 275-pound-test paracord from Paracord Galaxy in sunshine for a few hours and it will glow green at night. The kids will love their glowing bracelets you’ve woven for them since the grid went down, and the glow-in-the-dark cord is great for securing the tent with visible tethers. It can also mark the trail back to the campsite. The MSRP is $12 per 50-foot bundle. (paracordgalaxy.com; 844-727-2267)
9. Chums Eiger Paracord Keychain
The Eiger Paracord Keychain keeps all of your keys together on one end while the other end features a carabiner to clip to your belt loop or other gear. Untie the keychain and it deploys 6 feet of 350-pound-tested paracord with 12 core stands. When the strap on your pack blows out, use the paracord to make a replacement to continue your bug-out. MSRP is $9.99. (chums.com; 800-222-2486)
10. Rothco Paracord Knife With Fire Starter
The Paracord Survival Pry Tool is con- structed of 420 stainless steel and works as a flathead screwdriver, a seatbelt cutter and a bottle opener. The tool can also help you pry things open, like a jammed door. The handle is wrapped in paracord and a compass is attached to the end of the lanyard. The entire unit weighs only 2 ounces and stores inside a black plastic sheath. The MSRP is 12.99. (rothco.com)
This article NEW PIONEERy published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Summer 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.